Feeds

Seagate admits Flash-fitted HDDs fall short of promised benefits

BIOS, driver code to blame, apparently

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Seagate has admitted its first-generation hybrid hard drives - standard hard disks with an added Flash memory cache - are not providing the promised benefits, but it blamed the discrepancy on PC BIOS and device driver software.

Seagate first discussed its Momentus 5400 PSD (Power-Saving Drive) line of 2.5in hybrid hard drives back in June 2006. At the time, it claimed the incorporation of 256MB of Flash would lead to big performance gains and power savings. Windows Vista's ReadyDrive system uses the Flash memory to cache frequently needed data so it doesn't have to spin up and access the magnetic storage so often.

But yesterday, at the start of the week in which the drives officially went on sale, Seagate coughed to the fact the 80, 120 and 160GB drives will not deliver the claimed "order of magnitude" improvement over standard 2.5in, 5400rpm hard drives, ExtremeTech reports.

"[Hybrid hard drive technology] is just not getting the orders of magnitude experiences that Microsoft originally touted," Seagate Product Manager Melissa Johnson told the site.

"There are issues both with the BIOS and devices drivers - they don't know how to utilize the Flash, she accused.

Seagate isn't the only hard drive company touting Flash cache technology. In 2006, Hitachi pledged 2.5in, 5400rpm hybrid drives for release in 2007.

And this past September, Hitachi too admitted hybrid drives weren't up to snuff.

The two company later joined Samsung and Toshiba to found the Hybrid Storage Alliance (HSA), an industry body charged with promoting hybrid drives.

Not much has been heard from the HSA since, possibly because of the issues Seagate's launch has exposed. The drive maker said the driver software was being worked on by Microsoft and HSA members.

"By the second generation, products will see the system benefits," Johnson promised, though she didn't specify when that will happen.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.