The latest piece of hardware up for testing at Phoronix is the Seagate ST1000DX001, a 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) that retails for less than $100 USD. But how well does this 1TB hard drive that has 8GB of MLC flash memory work with Linux? Let's find out.
The only people to get Hybrid drives right until recently have been Apple. You cant just put a tiny buffer in there, you need a 128GB SSD. Luckily WD just launched the Black2 line of hybrid drives so that should hopefully push other OEMs along the right path.
A more suitable platter drive for comparison would have been a 1TB unit, as the older 160 and 320 drives didn't have the areal density of the 1TB's, subsequently giving you a peformance boost compared to the the two units reviewed. Still, you could probably 'imagine' (oh boy) a 1TB being 30-50% faster than the 160/320GB drives and still would not even touch the hybrid's performance.
The standard benchmarking tools aren't really idea for Hybrid drive testing anyway. The theory is that the drive best figures out what gets accessed most often and caches that in SSD. When you're using the benchmark it's almost impossible to tell whether the speed changed throughout the run, at which stage data may (or may not) have transitioned to the flash storage etc. It's purely a guess but I'd imagine what the run saw was slow starting speeds, higher end speeds as the data transitioned to SSD which likely wouldn't reflect a real world scenario.
I even run swap and tmp on my 50GB ocz agility 2 and it is at least 4 years old now. I am excessively pulling in daily openSUSE updates (tumbleweed) etc and it hast only few gigabytes free space all the time, sometimes its even totally filled.
I guess I went pretty lucky. I also thought it might break already after 2 years.