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  • Seagate 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive

    Phoronix: Seagate 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive

    The latest piece of hardware up for testing at Phoronix is the Seagate ST1000DX001, a 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) that retails for less than $100 USD. But how well does this 1TB hard drive that has 8GB of MLC flash memory work with Linux? Let's find out.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=19385

  • #2
    I'm curious - what happens when the SSD part of the hybrid drive breaks? (SSDs are known for their short life span) Does it work as a normal HDD then or does it fail altogether?

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    • #3
      The only people to get Hybrid drives right until recently have been Apple. You cant just put a tiny buffer in there, you need a 128GB SSD. Luckily WD just launched the Black2 line of hybrid drives so that should hopefully push other OEMs along the right path.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cyber Killer View Post
        SSDs are known for their short life span
        All of mine have lasted me years.

        I do not run virtual memory.(swap file)

        Problem solved.

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        • #5
          What's wrong with that SSD in the last benchmark?!

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          • #6
            A more suitable platter drive for comparison would have been a 1TB unit, as the older 160 and 320 drives didn't have the areal density of the 1TB's, subsequently giving you a peformance boost compared to the the two units reviewed. Still, you could probably 'imagine' (oh boy) a 1TB being 30-50% faster than the 160/320GB drives and still would not even touch the hybrid's performance.

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            • #7
              The standard benchmarking tools aren't really idea for Hybrid drive testing anyway. The theory is that the drive best figures out what gets accessed most often and caches that in SSD. When you're using the benchmark it's almost impossible to tell whether the speed changed throughout the run, at which stage data may (or may not) have transitioned to the flash storage etc. It's purely a guess but I'd imagine what the run saw was slow starting speeds, higher end speeds as the data transitioned to SSD which likely wouldn't reflect a real world scenario.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by halfmanhalfamazing View Post
                All of mine have lasted me years.

                I do not run virtual memory.(swap file)

                Problem solved.
                I even run swap and tmp on my 50GB ocz agility 2 and it is at least 4 years old now. I am excessively pulling in daily openSUSE updates (tumbleweed) etc and it hast only few gigabytes free space all the time, sometimes its even totally filled.

                I guess I went pretty lucky. I also thought it might break already after 2 years.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cyber Killer View Post
                  I'm curious - what happens when the HDD part of the hybrid drive breaks? (HDDs are known for their short life span) Does it work as a normal SSD then or does it fail altogether?
                  FIFY.
                  10chars

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                  • #10
                    I'm actually running on its 750GB 2.5" brother right now, on my Fedora desktop.

                    I bought it for about $140 last year and I've to say it runs pretty well under Linux.

                    It self-optimized mechanism can significantly benefit system booting, reducing Fedora default booting time from 31s to 12s.

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                    • #11
                      This is really a stretch, and an attempt for Seagate to try to maintain some degree of relevance.

                      First off, the test is totally irrelevant, because it is comparing the hybrid against two SSD's and two VERY OBSOLETE HDDs.

                      Second, the theory behind hybrid drives makes this kind of benchmarking very very irrelevant. It takes some significant use before the contents of the hybrid portion of the disk reflect the data most often used, and further, its performance benefits are intended for "real world" use, not one-off benchmarks. So for example, reading some random crap off the disk platter won't be any faster than a comparable HDD, not would a read of data on the SSD portion be an accurate reflection of anything.

                      Now lets look at these "hybrid" drives from a more practical point of view;
                      It has 8 GB of flash memory, which is way slower than 8 GB of *cheap* RAM.... you can easily see where I'm going with this. Outer rim of the HDD, sequential reads from an HDD are wickedly fast, on the order of you could pull 8 GB from it in a few seconds. The main benefit of the SSD portion is the RANDOM access, so that would be better with RAM, which can be synchronized sequentially with a dedicated portion of the platter.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                        FIFY.
                        10chars
                        I'm glad you had fun, but I'm asking seriously. I've seen many SSDs break down after around 3 years, where HDDs (in workstations, not laptops) break down after around 10 years. But even if these numbers would be different the question stands - what happens when the SSD part breaks, but the HDD part is still good?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                          FIFY.
                          10chars
                          I manage a fairly large number of servers, workstations and laptops.
                          When an HDD dies, I can usually save 80-100% of the data on drive.
                          In the last ~3 years I've yet to save a single (!) byte of a bricked SSD.

