I have a pretty new Unibody 15" Apple MacBook Pro. It came with 2GB of RAM and a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo processor. This is by no means a weak machine, but there is always room for improvement! The first upgrade I did was upgrading the RAM, since I always found myself being maxed out on RAM usage. I opted to skip the 4GB upgrade and jump directly to the max of 8GB. This upgrade was fantastic, and helped quite a bit with things slowing down during times of maxed out RAM. After this upgrade I still found things to be a bit sluggish during certain tasks. The only feasible upgrade left was, or course, the hard drive. The laptop came with a 500GB 5400rpm drive. This drive is not a performance drive by any means. There are a couple of choices when it comes to upgrading the drive. I could have gone with another 500GB drive that was running at 7200rpm instead of 5400rpm. This would boost performance by a small amount most likely for around $100. Not the ideal solution; what other options are there? Of course the ideal situation would be to get a Solid State Drive (SSD). The problem with this is price. Solid state drives are VERY VERY expensive and tend to run on the small size (storage capacity wise)!
What if there was a way to get the best of both worlds? Large capacity plus the speed of an SSD. Good news, there is!! The Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid Drive. This little beauty is a 500GB rotating HDD running at 7200rpm. Plus, and this is a BIG PLUS, this drive has 4GB of solid state storage to augment the drives storage.
After installing this drive into my laptop, it was like a whole new world! My system boots much much faster, applications launch in just a second or two. Overall, all aspects of my computer are much more speedy now. Would a pure SSD be faster? Probably. Would it be $1,370 faster? NO WAY!
If all you are doing is email and some light web browsing, then I can’t say it’s worth the extra $70 over a standard 500GB @7200rpm. But if you are running pretty much anything more resource intensive than that, it is ABSOLUTELY worth it!!
“Adaptive Memory technology intelligently monitors your frequently used applications and data files, then places them into the solid state portion of the drive so they can be quickly recalled.” -Seagate.com
The drive seems to get faster and faster, the more I use it. It feels too good to be true.
- Key Specifications
- 500GB hard drive capacity
- 4GB SLC NAND solid state memory
- 7200-RPM spindle speed
- 32MB of drive-level cache
- SATA 3Gb/s with Native Command Queuing
- Hard Drive Pricing
- 500GB @5400rpm - OEM Stock
- 500GB @7200rpm - $60
- 512GB SSD - $1,500
- 500GB @7200rpm +4GB SSD - $130
- Hard Drive Pricing. $/GB
- 500GB @7200rpm - $0.12
- 512GB SSD - $2.92
- 500GB @7200rpm +4GB SSD - $0.26