Seagate is releasing a new hard drive for laptops this week called the Momentus XT. It is unique because it will contain a standard hard drive with a 4 GB solid state hard drive.
The spinning hard drive is available in 250, 320, or 500 GB sizes, all of which have 7,200 rpm. It boots in twice as much time as a 5,400 rpm hard drive and increases performance by keeping regularly accessed data in the SSD using Adaptive Memory technology.
The Momentus XT boots like any other hard drive the first time it is used, but by the third time, it starts to learn the user’s habits and can boot twice as fast. The data in the SSD part is mirrored in the regular spinning part just in case the SSD part has problems.
Via ChannelWeb, image via TG Daily.
The new interface will be called the mini-SATA )or m-SATA) and use IDF as a platform. It will be the smallest connector ever for SATA, and will be similar in part to those currently used in desktop hard drives to connect to the rest of the computer.
Netbooks and laptops have made quite a bit of use of SATA SSDs, as they are smaller and more efficient than hard disk drives. Most SSDs fit a 2.5-inch or 1.8-inch form factor. However, smaller modules can be used by some smaller devices. This created a need for mSATA, which will ship a standard setup in order to reduce drive costs.
Knut Grimsrud of the SATA International Organization explained that the interface are specified for 32 GB and 64 GB chips, supporting transfer rates between 1.5 and 3 GB/s. This could mean SSDs will finally be cheaper for netbooks.
Many hard drive manufacturers are in the process of developing inexpensive 2.5in hard drives that can be used in netbooks. These drives would cost about 40-50 percent less than current ones, which go for around $45, and would bring down the price of netbooks substantially.
“Most of the cost reductions would come from inexpensive circuitry, drive heads and other parts that contribute the most to the lower prices.”
They are not planned on being shipped until the second half of 2009.