                          Care to enlighten me?

                          ... And before you begin, I usually opt for enterprise grade HDDs (Seagate) and SSDs (Intel and Samsung).

                          - Gilboa
                          P.S. I'm posting this on a workstation that has 5 x 6 year old [!] 320GB enterprise grade HDDs and has already bricked two SSDs.
                          Last edited by gilboa; 11-29-2013, 07:58 AM.
                          DEV: Intel S2600C0, 2xE52658V2, 32GB, 4x2TB + 2x3TB, GTX780, F21/x86_64, Dell U2711.
                          SRV: Intel S5520SC, 2xX5680, 36GB, 4x2TB, GTX550, F21/x86_64, Dell U2412..
                          BACK: Tyan Tempest i5400XT, 2xE5335, 8GB, 3x1.5TB, 9800GTX, F21/x86-64.
                          LAP: ASUS N56VJ, i7-3630QM, 16GB, 1TB, 635M, F21/x86_64.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                            This is really a stretch, and an attempt for Seagate to try to maintain some degree of relevance.

                            First off, the test is totally irrelevant, because it is comparing the hybrid against two SSD's and two VERY OBSOLETE HDDs.

                            Second, the theory behind hybrid drives makes this kind of benchmarking very very irrelevant.
                            ....
                            Now lets look at these "hybrid" drives from a more practical point of view;
                            It has 8 GB of flash memory, which is way slower than 8 GB of *cheap* RAM.... you can easily see where I'm going with this. Outer rim of the HDD, sequential reads from an HDD are wickedly fast, on the order of you could pull 8 GB from it in a few seconds. The main benefit of the SSD portion is the RANDOM access, so that would be better with RAM, which can be synchronized sequentially with a dedicated portion of the platter.
                            First, you're absolutely right about the irrelevancy of the benchmarks. They're completely useless and don't reflect an understanding of how this drive works. Instead of Phoronix Benchmarks, the author needed to boot the system several times and launch the same programs several times to get the drive to cache the files and then report the results. That a boot time comparison wasn't even done was a shock to me.

                            As for the rest...

                            "you can easily see where I'm going with this."

                            Nope. Not a clue. Nothing you wrote reflects the real benefit of this drive, improving boot time. Extra ram isn't going to help with that. Second, if the average hard drive has an average sustained read throughput of say 100MB/s, it would take 1 min 20 seconds to read 8GB of data, not a "few seconds". And that's assuming it's all big files and not tiny ones. There have been a few pre-caching Linux solutions, but it seems none have ever really caught on.

                            The drive is in theory of more benefit to Linux users than others. First, our SSD caching software is less mature. Second, a typical desktop install (say OpenSUSE) takes about 3.6GB including a full suite of software, which is far less than Windows with no other applications loaded. The 8GB cache on this drive has the potential of caching all of a Linux user's system files and applications, which some room left over for most recently used data, bookmarks file, etc., especially considering they may not even frequently use a lot of that 3.6GB, leaving more room. Lastly, it's also good for laptops that only offer the potential for one drive and no mSATA capability.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by scottishduck View Post
                              The only people to get Hybrid drives right until recently have been Apple. You cant just put a tiny buffer in there, you need a 128GB SSD. Luckily WD just launched the Black2 line of hybrid drives so that should hopefully push other OEMs along the right path.
                              Black2 is not a hybrid drive, not even close. It's flash drive and a mechanical drive stuck in the same package, but with ZERO management of the data caching. It presents to the OS as two drives.

                              There is one OS that could do something useful with it, OSX, which could format it as a fusion drive. Except, oh dear, presenting as two disks over a single SATA connection is hardly standard, so we need custom drivers which are, no surprise, Windows only. And if you feel comfortable entrusting your data to weird and custom drivers that WD will probably abandon as soon as the next shiny thing comes along, good for you.

                              It's fine to complain about how this Seagate drive sucks --- I agree. But at least it sucks in a vaguely sane way.
                              The WD offering is idiotic, pure and simple.

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