Seagate 2TB ST2000DX001 SATA3 3.5" SSHD Review

The introduction ...

SSD, HDD or SSHD ?
We have already published some SSD and HDD reviews on OCinside.de and for quite some time we are also testing the combination of solid state drive and hard disk drive in one drive - the so-called SSHD.
The advantages of the SSHD are obvious: The price is several times below a SSD with identical capacity.
Now we like to answer the question if the SSHD can keep at least partially with a SSD, or if it is more on the level of a conventional hard disk.
Seagate send us their latest Seagate ST2000DX001 SATA3 desktop SSHD consisting of a 2 TB hard drive with 8 GB MLC memory, which we will test in this review.

 

 

 

Thanks for the support ...

Many thanks to Seagate for the support with the Seagate 2TB 3.5" SSHD.

The Seagate 2TB SATA3 3.5" SSHD ST2000DX001 has at present a price of approx. 105 Euro (11/2013).

The Seagate 3.5-inch SSHD series contains at present the following types:
Seagate Desktop SSHD 1TB for approx. 75 Euro (11/2013)
Seagate Desktop SSHD 2TB for approx. 105 Euro (11/2013)
Seagate Desktop SSHD 4TB for approx. 200 Euro (11/2013)
Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB for approx. 60 Euro (11/2013)
Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB for approx. 100 Euro (11/2013)
For these types not only the size is different, but also the performance.

Here you can buy the Seagate SSHD.

 

 

The supply of the Seagate SHDD 2 TB SATA3 ...

We received the SSHD in this plastic packaging:

 

 

That is contained in the delivery ...

The Seagate 3.5" SSHD ST2000DX001 was delivered without additional accessories.
The following image shows the front of the 3.5" Seagate 2 TB SSHD:

 

On the back you can see the circuit board and the SATA3 connectors for data and the power supply.
These connectors are identical to conventional SATA2 hard drives, so the hard disk can easily operate at a SATA2 interface.
The special part of this drive is on the back of the small circuit board.
It contains both the MLC NAND Flash memory (approx. 8GB SSD) as also the controller, which decides when the data is stored where.
Here is also the shortcoming of a SSHD, because the SSHD can read of course just as fast as an SSD, if the data is stored in the Flash area and not on the platter.
This management is done without additional software in the operating system, but with the controller in combination with its firmware:

 

 

The technical data ...

Manufacturer Seagate
Article number ST2000DX001
Capacity 2TB
Interface SATA3 6GB/s
Cache 64MB
Rotation speed 7200 rpm
Flash Type 8GB MLC
Size 3.5" (146.99 x 101.60 x 26.11 mm)
Weight 535 gramm
Speed Read up to 210 MB/s
Seek Time 9.5ms
Power Consumption 4.5 Watt idle / 6.7 Watt average in operation
Other

SeaTools for DOS Diagnostic, SeaTools for Windows Diagnostic, DiscWizard for Windows and Product Manual as download available

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskInfo 4.3.0 HDD and SDD information software:

 

 

SSHD firmware update ...

At the date of the test, the company Seagate provided no newer than the already installed CC42 firmware for the SSHD drive.

 

 

Benchmark values and test results ...

Let us continue with the benchmark results.
SATA3 drives are currently tested with an ASRock 890GX Extreme3 motherboard.
At present, Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition is used as the operating system.

The SSHD drive speed was examined and compared with the following benchmark software:

AS SSD Benchmark 1.4.3704.27281 - Download
ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46 - Download
CrystalDiskMark 3.00 - Download
HD Tach 3.040 - Download
SiSoftware Sandra 2011 - Download

 

AS SSD benchmark result ...

The SSHD benchmark values offers a very good reference point of the maximal possible reading and writing performance, the speed with smaller files and the respective access time.
However, ASSSD is not intended for platter hard drives, so we have skipped this test.

 

ATTO Disk benchmark result ...

The ATTO disk benchmark values gives a very good overview about the write and read rate on different file sizes.
Here you can see the very constant read and write speeds with approximately 168 MB/s at a small size of about 16 KB and only slightly differences in AHCI mode.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the ATTO Disk benchmark values (SATA3 IDE):

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the ATTO Disk benchmark values (SATA3 AHCI):

The ATTO disk benchmark values are compared with a small transfer size of 32KB and a large transfer size of 8192KB.

The bar chart already includes a comparison to a Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB hard drive and some Crucial, OCZ, Mach Extreme and ADATA SSDs, where the Seagate is in both transfer sizes well below most other SSDs.
The Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB hard drive is in direct comparison with approximately 126 MB/s at 64 KB transfer sizes below the transfer speed of the Seagate 2 TB desktop SSHD (approx. 170 MB/s at 64 KB).

Here is a comparison of the ATTO disk benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

CrystalDiskMark result

With CrystalDiskMark one receives a balanced measurement of the performance with different transfer sizes.

