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Seagate Laptop SSHD Review (ST1000LM014)

Seagate Laptop SSHD Review (ST1000LM014)

There is one aspect of laptops which, more than any other, is a constant cause of disappointment when we review them… hard drives. They really can make or break a system and it is always disappointing to see manufacturers install a decent CPU and memory only to throw in the cheapest drive with low performance that bogs down day to day use. Windows loads slowly, applications don’t open as fast as they could and general responsiveness can suffer. Of course we accept that a super fast Solid State Drive would significantly raise the cost of a system and may be out of the budget of many…but there are ways around this. Take today’s review product for example, a mix of traditional hard drive capacity and solid state storage for a reasonable price. And its PS4 compatible too for those who want to enhance that! Welcome to our Seagate Laptop SSHD Review (ST1000LM014).

Seagate Laptop SSHD Review – The Drive

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Our sample of the ST1000LM014 arrived in a generic package and only contained the drive. There are however retail bundles available which have nicer packaging. The drive is available in three different thicknesses, 9.5mm, 7.5mm and 5mm depending on the requirements of the system you are installing it in and the thickest model is available in 750gb and 1TB versions. The two thinner are 500GB and all measure just over 100mm long, 69.85mm wide with a maximum weight of 115g.

Ours is the 1TB model and it has a formatted capacity of 931GB within Windows with an additional 8GB of SSD style storage sitting invisible in the background. The drive monitors data use and stores frequently used files there for near instant access, for example the files used to boot Windows (or your PS4), maximising responsiveness. In terms of power use we have a max reading of 2.2w for the 1TB version. All three drives have a 3-year warranty.

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How easy are they to install? Seagate have a couple of handy videos depending on whether you are using a laptop or PS4…

Seagate Laptop SSHD Review – Software

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For those looking to use the drive on their PC Seagate have a handy set of tools. One which helps with migrating your existing data from the old drive to your new Seagate drive and another which helps with monitoring and maintenance of the drive.

Seagate Laptop SSHD Review – Performance

All testing was performed on an Intel Core i7 CPU, X99 Motherboard and with 16Gb of DDR4. Windows 8.1 was the OS and all of the latest drivers and patches were installed.

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Seagate Laptop SSHD Review (ST1000LM014) – Conclusion

As far as build quality and design go, the ST1000LM014 SSHD is very similar to your average hard drive. Same appearance, same SATA3 data and power connectors and the usual high standard of manufacturing from Seagate. Installation is a breeze and for most consumers will involve opening the system (usually a few screws) removing the old drive, screwing in the new drive and done! Of course if you wish to use the same OS and retain your can use the tools provided by Seagate and should  buy their kit which contains a SATA to USB cable for use in the migration of data. (PS4 users should check out the video above to see how that process is even easier!)

As far as performance goes, the charts above show that the drive offers good raw performance when compared to a traditional laptop hard drive. In Atto the Seagate SSHD is around 40MB/s faster and it shows figures which will translate to higher responsiveness in CrystalDiskMark. Stopping for a moment to consider a SSD comparison, quite simply those drives are faster than the SSHD across the board, so its all about your needs/budget. Back to the comparison with a traditional drive, boot times were reduced and the time taken to transfer files within the drive was lower on the SSHD, especially on operations where multiple small files were being moved.

Really though the SSHD is not designed to benchmark, it is designed to monitor how you use a system and optimise its storage to maximise performance for your needs. Therefore there is  a period of time where the drive learns what it needs to do and then increases performance over a few days to a level where it is noticeably more responsive than a traditional drive. Boot times do speed up first and key apps after that.

Summary: Good build quality and a decent warranty mixed with performance improvements for those upgrading from a traditional 2.5″ drive. A well rounded product.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

2 Comments

  1. I find the performance continues to ramp up if you use it daily for at least a week.. between windows superfetch adjusting to your type of use and the drive intelligently doing basically the same thing, the best performance doesn’t seem to be set in place until at least a week of steady daily start ups and shut downs… sleep states do not help (though with systems that fire up now faster from a cold boot than from a sleep state…..why do people still insist on sleeping a system (hibernation).)

    I’ve a few older systems that boot up even faster than the 11 seconds.

  2. danwat1234

    120MB/s sustained on the outer edge of the platters seems a bit high for a 1TB 5400RPM mechanical drive. The hybrid portion is not active then. But yeah the graph says ‘max’ not average or sustained, nevermind.

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