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Seagate Discontinuing Mobile 7200RPM Drives in 2013?

By - Source: X-bit Labs | B 28 comments

A Seagate rep has said that the company will stop the manufacture of 2.5-inch 7200RPM hard drives by the end of 2013.

While Seagate Technology hasn't announced anything official, a report has surfaced revealing that the company plans to discontinue the manufacture of 2.5-inch 7200RPM mobile hard drives in 2013. This is due to an expected shift in mainstream market demand to different products like solid-state hybrid drives. Seagate said its 7200RPM mobile models will still be offered once production is shut down until the remaining stock is depleted.

The news arrives by way of David Burks, director of marketing and product management at Seagate. He said the company will continue to produce 2.5-inch 5400RPM hard drives for the "value" notebook sector, but the 7200RPM production will come to a halt by the end of the year. The report indicates that Seagate will instead focus on its third-generation hybrid drives in the latter half of 2013.

7200RPM drives offer better performance over the slower 5400RPM drives, but are dramatically slower than solid-state hybrid drives and standard SSDs. Consumers looking for large capacities in their laptops in exchange for lower pricetags have opted for mechanical drives whereas those seeking performance and improved battery life at the cost of capacity and price have sought out the zippier SSDs.

However, hybrid drives offer the best of both worlds: incredible performance and incredibly large storage capacities. "High performance in the notebook segment in the future will come from solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs) rather than drives with higher spin speeds," a Seagate spokesperson told PCWorld.

Currently Seagate doesn't offer a consumer-based SSD, but that will change thanks to an agreement it signed with DensBits Technologies in 2012 to co-develop low-cost, high performance SSDs for the consumer and enterprise markets. The company said DensBits’ Memory Modem controller technology will be integrated with Seagate’s various storage technologies to power a 3 bits/cell (TLC) 1X-nm Flash-based consumer-grade SSD, and 2 bits/cell (MLC) 1X-nm Flash-based enterprise-grade SSD, among others.

"For the last 30 years, Seagate has delivered technology and product innovation to become the global leader in storage solutions, from high-end enterprise drives to solid-state hybrid drives," said Rocky Pimentel, Seagate chief sales and marketing officer. "Seagate is excited to be working with the talented DensBits team and believes we have a significant opportunity with our new strategic relationship to extend our leadership into the SSD market."

As PCWorld points out, SSD prices have dropped over the last few years, thus the need for 7200RPM drives for notebooks have lessened. As an example, the OCZ 120 GB and 256 GB SSDs were priced at $400 and $750 respectively nearly three years ago, and now a 256 GB model can be purchased for less than $250. The number of sold SSD units is expected to more than double that of 2012 thanks to their lower cost and a growing demand for Ultrabooks.

As seen with its Momentus XT Lineup, Seagate currently offers hybrid drives which rely on platter-based storage for the bulk of the user's files while NAND flash is used for the operating system, system cache and other frequently used data. The company offers models in 500 GB and 750 GB capacities, and SATA 2 (3 Gb/s) and SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) interfaces.

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  • 4 Hide
    cutebeans , March 5, 2013 3:11 AM
    Finally, SSD prices will obviously go down quite a bit!

    Smart move on samsung to sell its HDD division.
  • 3 Hide
    nukemaster , March 5, 2013 3:24 AM
    I have a 5400 rpm(WDC Blue 1tb 2.5 inch) drive for secondary storage(Media) and it works fine for that. In general, I think the trend will be SSDs(with msata, it can fit on anything) and secondary storage for most systems anyway.

    This does not come as too much of a surprise to me.
  • 0 Hide
    Pinhedd , March 5, 2013 4:01 AM
    Seagate's Momentus XT hybrid hard drives are a must have for any laptop anyway. Even their first generation ones are amazing.
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , March 5, 2013 4:25 AM
    Seagate drives the WORST in the industry. They cost business and consumers millions of dollars every year because their products have sucked so bad. It's one of the main reasons HP is such a horrible brand, because they horrible parts with a 2 year life span.. anything seagate stops making is good for everyone else. If you don't agree with this, then you are clearly un-educated in the matter.
  • 6 Hide
    fuzzion , March 5, 2013 4:32 AM
    nukemaster I think the trend will be SSDs(with msata, it can fit on anything) and secondary storage for most systems anyway.


    I agree. The SSD just cant be beat as a primary drive.
  • 3 Hide
    madjimms , March 5, 2013 6:04 AM
    antilycusSeagate drives the WORST in the industry. They cost business and consumers millions of dollars every year because their products have sucked so bad. It's one of the main reasons HP is such a horrible brand, because they horrible parts with a 2 year life span.. anything seagate stops making is good for everyone else. If you don't agree with this, then you are clearly un-educated in the matter.

    My 250GB Seagate drive is humming away happily since 2006 with ZERO problems.
  • 2 Hide
    apache_lives , March 5, 2013 6:53 AM
    antilycusSeagate drives the WORST in the industry. They cost business and consumers millions of dollars every year because their products have sucked so bad. It's one of the main reasons HP is such a horrible brand, because they horrible parts with a 2 year life span.. anything seagate stops making is good for everyone else. If you don't agree with this, then you are clearly un-educated in the matter.


    While i prefer WD as a brand, should never trust/rely a single device to protect and store your data

    Do however agree Seagate drives have a higher failure rate then others on average, i wont buy them personally
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , March 5, 2013 7:17 AM
    If the mechanical part of a hybrid dies, can I still use the SDD part?
  • 2 Hide
    belardo , March 5, 2013 8:01 AM
    The SSD part of the hybrid is mostly cache type of system.... So no.