The CrystalDiskMark values show similar results as with ATTO and underlines the sequential read and write speed of 161-165 MB/s.
As like a conventional SSD especially the important 4K QD32 reading result is significantly improved in AHCI mode.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskMark values (SATA3):

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskMark values (SATA3 AHCI):

The following diagram shows the CrystalDiskMark results once again compared with other HDDs and platter drives, which are extended step by step.
In the CrystalDiskMark comparison one can see the differences between the previously tested solid state drives and hard disks clearly, where the Seagate 2 TB SSHD is at the lower range with its read and write performance.

Here is a comparison of the CrystalDiskMark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

HD Tach result

With HD Tach one can measure the gradient of the performance, but the SSHD transfer is not comparable with a conventional HDD.
Here, you get among other things a very good comparison to a SSD, which has nearly constant results.
For technical reasons hard drives results falls from the beginning to the end of the drive.
The Seagate 2 TB SSHD shows only minor performance drops during the HD Tach benchmark and offers even at the slowest point approx. 90-100 MB/s read and write rates.
For the burst speed, the SATA3 interface helps for a high transfer rate of 324,7 MB/s.
The average access time is thanks to the extra NAND Flash with 0.5ms well below a normal hard drive (approx. 10-16ms) at the level of an SSD.
To compare these results you can move the mouse over the following drives to see their respective benchmark results:
Seagate 2TB 2.5" SSHD at SATA3, Seagate 2TB 2.5" SSHD at SATA3 AHCI, ADATA S511 120GB SSD at SATA3 AHCI, ADATA S511 120GB SSD at SATA3 AHCI, 2x Crucial m4 128GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3 RAID, Crucial m4 128GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial m4 128GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3, Crucial m4 256GB 2.5" SSD FW 000F at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial m4 256GB 2.5" SSD FW 0309 at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial m4 256GB 2.5" SSD FW 0002 at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial m4 256GB SSD FW 0309 at SATA3 IDE, Crucial m4 256GB 2.5" SSD FW 0002 at SATA3, Crucial M500 480GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial C300 64GB 1,8" SSD at SATA3, Crucial RealSSD 256GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3, Crucial RealSSD 256GB 2.5" SSD at SATA2, Hitachi 7K1000.C 1TB HDD, MX-DS Fusion 60GB SSD SATA3 IDE, MX-DS Fusion 60GB SSD SATA3 IDE, MX-DS Turbo 120GB SSD at SATA3 AHCI, OCZ Agility 128GB SSD, 2x Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3 RAID0, Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3 AHCI, Samsung Series470 128GB SSD AHCI, Samsung Series470 128GB SSD Legacy IDE, Seagate Constellation.2 1TB 2.5" HDD at SATA3, Toshiba MK8007GAH 1.8" hard disk drive.

Here is a Snipping screenhot of the HD Tach benchmark values:

 

The comparison of HD Tach benchmark results shows in reading speed that the Seagate 2TB SSHD unfortunately can not keep up with the fast SSDs, but at least it is so far at the top of the hard disks.

Here is an impressive comparison of the HD Tach benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

SiSoftware Sandra benchmark result

Of course, SiSoftware Sandra benchmark should not be missing in this test series.
SiSoftware offers with their SiSoft Sandra program a very comprehensive tool, which contains a lot of tools to get very reliable test results of all hardware components.

The average access time of the Seagate 2TB SSHD measured also in SiSoftware Sandra approx. 15.31ms and the drive index achieved a very good 156.58 MB/s for a hard drive.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark read performance (SATA3):

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark read performance (SATA3 AHCI):

 

The average access time of the Seagate 2 TB SSHD has with the SiSoftware Sandra writing measurement a surprisingly low value of 0.351ms and the drive index reached 153.6 MB/s.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark write performance (SATA3):

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark write performance (SATA3 AHCI):

 

Here is a comparison of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

 

Result and general impression ...

The Seagate 2TB SATA3 3.5" SSHD ST2000DX001 achieved much better performance values, than the previously tested drives, but the reading and writing performance is significantly lower than the results of a fast SSD.

The SSHD is priced just slightly above a conventional hard drive, but offers in different scenarios clear advantages to a normal HDD.
When comparing the SSHD with an SSD, the SSHD can keep up only under very specific conditions.
The controller of the SSHD manages the strategically best combination of the small SSD and the large HDD without additional work.
In addition to some other practical tests, of course we have also installed an operating system to this SSHD to measure the start of applications and the time for the boot process.

A Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate boot procedure took only 10 seconds with the Seagate 2TB SSHD and the total boot time with BIOS post and Windows 7 start was about approx. 21 seconds.
This is nearly identical with the boot time of a Crucial m4 256GB SSD and approx. 18 seconds faster than the boot process of a Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB 3.5" HDD.

All in all is SSHD the Seagate 2 TB especially highly recommended when a high capacity is needed and no additional SSD for the OS will be integrated into the PC or Mac.

 

Discuss in our forum and exchange experiences ...

Here you can buy the Seagate SSHD ...

Read on in the hardware test area with several hardware reviews ...

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