Seagate, Toshiba to Make SSD + HDD Hybrid?

We all know that for the absolute best throughput of storage available to us today, it's in solid-state-drives. The problem with SSDs is cost and the limited storage capacity in comparison to the magnetic solutions. But upcoming solutions from Seagate and Toshiba may be able to come up with something in between.

Seagate is now sending out press notices of a "game changing" device that'll be revealed next week with Asus that can boost your system performance by up to 150 percent. Engadget was told that the product will be 20 percent quicker than a 600GB 10,000rpm SATA drive, 80 percent faster than a conventional 7200rpm HDD and able to boot "within six seconds of an SSD drive" and "learn about its user to dynamically decrease disk time, boot time, and application load time."

According to a German report from Computer Base, Seagate has paired 250 GB, 320 GB and 500 GB HDDs with 4 GB of SLC NAND flash. If this proves to be true, then frequently accessed files would be moved to the NAND area for ultra fast access while the larger files will be relegated to the magnetic storage area.

Toshiba may have similar ideas at work. The company was quoted by Tech-On as saying, "The hybrid of HDD and SSD enables to save energy … It enables to save energy by about 80% compared with a storage device consisting of only HDDs" – though it's unclear if Toshiba was referring to a singular device or combination inside a computer.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • chodaboy
    I think i'd rather have a single drive(casing) with 1 ssd partition (boot, so it will need to be bigger then 4GB) and another partition that stores the data on a platter. This way i'll be able to fit this into my notebook's single slot.
  • joytech22
    Sounds interesting, would definitely be cheaper than a SSD while reading the most-used files faster.
    Also make's a sizable HDD but the memory could be increased to at least 10-15gb to hold a good amount of startup applications and other frequently used app's.
  • Is this not the sort of thing that was being talked about 5 years ago? And if I recall, Samsung actually produced in 2007?
    And which was at one point going to be a requirement for installing Windows Vista on laptops, before Microsoft came to their senses and realized that would eliminate far too many customers?

    Revolutionary and game changing indeed.
  • The Greater Good
    Sounds neat, but not impressive. I'd rather use a 60 gig SSD (or two in a RAID 0) as the boot drive and use a magnetic drive as the storage/backup option. Yeah, it will cost more... but the speed will be worth it! Well, worth it if you hate waiting for things to load.
  • maigo
    Wouldn't all the read/write cycles of a 500 meg drive kill the 4 gigs of SDD extra fast?
  • zodiacfml
    for me, its good if the price premium over a standard HDD for the same disk space is around $20-$50. i don't game a lot and don't use professional apps so they can be installed on the hdd.
  • An online store here in Finland already have it posted as a pre-order product, 148 Euros for the 500GB part, but then again, here the taxes are much higher.

    The Specs.:

    Kapasiteetti: 500 GB + 4 GB (SSD)
    Pyörimisnopeus: 7200 rpm
    Välimuisti: 32 MB (Cache)
    Form factor: 2.5"
    Korkeus: 9.5 mm (Height)
    Liitäntä: SATA2 (3 Gb/s)
  • AsianJetlag
    Pretty useless tech I have to say.

    Just wait 2-3 years for SSD manufacturing costs to drop.
  • cmcghee358
    Seems to me it will lack the performance of SSDs, all the while being more expensive than it's HDD counterparts. Mediocrityx2. No thanks. Especially when you can get a 30-40GB SSD for 80-120 bucks. Nice try but they won't find a customer base for this until the SSD portion exceeds an OS install by 150% at least.
  • shin0bi272
    wouldnt this be along the lines of buying a usb flash drive and a standard hard drive (except for the speed diff on the ssd vs usb of course)? Here buy this 500gb hard drive and we'll throw in a 32gb usb flash drive. Then you could install windows to the flash drive and save everything else on your 500 gb drive. Why not just buy a 32gb ssd and keep your current hd? I mean seriously at this point who is buying their first computer? With current prices on 32gb ssd's in the 100 dollar range its not really that much of a stretch to think that people wont be getting an SSD as their boot drive soon.