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What about hybrid drives?

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Michael Locke
What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 5, 2011 at 11:55:23 pm

Hello Pros,

I'm looking at 2.5" drives for laptop/mini externals, and the Seagate Momentus XT pops up touting near SSD speed with 500Gb size for a fraction of the price of true SSD's. Are these SSD/HD drives a bad idea, or the best of both worlds ? I'll be formatting for Mac if that's a factor; would truly appreciate your experienced opinion. Thanks!


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Steve Modica
Re: What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 6, 2011 at 10:36:52 am

I have not tried these at all.
For raid based shared editing, my take is that the streaming reads are large enough that the SSD space won't be helpful because we need to read too much data in realtime. When we hit the block storage, we'll drop unless it's very fast.

My personal choice was that having no moving parts far outweighed the additional cost and loss of storage. It's lighter and quieter and uses less power, so I went full SSD for my laptop.

Any time there's a new technology like this, that tries to mung together the best of both worlds, I get leery.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Michael Locke
Re: What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 6, 2011 at 4:21:56 pm

Ahh, Small Tree guy,

I'm honored.

I'm realizing most "faster, better" features with computer hardware is aimed at "Tour of Duty" players than swapping 200G of prores around. Love to see an AJA test on one, say in a VR Mini. But then I'm not a big Seagate fan anyway. Thanks for the practical insight, you guys are priceless...ML


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Steve Modica
Re: What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 7, 2011 at 1:36:52 am

[Michael Locke] "I'm realizing most "faster, better" features with computer hardware is aimed at "Tour of Duty" players than swapping 200G of prores around. Love to see an AJA test on one, say in a VR Mini"

I'd like to see a latency graph over a long sequential read. That would be the telling thing. What happens when it crosses over? How does it handle migration?

I have a story:
Many years ago when SGI designed NUMA, they wanted to be smart and "migrate" memory around the machine to be near the executing processes. They also wanted to "migrate" threads around the machine to be near resources. So imagine our joy when we got to watch our processes and memory race around after each other. That feature got turned off forever.
How is this relevant? It's not... but it's funny :)
Steve

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Walter Soyka
Re: What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 7, 2011 at 3:02:47 pm

[Steve Modica] "Many years ago when SGI designed NUMA, they wanted to be smart and "migrate" memory around the machine to be near the executing processes. They also wanted to "migrate" threads around the machine to be near resources. So imagine our joy when we got to watch our processes and memory race around after each other."

Like watching a puppy chase his own tail?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Steve Modica
Re: What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 7, 2011 at 4:56:35 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Like watching a puppy chase his own tail?"

Yes... but it wasn't cute, and I was standing there with a bunch of geeks in a cold computer room watching a machine that looked hung. So I guess it was nothing like watching a puppy :)

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 6, 2011 at 9:06:24 pm

[Steve Modica] "Any time there's a new technology like this, that tries to mung together the best of both worlds, I get leery."

Hard to disagree although I could think of a few exceptions. One of them is BIOS caching back in early DOS and Windows days. When turned on, it would drop boot up and installation times ten-fold. Literally, you would see full Windows (3.11 or NT - I don't remember now) installation drop from 3 hours to 15 minutes. Little caching that did wonders.

The hybrid drive is caching - and it may work wonders for non-streaming apps - and maybe even for some streaming ones. Hard to say until I test one.

Alex (DV411)


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 6, 2011 at 9:25:28 pm

Another factor to consider is that SSD caching isn't limited to Seagate; it's implemented on some RAID HBAs for performance and fault tolerance; and is going mainstream with Intel's help, on its new Z68 chipsets. SSD caching is a solid performance-enhancing technology - hybrid drives included. The question is whether Seagate implemented it well enough for it not to get in the way of streaming apps.

Alex (DV411)


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Steve Modica
Re: What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 7, 2011 at 1:37:58 am

[Alex Gerulaitis] "The hybrid drive is caching - and it may work wonders for non-streaming apps - and maybe even for some streaming ones. Hard to say until I test one."

agreed

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Norman Willis
Re: What about hybrid drives?
on Jun 29, 2011 at 8:32:39 pm

Michael, I have had a Seagate Momentus XT 500Gb frive for my laptop for about a year, and I love it. With a fresh install of Win7x64 the boot time to a desktop was about 25 seconds. Won't hold a candle to a pure SSD (maybe 7-10 seconds) but still.

Now with all of the other hardware loaded, a year later it is maybe one minute to the desktop, maybe 1:15 before it really responds. However, that is muucchh better than the 4-5 minutes it used to take, and routine operations have a snap to them that did not exist before.

For my video editing machine I use a Dell PERC 6i in hardware RAID 5. It takes a long time to boot up, but once it gets going it is really worth it. Hope that helps.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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