Single page Print

The value perspective
Welcome to another one of our famous value analyses, in which we add capacity and pricing to the performance data we've explored over the preceding pages. With the exception of Laptop Thin SSHD, which is much cheaper (and closer to Seagate's suggested retail price) at Amazon, we used Newegg prices for all the SSDs. We didn't take mail-in rebates into account when performing our calculations.

First, we'll look at the all-important cost per gigabyte, which we've obtained using the amount of storage capacity accessible to users in Windows.

Take that, SSDs. Flash memory may be more affordable than ever, but solid-state drives are still pretty pricey per gigabyte, at least versus their mechanical and hybrid competition. The Laptop Thin SSHD is slightly cheaper per gig than the other hybrids, but it's not quite as affordable as the Scorpio Black.

Our remaining value calculation uses a single performance score that we've derived by comparing how each drive stacks up against a common baseline provided by the Momentus 5400.4, a 2.5" notebook drive with a painfully slow 5,400-RPM spindle speed. This index uses a subset of our performance data described on this page of our last SSD round-up.

Ouch. Due to its poor performance in a number of tests, the Laptop Thin SSHD lands at the bottom of our overall performance rankings. According to this metric, the drive is barely faster than the ancient 5,400-RPM model we use for reference. The Momentus XT hybrids do much better, so the Laptop Thin's low score isn't an artifact of its hybrid nature alone.

Now for the real magic. We can plot this overall score on one axis and each drive's cost per gigabyte on the other to create a scatter plot of performance per dollar per gigabyte. The best place on the plot is the upper left corner, which combines high performance with a low price.

None of the drives occupy the ideal region of the plot. With higher performance and prices to match, SSDs dominate the upper right corner. The mechanical drives and hybrids are clustered in the lower-left corner, where their lower performance is matched by lower prices. Perhaps more than any other, this chart makes it clear that we're dealing with two very different classes of storage.

Even if you ignore the solid-state drives, the Laptop Thin SSHD doesn't look particularly attractive overall. The Scorpio Black has a higher overall performance score and a lower cost per gigabyte. The Momentus XTs cost more per gig, but they offer higher overall performance.