Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There are mass storage drives that consist of a large HDD and a smaller part of flash memory. From the computer's point of view they act just as a normal hard drive, but internally the disk internally moves frequently used portions to the SSD part for performance increase. An example for this type of drive is the Seagate Laptop SSHD ST1000LM014.

Are there any reported performance increases compared to a pure hard drive when using Ubuntu (or any Linux distribution for that matter) or does the internal software of the drive rely on NTFS file system features? Since there are no additional drivers needed I do not expect software problems, but I could not find any reports of how this works. And googling for SSHD and Linux leads to no relevant results for obvious reasons.

PS: I hope you do not read this as a shopping recommendation. I am not looking for a specific product, but want to know whether drives with this concept are useful for Ubuntu systems?

share|improve this question
1  
Just to be clear, the scenario described above is for hybrid drives with the SSD and HDD built into a single physical drive. There is another similar technology where two separate SSD and HDD are used by Intel's proprietary protocol: SRT. Ubuntu (or any Linux) cannot use SRT. –  user68186 Nov 22 '13 at 15:08
1  
@user68186 Yes, I am talking about a single physical drive. Inmy case it would be a notebook drive, so there would not even be enough space for two separate drives. –  Tim Nov 22 '13 at 15:26

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I have done similar change in my old dual-boot laptop, there was a 20-30% decrease in boot (50->40sec) and shut down time in Ubuntu 12.04, in windows the change was more dramatic, around half time needed to boot (from over 3 minutes to less than 1.5min)!

If you want to revive a laptop, I suggest you do it. My findings are with SATA-I controller, I suspect you get much better results if your laptop has more recent controller (SATA2/3).

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you for the answer. My laptop is beyond revivability. I am looking for a new one and have the option to replace a 7200rpm HDD with a (larger) SSHD drive which has only 5400rpm but 8GB of flash memory. So 20% may be less than what I lose from the slower hard drive. Did your HDD have more rpm than the SSHD that was 20-30% faster or was this parameter identical? –  Tim Nov 22 '13 at 15:31
    
My old disk was at 5400 rpm (Western Digital HD WD2500BEVS2.5-inch 250GB) and my new disk is Seagate at 7200 rpm (Momentus XT 750 GB). –  bob Nov 24 '13 at 12:46
    
Aren't both of these normal hard drives without any SSD components? –  Tim Nov 24 '13 at 15:16
    
No, the new one is a hybrid drive, as dobey said, the most used parts of the operating system go to SSD portion, see seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/laptop-hard-drives/… for explanation. –  bob Nov 25 '13 at 7:33

Yes, they do increase performance. Particularly for commonly accessed data. The drives typically cache the most accessed data in the SSD portion of the drive, However, the performance increase might be small enough that you may not visually notice it. The drives don't rely on a particular file system. The firmware calculates based on raw block access.

The drives however, will not necessarily be as fast as a high performance 3.5" drive. I have a couple of Seagate SSD+HD drives, one in my workstation, and one in my PS3. I didn't choose it for performance, but power usage and size. I am sure the one in the PS3 is definitely faster than the original drive that came in it though. The download and install times for games seem to be much faster than previous, and compared to a friend's PS3 with the original drive.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.