Customer Reviews: Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 32 MB Cache 2.5 Inch Solid State Hybrid Drive ST750LX003
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on February 7, 2012
I have a 256GB SSD in my desktop computer, so I'm writing this review as someone who is accustomed to that kind of performance.

The 750GB version of this drive is awesome. (I've used the previous model, the 500GB Momentus XT, and it was "pretty good." There's more than just a capacity upgrade to this new version.) I installed the 750GB Momentus XT into my new HP Envy 15, and I have to admit that it's the perfect compromise drive. The Envy has only a single drive bay and the optical isn't removable, so an SSD / HDD combo (one for the OS and one for storage) isn't an option. I'm a wedding photographer who needs to get work done on the road, and I regularly need to carry 400+ GB of data around, so a pure SSD solution (at least for a reasonable price) also isn't an option.

The drive learns quickly to cache the most used data, and it really accelerates anything you use frequently. My laptop boots very fast. Almost as fast as my desktop. Same for Chrome, Adobe LightRoom, and all the other apps I use on a daily basis.

If you're looking for an affordable solution that hits the sweet spot between SSDs and HDDs in performance and capacity, this is it.

Note to Seagate: Make a 2+TB desktop version of this drive with 32GB of NAND, and I'd be all over it!
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The original review is below. The negative initial warranty experience was also shared by others as reported in comments. But, the important parts to read are the updates at the end which explain the current 5 star rating. My eventual outcome was positive.

I hope the review with updates are helpful to potential seagate purchasers.

************** original review ***************

The seagate momentus XT 750 does a really nice job of providing SSD drive like performance and ample space for data for a fraction of the cost of a pure SSD. Caching when well used can get a large percentage of the perceived speed advantage of the much faster overall drive by saving the most frequently used data in high speed storage. It workd really well in most applications and this is something my clients have seen such as when they reboot their windows PC's.

When data is not in the cache it's pretty much just a 7200RPM laptop drive. Pretty quick, but not like a SSD. The 750GB has twice the flash cache of the smaller versions and appears to me to have better caching firmware. The firmware detects what's read frequently and tends to keep those parts of the hard drive data in the fast flash memory. The result is apparent after a few restarts and hours of use. Frequent tasks or programs - rebooting, word, outlook, etc. tend to start more quickly. If usage patterns change the drive cache catches up.

Because of it's innovative caching design this drive provides an excellent price-performance value point. Especially with large amounts of data. If you only need a small (128GB) hard drive, spring a little more for a pure SSD. If you want to have a lot of space, this is the drive.

Update: February 2013 the particular drive I reviewed here just died. No warning, passes SMART tests but the seagate tools say "It's dead". I've installed about 6 more of these for other clients so I'm a little concerned. More so than with a conventional drive which usually gives a little warning when they are dying. I'll update again when I try to recover data (looks unlikely) and process the warranty replacement. Stay tuned.

Update Later February 2013:
I just got off the phone with Seagate and they said the drive was an OEM component. They will NOT honor the 3 year warranty even through it's only 4 months old. They say it's up to Amazon. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement.

I contacted Amazon customer service (they usually don't do returns after 30 days) but they came through on this. Working with Seagate and then Amazon was like going to opposite ends of the customer service universe. Amazon was great and resolved my issues even though Seagate should have.

Seagate is permanently OFF my approved manufacturer list. I have worked with Western Digital before with drive problems. They were never a problem and honored their warranties.

Late May 2013 Update:
The idea behind the hybrid drive is brilliant. I wish they were more reliable and Seagate would stand behind their warrantly predictably:

Seagate has come out with a new model in 1TB and 500GB sizes. Seagate 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive SATA 6Gbps 64MB Cache 2.5-Inch ST1000LM014 Note that the listing does NOT specify OEM or Retail. It also does not mention the warranty on the product detail page. Beware: check before buying.

Update June 20, 2013:

When I tried to get a warranty support for my Amazon bought Seagate hybrid drive Feb. 2013 the drive was rejected *both* on-line and via phone support. Seagate said they would not honor the warranty because the drive serial nunber was an OEM serial. The drive listing on Amazon and Seagate drive information on their web site both cited a 3 year warranty for the drive.

I am now happy to report that after reading a comment on this review I learned that Jack had validated the warranty on a Seagate OEM hybrid drive at the Seagate site. I retried the warranty check for my hybrid drive one more time. This time the warranty validated and the drive was accepted for warranty replacement.

I hope this review may have helped Seagate change and decide to stand behind their drive's warranty whether sold as bare (OEM style) or retail.

I'm changing my rating from 1 to 3 stars. Kudos to Seagate: they are now backing up their product.

