The Seagate Desktop SSHD 2 TB hard disk drive is a 3.5” hybrid drive that combines a high-capacity hard disk drive with a flash memory to act as a non-volatile cache. We already tested this concept on a 2,5” drive, the Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD. Now, let’s see if this concept is a good option for desktop computers, too.

The Desktop SSHD family has models with 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB capacities. All of them use the 3.5” form factor, but the 1 TB model is 0.79” (20.1 mm) thick, while the 2 TB and 4 TB have a height of 1.03” (26.1 mm).

A hybrid disk drive is actually a hard disk drive with a built-in non-volatile cache. The idea is the same as the Intel Smart Response Technology: using a flash memory to cache the most frequently accessed data.

The Seagate Desktop SSHD 2 TB (ST2000DX001) is a 2 TB, 7.200 rpm hard drive, with 8 GiB of MLC flash memory as its “SSD portion” and 64 MiB of volatile cache. The drive uses an adaptive algorithm to “learn” the most accessed files and write them in the flash memory, so the true speed gain will be noticeable only after a few times of accessing the file. The main benefit is, of course, the reduction of the operating system boot time, since the files needed at the boot initiation will be the most likely to be cached, as well as frequently launched programs.

Figures 1 and 2 present the Seagate Desktop SSHD 2 TB hard disk drive.

Seagate Desktop SSHD 2 TBFigure 1: Seagate Desktop SSHD 2 TB (top)

Seagate Desktop SSHD 2 TBFigure 2: Seagate Desktop SSHD 2 TB (bottom)

In our tests, we will be comparing the Seagate Desktop SSHD 2 TB to a traditional hard disk drive with similar characteristics, the Seagate Barracuda 2 TB. In the table below, we will compare the basic specifications of these products.

Manufacturer Model Model # Rotational Speed Interface Buffer Capacity Price*
Seagate Desktop HDD ST2000DX001 7,200 rpm SATA-600 64 MiB 2 TB USD 120
Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 7,200 rpm SATA-600 64 MiB 2 TB USD 88

* All prices were researched at on the day we published this review.

Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master's degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.