Over a year after first announcing its first hybrid hard drive for notebooks, Seagate has at last begun shipping the product, according to a report by ExtremeTech. Known as the Momentus 5400 PSD, the drive is a 2.5" model with a 5400 RPM spindle speed, capacities up to 160GB, and 256MB of non-volatile flash cache memory. That cache works together with Windows Vista's ReadyDrive technology to reduce boot times and lower power consumption, thereby improving battery life.
The drive has now shipped to five PC vendors, "four of which are qualifying the drive for inclusion in a notebook PC," ExtremeTech says. According to Seagate Product Manager Melissa Johnson, consumers can expect to pay a 25-30% price premium for the drive compared to a regular, non-hybrid model. However, the investment may not yield major performance gains yet: Johnson tells ExtremeTech, "It's just not getting the orders of magnitude experiences that Microsoft originally touted... there are issues both with the BIOS and devices drivers; they don't know how to utilize the flash."
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