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Seagate 600 SSD

Back in 2008, Seagate’s opinion on SSDs was slightly different than it is now. Bill Watkins, Seagate’s CEO, said at the time that “realistically, I just don’t see the flash notebook sell”. There were even stirrings that the company were planning to sue SSD manufacturers like Samsung and Intel as they apparently were infringing on Seagate’s patents.
That’s all in the past now, though. Seagate have launched the 600 SSD and it is their first ever consumer solid state drive (having previously only targeted enterprise users). It’s available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities. This article will take a look at the drive’s specifications and see if it’s up to scratch.
Firstly, let’s have a look at what Seagate claim the drive offers. Their product page for the 600 SSD states that the drive will enable laptops to boot up to 50% faster, along with faster access to applications and data. It is also apparently the only SSD that is available in both a 5mm and 7mm z-height for thin and ultra-thin laptops.
The more interesting study will be in independent testing of the drive. Let’s turn our hand to various benchmark tests to see just how powerful the drive really is and how much bang for buck you get.
Tom’s Hardware took a look at the drive and one of their biggest complaints about it was its power consumption. The nature of an SSD is that most of the time it is idle. Their tests found that, when at an active idle, the Seagate 600 was using 1.045 Watts. The only drive higher than that was the Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB, which ran at 1.158 Watts. Both of these drives use LAMD controllers. Seagate are promoting the 600’s slim nature, perfect for laptop use, but when their drives consume so much power it seems counteractive. Your laptop battery is going to run down faster when using this drive and no-one wants that.
Storage Review found that the 600 was consistent in its performance and came out well on its read and write speeds for the 240 and 480GB models. In their consumer testing it fell to middling and trailed a bit in their gaming tests. However, in their light-business orientated workloads it ranked nearer the top. Overall, though, they ranked the drive pretty highly in consumer performance, praising the ultra slim form factors and excellent write factors especially.
CNET also praised the drive, although they too noted the high power consumption. The drive performed especially well in boot/shutdown, clocking in at 10 seconds and 5 seconds respectively. Transfer scores were also good, with the drive offering 275.21Mbps when used as a secondary drive (read only), 286.77Mbps when used as a secondary drive (write only) and 173.78Mbps when used as an OS drive (read and write). They tested both the 5mm and 7mm versions of the 480GB drive and found that they both offered the same performance.
In conclusion, it seems that the 600 SSD is a good first step from Seagate into the world of consumer SSD drives. It’s fast and competent, but it is a shame about the power usage.


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