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Seagate Turbo SSHD Enterprise SSHD Review - Seagate Turbo SSHD Internals

Seagate Turbo SSHD Enterprise SSHD Review
Seagate's release of the Enterprise Turbo SSHD provides a seamless marriage of flash and platter-based technology. Let's take a close look now. (NASDAQ:STX)
| SSHDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Nov 8, 2013 2:01 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Seagate

Seagate Turbo SSHD Internals

 

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The Turbo SSHD is based upon the same platform as the Enterprise Performance 15K v4 HDD, pictured here with the SSHD.

 

When placed next to each other the drives, and the PCBs, are virtually identical. For the record, the drive on the right is the SSHD. It would be nearly impossible to discern that from casual observation.

 

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Both drives feature the same thermal pads over the drive and motor controllers. These allow the drives to shed heat into the case for effective thermal management. The SSHD will also alert the system via SMART when the drive exceeds the acceptable temperature range.

 

Both drives also have foam padding to reduce vibration. Virtually the only visible difference between the two PCB's is the inclusion of a Samsung NAND package on the SSHD PCB to the right.

 

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The Turbo SSHD comes in the typical 2.5" form factor with a 15mm z-height. The branding on the top of the drive indicates that our sample uses the 4K Advanced Format. The drive is also available with 5xx emulation.

 

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A closer examination reveals a single BGA-mounted Samsung eMLC 21nm NAND package. A Winbond 128MB multi-segmented cache chip provides the DRAM cache layer, and a SMOOTH drive controller handles the spindle motor.

 

The SSHD's controller is a Marvell I 1063-B0, the same utilized on the Enterprise Performance v4 15K HDD. Surprisingly, there is no separate controller for the NAND on the SSHD, it is handled by Seagate's firmware on the Marvell controller. Pulling enough computational power from the low-wattage controller to detect and manage the hot data, while simultaneously handling the drive and NAND controller functions, is simply amazing.

 

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The Turbo SSHD features a 6Gb/s dual-port SAS connection, which provides the enhanced functionality of the SCSI command set.

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