SHARE

Introduction

The Seagate FireCuda 2.5″ 1 TB is a hybrid laptop/SFF hard disk drive, with 8 GiB of flash memory in its SSD portion. Let’s test it and see if is it faster than conventional drives.

Hybrid hard drives use an interesting ideia: besides storing data in a magnetical spinning drive, they have a small portion of non-volatile memory, similar to an SSD, where they copy the most important data. So, when the CPU requests reading these data, the drive read them from the “SSD portion”, which is faster than the hard disk itself. So, some read operations are accelerated. It is all done internally by the unit controller, with no need of action by the user, so its installation and operation are identical to with a conventional drive.

We already tested an older model from Seagate with similar technology, the 500 GB Laptop Thin SSHD. In this new generation, the manufacturer abandoned the SSHD (mix of SSD and HDD) naming and called them FireCuda.

The 2.5 inches FireCuda (there are also 3.5 inches models) have 5,400 rpm, 128 MiB cache, and SATA-600 interface. There are 500 Gb, 1 TB, and 2 TB models.

The tested model is physically similar to the 1 TB Seagate Barracuda, which we tested recently. It seems like the mechanical part is the same, just with different controller boards.

It is good to remember that, while 2.5 inches drives were originally destinated to laptops, they are perfectly compatible with desktop computers, as long as your case have 2.5 inches bays (most modern cases have) or you use an adapter to install it at a 3.5 inches bay.

We decided to benchmark the 2.5″ FireCuda (code number ST1000LX015) against three conventional hard drives with similar form factor and capacity: the 2.5″ 1 TB BarraCuda (ST1000LX015), the Toshiba MQ01ABD100, and the Samsung ST1000LM024, so we can have an ideia of the performance difference between the hybrid and the conventional models.

Figures 1 and 2 present the Seagate FireCuda 1 TB ST1000LX015 2.5″ hard disk drive. It has a five-year warranty.

Seagate FireCuda 1TBFigure 1: the Seagate FireCuda 1 TB ST1000LX015

Seagate FireCuda 1TBFigure 2: the Seagate BarraCuda 1 TB ST1000LX015

In the table below, we will compare the basic specifications of these products.

Manufacturer
Model
Model #
Rotational Speed
Interface
Buffer
Capacity
Price*
Seagate FireCuda 1 TB ST1000LX015 5,400 rpm SATA-600 128 MiB 7 mm 1 TB USD 60
Seagate BarraCuda 1 TB ST1000LM048 5,400 rpm SATA-600 128 MiB 7 mm 1 TB USD 55
Toshiba Mobile HDD 1 TB MQ01ABD100 5,400 rpm SATA-600 8 MiB 9,5 mm 1 TB USD 49
Samsung Momentus 1 TB ST1000LM024 5,400 rpm SATA-300 8 MiB 9,5 mm 1 TB USD 70

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