A hybrid drive is a type of large-buffer computer hard disk drive. It blends HDD capacity with solid-state drive (SSD) speeds by placing traditional rotating platters and a small amount of high-speed flash memory on a single drive. This means that it can read and write data many times faster than a standard hard drive.
How does it compare to a solid-state drive?
As the technology develops users will find themselves getting the best of both worlds, with the speed of a solid-state drive matched with the greater storage space (at a lower price) of the traditional hard disk drive. Currently a hybrid won't beat a fully solid-state drive in terms of read/write speed and boot speed performance, but there is a distinct increase from a traditional HDD, with a faster boot time and programmes opening faster.
Boot time comparison between the more expensive solid-state drive (left), the traditional hard disk drive (right) and our new contender, the hybrid (middle)
Should I upgrade to a hybrid hard drive?
This really depends on what you need the drive for. If you are using programmes that read and write lots of data (Sage, CAD software, video editing or even plain old video games) then purchasing a SSD and a regular HDD would probably suit you better than a hybrid hard drive purely on performance. If you don't want the responsibility of managing multiple volumes and you just want to speed up your computer, then a hybrid hard drive would work well for you.
Which hybrid hard drive should I buy?
There are not currently a great many hybrid drives available, as the technology is fairly new. However, you can pick up a 750 GB Seagate Momentus XT for around £95. OCZ also makes a 1TB hybrid drive that installs into a PCIe card slot, but these are not well-reviewed and come at a high cost of £300+.
If you are interested in upgrading your hard drives to hybrid, why not tweet us @ResolveIT and share your thoughts. Or for more information on hybrid drives, give us a call on 0114 299 4050.