Update August 20, 2013:

I was called today by Bryce Stoops of the Seagate Corporate Escalations Team. We had a good conversation and he clarified Seagate's OEM Policy and how it is supposed to work. He also explained why my Feb 2013 warranty claim was refused. Read on...

Bryce explained to me that OEM drives are only sold to systems integrators who have entered into an agreement to back the drive warranty themselves or through their channel. The intent is that when a pre-configured system is purchased from a vendor like Lenovo or Dell or other integrator the "system" is warrantied by the integrator along with all the components. He said Seagate does not sell OEM drives via Amazon. According to Bryce OEM drives turn up mostly on eBay or auction sites but rarely on Amazon.

From our conversation it seems that because a drive is sold as a "bare drive" that does not make it an OEM drive. So if a drive is sold by Amazon a purchaser can have high confidence it's NOT an OEM drive.

With respect to my experience where my purchased from Amazon drive was refused warranty replacement, he said there was a one character difference in the serial numbers from my February 2013 failed warranty attempt and the successful attempt in June. This is believable even though it was checked by two people at my business using seagate tools last February. This sort of thing can certainly happen quite honestly and understandably at either end of the phone.

I've removed the Aug. 6 update as the comment that triggered it stands on its own. The rest remains for continuity.

I see it as very positive that Seagate reached out to try to assure customer satisfaction. As a result of our extended conversation I'm upgrading my review to 3 stars.
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on December 9, 2011
This is noticeably faster than the 500GB version. I really wanted 1TB, but 750GB will do for now. I have it in a MBP 15" with a second 1TB hard drive in my optical bay.

Seagate had some problems with their 500GB hybrids, but seemed to get the issues worked out with new firmware (I never had a problem with mine). I haven't experienced any issues with the new 750GB either, but it will take time before I can comment on the reliability long term. I check my drives weekly for data corruption, and so far have found none, nor has there been stalling or other issues.

Did I mention this drive was fast?
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on December 10, 2011
Purchased this recently for a early 2011 MBP 17"-2.2GHZ 16 GB ram, Lion & Snow Leopard & data partitions (3 in all-in same order of creation) The drive replaces a Samsung 1TB 5400rpm drive- which had replaced the stock Toshiba/Apple 750 GB 5400 rpm drive. Formatting & copying the previous partitions on the Samsung to the new Seagate was done via SeriTek 6G expresscard while Seagate was still external. Installed after copying w/o event, booted fine. Apple system profiler show the Seagate drive connecting at the 6G speed- no issue's, not like the well reported 6G SSD connection trouble with early 2011 17" & some 15" MacBook Pro's. My 17" BTW was built in April 2011 & reports 6G in HD bay as well as in optical bay.

The new Seagate is very quiet while copying outside the MBP. Not much info on outside of its case other than Seagate name/size of drive, manufacture date-11/2011, part/model/serial numbers, firmware-SM12 and rated @5V .70 amps. And made in CHINA (Amperage draw is lower than the Samsung 1 TB which is .85 amps & Toshiba/Apple 750 GB rated at 1.0 Amps. both of which are only 5400 rpm drives)Does not state speed, flash memory, or cache size, or SATA interface speed- which are 7200rpm, 8GB flash memory, 32MB cache & SATA III or otherwise known as 6G. Seagate did a pretty good job with current draw on drive compared to other laptop drives- inc. Samsung & Toshiba/Apple stock drive.

I don't know how they are cramming all this stuff into a 2.5" form factor- but the Seagate weighs more than any of the 2.5" drives that I have here. The Seagate comes in at 3 7/8 oz.- somewhat heavier than the other 2.5" drives(I have). They weigh from 3 3/8- 3 1/2 oz

The previously installed 1TB 5400rpm-only 8MB cache Samsung was somewhat faster speed wise by the numbers overall than the stock Toshiba/Apple 750 GB 5400rpm drive it replaced. The Samsung was replaced early on during its first 30 days for pending failing sectors back in July. Some people were having trouble with that drive(Samsung 1TB 2.5") initially. The replacement Samsung has been fine ever since. I purchased it(the Samsung 1TB-2 platter) for the extra size- but really was waiting for at least a 750GB, 7200rpm w/larger cache & of course 6G - since the MBP early 2011 supported SATA III in the chipset. FINALLY Seagate does it.

