Seagate Momentus XT 750GB 2nd Generation review

A hybrid drive making the best of both worlds

Seagate Momentus XT 750GB 2nd Generation
Hybrid drives such as Seagate's Momentus XT range could bridge the gap between SSDs and HDDs

TechRadar Verdict


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    Fast startup times

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    No drivers required

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    Cost-effective capacity


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    No bundled accessories

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Solid-state drives offer a considerable performance advantage over hard drives, but they cost a lot more. Replacing a MacBook Pro's hard drive with a similar-capacity SSD could cost as much as the notebook, while a smaller, more affordable model might leave you short of storage space.

Hybrid drives such as Seagate's Momentus XT are designed to resolve this dilemma. By combining a large solid-state memory cache with a regular hard drive, it offers a performance close to that of an SSD at a cost-per-GB that's more like a HDD.

This second-generation Momentus XT is 750GB instead of the original Momentus XT 500GB, and the non-volatile cache is expanded to 8GB, up from 4GB. The SATA bus is now 6Gbps, and the hard drive speed remains at 7,200rpm.

A bootable image resides on the flash memory, giving it much faster start-up times than a standard hard drive. In our tests, booting a clean Lion install on a 2011 MacBook Pro took less than 26 seconds, compared to 39 seconds using its factory-installed hard drive.

The hybrid's random read/write scores of 20.433/47.228MB/s roundly trounced the original hard drive's 17.202/16.046MB/s too.

If you want to boost performance without sacrificing storage, a hybrid's the way to go. The Momentus XT is fast, capacious and value for money.

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