Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup

A look at the rear of the PCB prior to removal reveals, well, not much.

…but once we flip it over, we see the goodies:

This is the usual fare for a Seagate SSHD, though it appears the cache is the same 8GB used in prior (much smaller capacity) models. This may become an issue when we throw more desktop style workloads at it, but we shall see.

Testing Methodology

Since hybrid caching changes performance dynamically as data is cached and purged, we will focus on the caching performance through repeated trace testing (PCMark) and the timing of system boot process. These tests give the best overall feel for how these drives will accelerate performance in the real world. Synthetic benches like IOMeter only test the HDD performance when they are run on a very smart portion of the drive, which is a bit too synthetic to be considered a real world application.

We will also do some sequential tests involving intermixed boots and game launches to see just how well such a small cache can keep up with loading different types of data.

Test System Setup

Test beds for this piece are a mix of old and new, as the original SRT / SSHD data was obtained on an older test bed.

PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rigs. 

Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K / Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V Pro / ASUS Z87-PRO
Memory Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card Intel® HD Graphics 3000 / Intel® HD Graphics 4600
Video Drivers Intel
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows 7 X64 / Windows 8.1 X64
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