The new Seagate is in fact faster. Based on a variety of different tests & real time usage even with 3 partitions on it performance-wise it comes out around 15%- 25% faster over the Samsung & Toshiba/Apple drives based on the numbers. Boot time on my Lion 10.7.2 (which is a very loaded system, 138GB used-#1 of the 3 partitions on drive) went down from around 52 seconds from the sound of the chime to login screen- to 30 seconds from chime to login. Aperture launches 180 GB (1st launch after boot, non referenced, stored within Aperture library) within a few seconds. That to me is fairly impressive, probably half the time the Samsung needed to do same. Time on battery feels better also. Sitting around on battery while surfing web-doing nothing really intensive other than Firefox using 1GB graphic chip at times for who knows what, the time remaining in menubar just kept going on & on- definitely longer than the Samsung battery usage. It would seem that Seagate has implemented some aggressive power management -don't know for sure, but feels like it.

For those interested in Raiding this drive, Storage Reviews has review comparing this drive with others inc SSD. So the Momentus XT does Raid 0 very well.

* Finally a 7200 rpm, 750 GB, 32 MB cache, 8GB flash memory using the SATA III-6GBS interface.
* Flash memory integration/management non OS dependent- seems to learn & improve performance
* So far no Seagate bs firmware as with certain previous drives-(you know who you are-right?)
* Real & felt speed increase(to ME, but I was not using a 7200rpm drive in the 17"MBP to compare so YMMV)
* A little bit of this(8 GB flash memory) & a little bit of that(7200 rpm, 32MB cache, SATA III)
* Probably the fastest 2.5" spinning drive on market- 9.5 mm height fits all laptops.
* 5 year warranty
* Appears to have-according to Seagate specs high shock capability-if you go around dropping your laptop
* Raid capable
* 0 issues so far.
* Made in China, no flooding ??
* Price is in the right area NOW, only because of inflated disk based drives due to flooding.

* Price at $239.00 is STEEP. I paid $89. for the Samsung. Prices are up, of course due to Asian flooding.
* Made in China- quality ??
* Still not a 1 TB size with same features as this drive- come on Seagate, Hitachi/Western-need 1TB
* Not a SSD @ spinning drive price. LOL

Conclusion :
If you are not prepared to spend lots of money on a large SSD given the still high price- around $1.75 per GB. The Seagate is a really nice blend of features for a disk based laptop drive, performance & capacity @ around $.32 per GB. Still an ouch. Would prefer a price around .16 per GB-tops, but with the flooding issue in Thailand(not China though??) I guess that's the market. The drive is not a game changer- yet, still it's a nice & very noticeable incremental speed increase, as well as price. It will be interesting to see if spinning drive manufacturers keep adding more flash to spinning drives & start seeing similar-not equal, just similar to SSD performance & how that plays out price wise between the 2 formats. So far no issues with drive- but only a few days of use- time will tell.

Highly recommended, so far- except for the price- but heh the economy is recovering- right??? LOL
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on February 28, 2013
I bought two of these drives. Both started acting up with bad sectors. One failed completely within a couple of months of purchase. I had my local PC shop deal with Seagate because Seagate requires you to use a program they provide to get diagnostic info they require before they will agree to repair or replace this drive.

My local PC shop did that, got the numbers, codes, and/or info Seagate required. The PC shop then sent the drive to Seagate. Seagate now says that even thought the software they provide gave the error codes or whatever they needed...they still won't replace or repair the drive because it doesn't fit their criteria....but they didn't say why not, what that criteria is, or why they seem to be having so much trouble with this particular drive.

Seagate has lost me as a customer for life. I refuse to do business with a company that creates things they don't intend to support.
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on December 15, 2012
This drive shines under the right conditions but not all.

The ideal application for this is a laptop with

(a) a single drive slot available
(b) an SSD too expensive or unavailable for the storage requirements
(c) use of a single operating system on the laptop by the same user all the time with fairly predictable usage
(d) not much multitasking especially accessing large files.
(e) no frequent whole disk backups.

The SSD cache on this device is beneficial for the best case scenario above. For all other applications, the performance is not that great.

In my tests, for the typical use of replacing an original (and typical) 5400 rpm drive, upgrading to a 7200 rpm drive gave about 50-100% improvement in read speeds. Using the hybrid gave about 200-300% improvements under the ideal conditions above for read speeds. This translates to about 20-30% and 30-60% real world improvements respectively in performance. All these improvements are noticeable.

The cheap SSDs (e.g., Patriot Torx) will beat these by about 50% further and in more predictable fashion (under every type of use) so this is not going to replace an SSD if you can use an SSD instead.

The caveats with this drive include higher temperatures that may be problematic in some budget or tight spaced laptops that are not designed for hotter 7200 rpm drives with sufficient cooling and more significantly a performance bottleneck with concurrent reads and writes. For example, if you are downloading a huge file in the background at broadband speeds keeping the drive busy, the read and write performance for other activities (like web browsing or starting new applications) will suffer significantly. This problem also affects the typical laptop drives, so just saying that this drive is not a panacea for such usage.