    I have several Seagates that are running many years later. I've had all brands of HDs fail.
  • 4 Hide
    CrArC , March 5, 2013 12:02 PM
    jn77SSD's haven't made it into any of my pc's or macs because the cost per Tb is still too high. When the cost per TB is equal to or less than HD's, I will seriously look at SSD's. Until then, forget it.
    Sucks for you. SSDs are not about capacity - not yet. I will continue to rock SSDs in all my machines and enjoy the blistering performance that comes with them. By comparison, machines which lack SSDs feel like they're running on treacle instead of electricity; intolerably slow.

    You know, nothing is stopping you from making your old HDD(s) secondary drives, right? That's pretty much standard practice for a desktop tower. If you can't fit more than one drive in a system (i.e. laptops) then use externals/network storage. What do you need so much storage for that can't be achieved with DAS/NAS anyway?
  • 0 Hide
    TheBigTroll , March 5, 2013 12:23 PM
    id like to see seagate make a nice 3tb hard drive with some nand inside. their drives have never failed me. on the other hand WD is giving me bad experiences
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 5, 2013 12:26 PM
    OK, so future Momentus XT drives will be 5400RPM instead of the current 7200RPM with some NAND flash?
    I doubt that, it's their performance drive. Until they stick a lot more cache on there that can also buffer writes, 7200RPM is needed to maintain decent performance in all situations.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , March 5, 2013 12:51 PM
    jn77SSD's haven't made it into any of my pc's or macs because the cost per Tb is still too high. When the cost per TB is equal to or less than HD's, I will seriously look at SSD's. Until then, forget it.


    and a lotus elise costs more than a toyota corrolla, they both handle the road just fine and the corolla will hold more stuff... but in the performance catagory its nto even a compatition. ssd's are for performance and speed not economy
  • 0 Hide
    siman0 , March 5, 2013 2:12 PM
    I can see this coming its a given I havent used a 2.5 7200rpm drive for a few years, opting for the hybrid drives.

    @ the WD guys
    In the last 7 years of my IT carear I have had 7 seagate drives fail 2 due to user abuse, 3 to failed motors, and 1 due to circuit board failure. In contrast I have replaced hundreds if not in the thousands of western digital drives due to failures even a few that have caught on fire (horable day killed the server chasses). I am also not a small time IT player either I work in a data center and I run my own computer bisness on the side. After my experiance with the so called "most reliable brand ever" that everyone tots around I will not own one or use one in my personal computer.

    Does this mean they are a bad company, no but its from my experiance. I do still reviews on them they have grate performance and grate drive dencity. Segate's ace though is that hybrid drive which kills the compitiion in watt and performance. I currently have 2 2.5" 7200 750gig SATA III seagate hybrid drives in raid 0 for my storage drive in my gamig rig and 2 250gig samsung 840 pro drives in raid 0 for my primary. My personal storage server also uses 16 3.5" 2TB seagate drives none have failed yet and have worked fine for about 3 years now.
  • 0 Hide
    deksman , March 5, 2013 2:29 PM
    Huh... I would sooner expect them to retire the 5400 rpm HDD's.

    This could be the result of them wanting customers to shift focus onto on the SSD's and hybrid drives more...
    Hybrids however are not the answer (at least not in their present form).
    If hybrids had at least 120GB of flash storage (for OS, installed programs and such) and another 500 to 750GB of regular high speed HDD storage, then they would be viable (but right now they are a far cry from it).

    This might drive SSD prices down however, but I'm not holding my breadth.
    SSD's have been on the market for years now, and their prices are still not down enough to justify them as a viable purchase (at least not storage-wise).
    Other than that, we have abundant supplies of raw resources and technology to make them far larger in storage capacity, and in abundance for each person on the planet (actually we can create far superior methods of data storage and speed in absurdly small form factors, but alas, the market toys in technological obscurity because its profitable)

    I find this artificial constriction and market manipulation to be absurd.
  • 1 Hide
    dimar , March 5, 2013 4:04 PM
    If the next gen Momentus XT will have 32GB or more SSD cache + super cool and quiet 10,000 RPM platter(s), it's fine by me.
  • 0 Hide
    d3seeker , March 5, 2013 4:13 PM
    Don't they use 7200 rpm discs in their hybrids -__- So they just aren't selling 2.5" 7200rpm HDDs themselves anymore and in essence diverting that supply to the Hybrid experiments ??
  • 1 Hide
    Pherule , March 5, 2013 4:17 PM
    antilycusSeagate drives the WORST in the industry. They cost business and consumers millions of dollars every year because their products have sucked so bad. It's one of the main reasons HP is such a horrible brand, because they horrible parts with a 2 year life span.. anything seagate stops making is good for everyone else. If you don't agree with this, then you are clearly un-educated in the matter.

    Despite uninformed persons thumbing him down, he is actually right. Seagate is well known to be selling very unstable drives lately. A few years ago they were best buy, but now, I would never think of buying Seagate over WD.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 5, 2013 4:46 PM
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/hdd-reliability-storelab,2681-2.html

    Need I say more? Personally between two original 7200.11 750GB drive, I have RMA'd them to 7200.11 / .12 drives 8 times in their warranty period. Absolute garbage.
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