Seagate Desktop 3.5″ 4TB Solid State Hybrid Drive Review
Chris Hadley / 6 years ago
A Closer Look
We have looked at a handful of hybrid drives in the past including OCZ’s RevoDrive Hybrid PCIe setup and more recently Western Digital’s Black² 2.5″ drive, but what Seagate’s drive has to offer over and above those mentioned before is space – all four Terabytes of it. Although the other Hybrid options that we’ve previously seen offer up larger solid state partitions (around 120GB), they only offer up to 1TB of hard drive space due to the use of 2.5″ format. Additionally some software has to be setup within Windows in order for the caching process to take place, but this is not a problem with Seagate’s drives as the caching process is handled directly on the drive and crucially, out-of-the-box. Although we only have 8GB of solid state NAND to work with, the bonus of having 4TB of RAW storage in a 3.5″ format that works straight out of the box is something that Seagate have been proud to offer since their first run of hybrid drives a few years back.
Like any other 3.5″ mechanical drive, the desktop SSHD has a PCB on the underside of the drive which controls the drive internals whilst interfacing with the host system. Above a standard drive though we do have a handful of additional components that are fundamental to this type of setup.
Working round the PCB and starting at the bottom right of the board, we have an LSI / Seagate drive controller beside which we have a SKhynix H5PS5162GFR package providing the 64MB SATA cache. Towards the top left of the board is the drive spindle controller whilst the Seagate 50415 ASIC and Samsung K9LCGY8S1B-HCKO NAND package make up the solid state cache. These last two components are the key to this drives Hybrid nature – without them this is just like any other hard drive.