by Robert Tanner on April 22, 2013 in Hard Drives, Solid-State Drives
Have you ever had a craving for a hard drive the same size as those Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies? Seagate has just the drive for you, and anyone else who’s in the market for a svelte 7mm laptop drive but needs performance at an affordable price. Seagate’s Solid-State Hybrid Thin drive may be small, but it may just be the drive you’re looking for.
For the boot test, we perform a cold boot with the stopwatch starting the moment the power button is pressed until the last systray icon has finished loading. A large number of factors can change how fast a computer starts; whether the motherboard uses a BIOS or the newer UEFI; if a RAID controller has to be initialized; to delay timers or other motherboard optimizations. In other words, individual results will vary depending on the system hardware.
For boot times Seagate’s SSHD really shines. Worst case it is still faster than the hard drive, and on average it boots the system to desktop 44% faster. The best time has it delivering boot times that are in SSD territory. Once again we see that caching paying off, and further proof of that “SSD-like” performance claim.
Game Level Loading
SSDs deliver some of the most benefits to games. Not only can the game load significantly faster so users can hurry up and wait to get through various advertisement screens, but they also boost level or map load times. For games where player immersion into the new world is important, the difference between 15 and 25 seconds can seem huge when waiting for the next part of the level or world to load.
For our new regimen we chose Portal 2 and Civilization V. Portal 2 is already a very well optimized game, but it’s immersive, so we time how long it takes to load the sp_a2.bts6 custscene. With Civilization V‘s recent overhaul to game storage files to help decrease load times, and the new option to disable the intro movie trailer, it becomes possible to time how long it takes to start the game.
On average the SSHD fairs a little worse than the 7200RPM drive, but ends up being 3-5 seconds faster with its best time. Although the worst time in Portal 2 still ties the HDD, there was one run in Civ that faired considerably worse.