I got some sector corruption after 6 months of use that was fixed by the Seagate's SeaTools but required downtime for doing so. The bad sectors were not automatically remapped. Otherwise, it has been problem free.

The drive has accumulated a very high load cycle count in a very short time (200,000+) so aggressive power management to extend battery life does wear out this drive faster.
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on March 23, 2012
The first one I received started to develop a click and chirp noise along with freezing my laptop basically from the moment I installed it. If it didn't chirp then it worked great. I didn't even have it as my boot drive just had a few gigs on it before it became virtually unusable. Seagate diagnostics showed the disk as defective.

Returned that one and the second one worked great for a couple of weeks when it started to develop the same chirping and clicking sound as the first one. Ran the diagnostics again and showed up as a failed drive as well.

Not going to chance a third one but judging from the good reviews on here this does not happen often.
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on June 14, 2012
Installed On A 2009 Macbook Pro 15" 2.53GHz (5,3) Running Lion 10.7.4

I truly do not know why there's so many negative Mac reviews for this product. It's been fantastic so far.

Got around to installing it this weekend. It takes about 20 minutes if you know what you're doing. Simply remove the 8 screws on the bottom of your Macbook. Next remove the two screws from the retaining bar and lift it out. From here you can lift out the hard drive. *You're going to need a Torx screwdriver to remove the 4 mounting screws that surround the hard drive.* Remove them and add them to the new Seagate and slip back into the mounting holes. Screw the retaining bar back in and seal back up the case and you're all done. While you're inside the Macbook I suggest getting rid of any dust that has built up from the fan since you already have it open.

Why I Bought It
I've had my Macbook since Mid-2009 and it has been used very heavily ever since. I use it approximately 10 hours a day. It had a huge number of programs installed (I'm sure there were endless stray preference files scattered around too). I've personally upgraded the stock 4GB of RAM to 8GB. After all these years though it has become increasingly and painfully sluggish. Chrome would take 10 bounces of the dock icon to open. Bootups would take 2-3 minutes. Shut downs would take a full minute. Things just took a long time to do and that's not how it should be and it was getting to be truly annoying. I've been eyeing a hybrid drive ever since the 500GB version of this model was released. SSDs are currently too expensive for the space I would need and hybrid drives seem to bridge the gap. The 4GB of flash storage in the original model just didn't "Wow" me so I held off. Finally the new model was released and thankfully they doubled the flash storage, ironed out the issues that plagued the original model and increased the size to 750GB. What more could you ask for? My 500GB drive wasn't cutting it size-wise anymore. I held off on buying for a few months so that Seagate could fix all the known issues and reviews could start rolling in. After I was confident it was a safe buy, I pulled the trigger in mid-May.

Moving Files
I opted for a complete clean install. I made a Lion disc from the App store download and installed it complete fresh. I did have a time Machine backup made just in case before obviously. I opted for the clean install because my system just had to many little files all over from the large number of programs installed. It felt way to bogged down and "unclean". Thankfully I have 3 or 4 externals and a dual 2.5"/3.5" hard drive bay so once the OS installion was complete, I was able to move files over directly from the old drive. I kept personal files and media extremely organized so it wasn't to difficult. Simply reinstall all apps I use regularly and configure them. Then copy over the Google Chrome, Firefox and iTunes settings folders from the old system to prevent having to set them up perfectly again. All in all what I expected to be a 30 hour job only took 10-15 hours. If you just restored from a Time Machine backup, this would be only an hour at most.

Let me just say this is probably the best upgrade you can add to any computer besides an SSD. I am pretty impressed with how it performs. Vibration from the drive is very minimal and sound is barely noticeable. Sure you can faintly here it unlike my old 5400 drive but it basically sounds just like the fans do when they're running at 2000rpm. I have had none of these freeze ups people mention. I have had no kernel panics. I have had literally no issues. Here's some basic observations:
-Old 3 minute boots up take 20-30 seconds now. This is probably the most noticeable and impressive change.
-Chrome starts after two dock bounces as opposed to the 10+ it used to take. This is with many extensions installed
-Shut downs take 5 seconds rather than a whole minute
-Everything just feels snappier. All files just open quicker and everything just moves faster.
-I believe my old disk speeds got down to 30MB/s at their slowest point. Normal disk speeds are back up to 100MB/s a now. The flash storage really doesn't affect this but it just shows how slow my machine go to before.

