Seagate seems to believe in traditional desktops. The company has introduced the world’s first 3.5-inch hybrid drive in two flavours, 1TB and 2TB. Seagate has been making hybrid drives for years, but all of them were 2.5-inch models and most of them ended up in laptops.
However, the new ST1000DX001 is a big 3.5-inch desktop drive with as spindle speed of 7200rpm. Most 2.5-inch SSHDs spin at 5400rpm, so the new desktop drive should end up a bit faster. In addition, it should be cheaper than 2.5-inch drives and it’s available in 2TB, which is not the case with 2.5-inch hybrids that range from 320GB to 1TB in capacity.
The drive has an integrated 8GB NAND drive on top of 64MB of cache. Of course, it supports SATA 6Gbps and Seagate’s pitch says it delivers “SSD performance and HDD capacity”. This is pushing it to say the least. While it should end up faster than Seagate’s plain 3.5-inch drives, it won’t come close to proper SSDs in most scenarios.
However, that is beside the point. Traditional mechanical drives are on their way out and they will be replaced by hybrids. Enthusiasts and professionals will keep using SSDs are their primary drives, but for storage they’ll now be able to rely on hybrids and that sounds like a very nice mix.
The only trouble is that it’s not exactly what we’d call cheap. Early listings in Europe put it north of €110, which is quite pricey for a 3.5-inch 1TB drive, even if it is a hybrid.