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Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive gets quicker, more storage

Seagate announces that it's now shipping the second generation of the hybrid Momentus XT drive, which offers 750GB of storage and faster performance.

The new hybrid Momentus XT drive now offers up to 750GB of storage space.
The new hybrid Momentus XT drive now offers up to 750GB of storage space. Dong Ngo/CNET

Seagate today announced that it's now shipping the second generation of its popular hybrid drive, the Momentus XT.

The new drive is the upgrade to the original Momentus XT, the first and only mass-produced hybrid drive on the market, which was released more than a year ago and has been widely adopted by OEM system builders.

Similar to the first generation, the new Momentus XT combines both traditional platter-based hard drive and solid-state storage. The new drive, however, now offers up to 750GB of storage space (as opposed to 500GB of the previous version), which includes twice the amount of high-speed solid-state storage (8GB) and supports the latest SATA 3 (6GBps) standard. It remains the standard 9mm 2.5-inch laptop design and can be used for both laptop and desktop computers.

Seagate says that the new Momentus XT features Seagate's Adaptive Memory and Fast Factor technologies. The former is designed to identify data usage patterns, and then move the most frequently accessed information to solid-state memory for faster access, while the latter blends the strengths of solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard-disk drives for faster access to applications, quicker boot-up, and higher overall system speed. Seagate claims that the new drive offers some 70 percent increase in performance compared with the previous generation and is up to three times faster than traditional laptop hard drives.

Hybrid drives are considered the second best thing to SSDs that are clearly faster but currently still too expensive for most users. With a drive like the Momentus XT, users can enjoy performance similar to that of SSDs, especially in terms of boot-up and wake-up time, without having to dig a hole in their wallet.

The new Momentus XT is, still, noticeably more expensive than traditional hard drives of the same capacity with the 750GB version's suggested price of $245. Expect the street prices to be lower, however. The original Momentus XT is also still available at around $150 for the 500GB capacity.

To find out how much faster the new Momentus XT drive is, compared with the original version and SSDs, check back soon for the full review.