Storage

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review

Price / Where to Buy:

US – Approx. US$116 – Seagate Laptop SSHD
PH – Approx. Php5900

Today we take a look at a new product from Seagate, their new Laptop SSHD with model name ST1000LX001. This model takes over the older Seagate Laptop SSHD as the new flagship variant which now sports a new 32GB NAND flash versus the original 8GB it once had. That older model will still be available but the new 32GB NAND variant promises performance improvements amongst others to its repertoire of upgrades. For those unfamiliar, SSHD or solid-state hybrid drives are a storage product that combines an SSD and HDD and essentially puts them in the same body. While implementation varies, we’ll be focusing on the one done by Seagate which uses a hidden 32GB NAND storage section to store frequently-accessed files and serve them up fast. 32GB may not be large but its a big step from the original 8GB ones we still have for lighter applications. Seagate intends their new Laptop SSHD for performance seekers looking for a quick and easy upgrade for their solitary storage systems like a laptop or even a Playstation. Seagate targets gamers who want quicker storage response time but still have the large capacity of traditional hard drive, all in one single product.

 

Seagate Desktop SSHD Review

Seagate is a familiar name in the storage industry and practically synonymous with HDD storage, and that has been their major business since their inception but with the dramatically changing landscape in storage needs of consumers, the reigning kings of HDD solutions have to play at a whole new level with the increasing demands of gamers and power users. Seagate introduced the SSHD, offering bulk storage with significant performance and responsiveness advantages in one single product. Let’s check out the new 32GB NAND flash-equipped Seagate Laptop  SSHD in this review. Read on!

Features

Unparalleled Speed. Huge Capacity. Amazing Value.

  • The new 32 GB NAND Flash option provides even faster speeds for ultimate gamer, creative professional and high-performance laptop experience
  • 8 GB and 32 GB NAND Flash technology performs up to 4× and 5× times faster, respectively, on application load times when compared to standard 7200-RPM HDDs
  • Easy PlayStation® or laptop upgrade saves time and helps improve productivity
  • Hybrid drives fuse the blazing speed of SSD with the high capacity, reliability and affordability of a hard drive
  • Thin 9.5mm and 7mm drives for mobile storage.
  • Seagate® Secure Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) options
  • Backed by 5-year limited warranty.

Official product page

Closer Look

The ST1000LX001 comes in a standard drive-only package which might vary depending on Seagate’s decision and bundling of this drive. Our sample is provided as drive-only protected by a static bag.

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review
Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review

Physically, the Seagate Laptop SSHD follows the 2.5″ drive form factor and has a thickness of 9mm. Here is the drive side by side with a 7.5mm SSD for your reference.

Software

seagate_seatools

Seagate offers a free utility to test and monitor your drive for possible issues. You can download the Seagate SeaTools application from their website free here.

PERFORMANCE TESTING

Test Setup

Processor: Intel Core i7 4790K 4.6Ghz
Motherboard:  ASUS Maximus VII GENE
Memory: Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-2133 32GB
Storage: SEAGATE LAPTOP SSHD 1TB (ST1000LX001)
PSU: BitFenix FURY 650G

Potential Performance

ATTO Disk Benchmark benchmarks a drive’s read and write speeds with increasing file sizes and graphs them.

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review
Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review

Potential Write Performance

For potential write testing, HD Tune was used to measure the drive’s write performance. Again, we focus on the average results for real-world relevance.

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review
Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review

Crystal DiskMark

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review
Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review

Crystal Disk Mark is storage benchmarking software was developed by “hiyohiyo” of Japan, and is available for free. Crystal Disk Mark measures sequential, and random read/write speeds of storage devices.

PCMark8

PCMark by Futuremark is the latest iteration of the industry-leading system benchmark designed to test the performance of entire systems. Featuring a storage benchmark test, PCMark8 replicates real-world application scenarios and presents a score to give a measure of how a storage device is performing.

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review
Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review

Real-world Test: File Transfer

We’ve taken our compression test files, a collection of images, documents and other files ranging from 1KB to 50MB amounting to 3,343 files for 3GB and a single, large 12GB file. We’re posting the raw transfer results for your reference. Test data is copied off a PCI-express SSD.

Filled-Space Performance

Now we check out performance when we fill the drive with random files amounting to more than 80% capacity and running our benchmarks a few times then letting the drive rest then finally running to get a picture of how the drive performs during such use.

atto_filled_80

We can see the drive operates in its rated drive speed meaning the NAND hasn’t applied the adaptive technology to our benchmark given that it deletes its files after running. In a real world sense, the adaptive technology would benefit OS or application files and of course, game files. Say for example you play a lot of Diablo 3 which is a 13GB installation, the most common files are cached in the SSD portion of the Seagate SSHD and quickly gets loaded so you get into the game quickly. This applies best to FPS games and to some extent MOBAs where level textures are loaded when you cross certain areas of the map, sometimes causing framedrops and slowdowns which could easily be a life or death situation once you get into a clash or firefight.

