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Seagate reportedly is working on a new hybrid hard drive that can have comparable speeds to solid state drives and can open up programs and boot a PC in a few seconds. Laptop Magazine and ExtremeTech conducted benchmark tests on the second-gen 750GB Momentus XT which uses adaptive memory to store your most used files on a small bit of flash storage which gives it a huge speed jump.
The drive has about 8GB of flash memory that is designed to learn which files you most commonly use and cache them on the flash storage allowing it to open instantly when needed. Tests showed that after a few iterations, the Momentus XT was able to open Excel in 5.8 seconds, compared to 4.2 seconds for a Samsung SSD and 14 seconds for another 7200RPM HDD. This flash memory has also been reserved for Windows boot files and the system was tested to boot in a smashing 14 seconds.
However the tests also noted that performance of the drive under stress was a big limiting factor. Laptop Magazine clocked the drive at 22.6 seconds to open Excel while running a stress test, the same time it took a standard 7200RPM HDD. The Samsung SSD took only 6.7 seconds to open the same program under stress.
The drive is priced at $249 which is a little pricey for now but hope is the price will come down soon.