Seriously if you're a Mac user (or any notebook user) this is a must have. For $150 it's almost like having a new machine. Who needs to go out and spend $2000 on a Macbook Pro when you can just slap in 8GB of RAM for $50 and one of these drives for $150. I HAVE HAD NONE OF THE ISSUES mentioned in some of the other Mac reviews (I haven't really been able to test if the drive automatically goes to sleep though). If I end up developing a problem I will post it here. If you have any questions just comment here and I'll try to get back to you.

TLDR; This drive works extremely well in my Mac. If you want to bridge the gap between a disk and SSD this is the perfect thing to buy. I have had none of the issues mentioned in other Mac reviews.

UPDATE 1 (June 22, 2012): The drive has started to make a very faint ticking/chirping. It may have been there to begin with and I haven't heard but I will monitor it and keep this review up to date.

UPDATE 2 (August 15, 2012): The drive is still running great. Maybe a little bit slower than before but that can be expected with general system use on any hard drive. Boot times are still around 30 seconds and shut down times have increased to around 10-20 seconds depending on what is open (still better than 3 minutes it took before). I've come to the conclusion the faint ticking noise is just general hard drive access noise. Nothing to be worried about. You can only really here it when it's completely silent and you stick your ear close to the bottom corner. I'd still highly suggest this product.
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on January 9, 2012
I bought this hard drive because my 350g hard drive in my late 2008 MacBook Pro was filling up. Based on my research, this seemed like the best balance between speed and cost. SSD is just too much. So far, so good. It is fast and installed very easy. What I found frusturating was that there was no documentation on the Seagate or Apple site on how to get all my information from my old drive onto my new drive. I wanted it to be exactly the way it was. After an hour on the phone with Apple (who told me they cannot help me, but kind if did anyway, I figured it out. Here it is for those of you who might want to do the same.

First, I had OSx LION operating system, which I bought on the App Store, and my original OS was Snow Leopard. Some of the steps may be different if you bought your Mac with LION already installed.

1. Install your the hard drive. The Momentus goes in a MacBook very, very easy. The instructions can be found in your MacBook original documentation.
2. Put your old drive in a hard drive enclosure. I bought this on Amazon and it worked great (and cheap).
3. Connect your old drive in the hard drive enclosure to the USB port and boot up you Mac. It should boot from the old hard drive.
4. Go into "Disk Utility" application from Utilities folder. Choose the new drive. Choose erase. Choose "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)", which is the default. This formats the drive.
5. Once that is done, put your original operation system disk into the CD drive and reboot. The Mac should boot to this CD and allow you to install the OS onto it.
6. Once the OS is installed, create a new user called "temp" or "erase". You will eventually be getting rid of this.
7. Update your OS to the latest version using Software Update
8. This should get you to the App Store, which if you go into it and login with your user account, should allow you to re-download LION (assuming you bought this online). Or you can buy a USB drive from Apple for $29.
9. Upgrade your OS to LION
10. Plug your old drive back in.
11. Open "Migration Assistant" from Utilities folder.
12. Choose "Transfer from another Mac, time machine, or folder" and follow directions to select your old drive and migrate to the new drive. Mine took about 4 hours.
13. Once done, you should reboot and your old user accounts should display. You can login under your old user account and delete the temp account you set up.
14. I've had a few little issues (my Microsoft Office apps required re-entering the key, Time Machine doesn't recognize the new drive, a few other small things), but overall it worked great and my MacBook is just as it was before, only faster and with more hard drive space.

Oh, one more thing. It turns out that if you try to do this after drinking two glasses of Scotch, it is a lot harder. You might want to skip that step.

Hope this helps someone save some time
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on February 20, 2012
Ordered this to supplement a dual-hard drive setup in my pre-unibody macbook pro (late 2007, early 2008). Had a western digital 500gb 5400rpm as the main drive and decided to go with this as the main drive. Although this is a 6GB/s SATA drive, it works flawless in the 1.5GB/s SATA connection my macbook provides. Also ordered an IDE to SATA optical bay caddy and put the 500GB in there as a storage drive (also from amazon, no need to spend $70+ when amazon offered one for ~$17). Put everything together, created a lion USB key, installed lion onto the new drive (had to boot to old drive first since I removed the Superdrive). Only having used this for two days, the overall performance of my machine has tremendously increased in speed. No lag whatsoever on anything but bandwidth speed from the internet. Boot up and shut down is almost instantaneous. Programs run so much faster (this is due to the 7200rpm nature I'm assuming and expect things to only fly even faster once the SSD side starts learning my habits). I scoured the web trying to find anyone else with the same setup I was trying to achieve but could not so I hope this review helps anyone else with the same hardware and is trying to create a high-capacity laptop (I have 1.25TB in my laptop now with speed to boot!).
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