Comparison: HDD vs SSHD

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review
Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review

In this test we’ll show you a quick comparison of these two drives: The Samsung Seagate ST500LM012, which is the default drive in 500GB Playstation and of course, our Seagate SSHD. The former is a 5400RPM HDD and represents the typical hard drive that most entry-level to mainstream notebooks are bundled with. We’ll run through some of the benchmarks we’ve already shown for the Seagate Laptop SSHD and present them in comparison to the ST500LM012.
Seagate_STX1000LX001_0009 Seagate_STX1000LX001_0008 Seagate_STX1000LX001_0010

Now for this test, we’ll be reverting to an older benchmark we’ve stopped using because I really don’t put much stock on boot speed as a proper benchmark. Regardless, just to really show the difference between a standard rotating drive and the Seagate Laptop SSHD, we’re bringing it back.

Seagate_STX1000LX001_0006

As mentioned in the previous section, the Seagate Laptop SSHD takes your most used files and learns your usage patterns so it basically takes a while to really appreciate performance benefit of the built-in 32GB NAND. This makes the Seagate Laptop SSHD practically impossible to benchmark by normal means and loads like PCMark8 takes a really long-time to finish making it impractical for our intentions. That said, after a few days of using the Seagate Laptop SSHD in our system, it did improve on boot times with our system having our standard benchmark drive image installed consisting of nothing more than an installation of Windows 7 and the latest driver for our system. Starting from a normal boot time of 22-23 seconds, as the days passed our boot time has normalized to 18 seconds giving us the impression that the SSHD does kick-in on this types of workloads e.g. frequently access files like the OS.

Conclusion

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review
Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB w/ 32GB NAND (ST1000LX001) Review

The new Seagate Laptop SSHD again drops us in a tough spot wherein benchmarking the drive presents an absolute challenge as its technology is not even remotely close to fully benchmark-compatible. We can go on for days trying to get numbers from PCMark8 or actual live applications but if you’ll take my word for it, from experience, we can say that the Seagate Laptop SSHD does live up to its promise of faster performance where its needed.

The Seagate Adaptive Memory Technology knows which to optimize and in my case, knowing this, I set-up our testbed to simulate a dedicated gaming rig that only loads Windows and Diablo 3. At a combined install size of around 28GB, it doesn’t tax the 1TB capacity of the Seagate Laptop SSHD but what it does however is provide a simple set of files for the Seagate Laptop SSHD’s Adaptive Memory Technology to optimize. While a day or two won’t show you the full-performance benefits of the SSHD, after a week of frequent usage, you’ll feel the responsiveness kick-in and this is really best experienced first-hand.

Now again as mentioned earlier in this review, 32GB isn’t really a big deal in terms of storage space but if you compare that to 8GB, its already a lot if you take into consideration the actual files that get loaded during Windows or any application, aren’t their full installation size. For example, Windows only loads a portion of its full install size during start-up and the same can be said for games like Diablo III or DotA2 which loads only the necessary files during gameplay. So if you only wander around Act I of Diablo III, the files for that level get loaded into the 32GB NAND making it load faster. The 32GB allows more data to get stored for quicker access so your system behaves more responsibly thanks to the larger amount of SSD NAND included.

At around $116, the Seagate Laptop SSHD offers a compelling choice if you can only choose one storage solution to put in your system and this makes this product an easy choice for those looking to upgrade their system with a faster, more responsive solution without having to sacrifice performance or capacity.

Price / Where to Buy:

US – Approx. US$116 – Seagate Laptop SSHD
PH – Approx. Php5900

The Seagate Laptop SSHD comes in 1TB capacity and is backed by a 3-year warranty. We give it our B2G Silver Award.

B2G_Silver

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BossMac Suba

Owner and lead reviewer for Back2Gaming. More than 10-year of corporate IT experience as well as consumer IT journalism. His extensive skill set and experience in communicating complicated technical details into easily understandable bits. He's been with you since dial-up and the ISA slot. His favorite animal is the scapegoat.

2 Comments

  1. You make it clear that traditional hard drive benchmarks are NOT friendly to an SSHD, yet you base almost the entire review on those benchmarks. This shows a complete misunderstanding of the main purpose of a Hybrid drive. It’s like reviewing a passenger car towing a big travel trailer up a mountain road – not exactly relevant to the normal use of a family sedan.
    The main thrust of the manufacturer’s description is that the product accelerates the loading/opening of frequently-used data. I submit to you that the only sensible way to test the Hybrid drive is to first compare the loading time of a good variety of common computer tasks by a traditional 2.5-inch laptop drive (95% of which are 5400 rpm) against the Seagate SSHD after, i repeat, AFTER it has had a chance to “learn” the frequently-used data and apply the adaptive speed-up feature. This comparison will CLEARLY show the advantages of the SSHD. To be thorough you could also compare those loading times to a price-comparable SSD (which these days would probably be an entry-level 240GB SSD). It is, of course, important to point out that infrequently-used data such as random photos, videos, large file transfers and virus scans will take longer. So, c’mon Bossmac Suba, give the Hybrid drive a fair shake!

    1. I appreciate that, man. But the short time span that these brands give us with review samples just won’t allow more “sciencing” of these drives. I’m glad your method is heavily similar to what I have in mine so hopefully I get more time in the future with such products and give them that shaking they really deserve.

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