While PC games are running rampant on your computer, it also has other storage requirements to handle as well. Unfortunately, your PC won’t be able to function correctly with all the memory slowing its pace. To efficiently tackle the memory problem, hard disk drives [HDD] were invented. Later a much more versatile solid-state drive [SSD] came into the picture.
While most of us have HDDs and some of us own SSDs, the tech world had another breakthrough in 2007 which introduced hybrid drives or solid-state hybrid drives [SSHD]. The hybrid drive was introduced by tech giants Seagate and Samsung with Seagate Momentus PSD and Samsung SpinPoint MH80. As the name suggests hybrid drives were a combination of HDDs and SSDs. Simply put, it is a mechanical hard drive with additional solid-state memory.
SSHDs features a combination of hard drive memory which is usually 1 TB and more and solid-state memory which is 8 GB and more. This means that all data is stored on the hard drive while the frequently used files are stored on the solid-state memory. Operating system boot files and start-up programs are cached into the 8GB of solid-state memory. This lets the hybrid drive provide a significant speed boost for frequently accessed data.
When SSHDs came into the picture gaming industry experienced a leap of joy. Games were able to benefit from the SSHDs as these devices cached the most frequently accessed files. While it is true that many current 3D games are larger than 8GB in size, not all of the game files are required at all times. Many of the large files are stored on the hard drive since they might be accessed only once on a game playthrough. The core game files are generally stored on the solid-state memory, whilst files such as level textures, audio, and video files find room on the hard drive. If the game is frequently run, the drive will cache frequently accessed files leading to faster loading times.
If you are a hardcore gamer looking to add an SSHD to your gaming gear, here are a few best SSHDs for gaming that promise you faster boot-up and load times.
1. Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
The Toshiba MQ02ABDH Hybrid Drive comprises of HDD and NAND flash technology from Toshiba to deliver SSD-like performance and responsiveness. The tech giant has introduced self-learning algorithms coupled with up to 1TB of storage capacity in a compact series of 2.5-inch hard drives which promotes faster loading times.
As mentioned earlier, Toshiba’s SSHD utilizes self-learning algorithms that enable the drive to identify the user’s access patterns. This allows frequently used data to be stored in the NAND cache making it quickly accessible to the user. At the same time, data that is occasionally used is moved from the NAND flash to the HDD for long term storage. This self-learning mechanism vastly improved the drive’s performance.
Featuring 1 TB, 9.5mm design for maximum capacity laptops; it provides SSD-like performance and HDD-like storage capacity. It works with any SATA laptop, Macbook, PS3, and PS4 game console.
What We Like About Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
Fast performance and boot up times for connected devices.
What We Don’t Like About Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
There is a short unloading delay which might affect the durability of the storage device.
| Fast loading times|
2. Seagate FireCuda 2.5″
If you are not much of a hardcore gamer and more of a casual gamer, the Seagate FireCuda 2.5 inch can work magic for you. The FireCuda 2.5 inch from the tech giant Seagate will let you efficiently handle games that are too big for your main drive. This is a great choice for PC owners looking to relive their laptops of some of the heavy gaming memory that is slowing down their laptops.
Seagate promises to makes your games five times faster than traditional hard drives with the FireCuda 2.5 inch. The tech giant chose to add Multi-Tier Caching Technology (MTC) that improves performance by using NAND flash, DRAM, and media caching technologies. The adaptive memory technology helps identify frequently accessed data, thereby, decreasing the application loading time as well as increasing the drive’s life.
Complete with 2TB capacity, the drive has plenty of space to install most of your game library. The 2.5″ form factor with a 7mm height makes the drive suitable for portable systems as well. Another noteworthy feature is that the drive features Green Hybrid technology that reduces the device’s power consumption.
What We Like About Seagate FireCuda 2.5″
This drive features adaptive memory technology which speeds up the performance and improves the life of the machine.
What We Don’t Like About Seagate FireCuda 2.5″
The durability of the product is doubtful.
| Adaptive memory technology|
Green Hybrid feature
|Not faster than traditional drives at standard file operations|
3. WD Blue SSHD WD10J31X
Western Digital entered the new age of SSHD drives with WD Blue. The WD Blue family of mainstream 5400 RPM drives is designed for less memory-intensive use at home and in the office. This device was designed with a focus on reduced power consumption, thermal output, and cost instead of high performance.
WD Blue SSHD is equipped with the optimal amount of NAND flash memory to deliver SSD-like performance over high-capacity storage. This flash memory cache quickly stores all writes to a solid-state drive and duplicates the data on the hard disk drive over time. Because it retains the written data it can be quickly accessed from the much faster flash memory cache. This improves its read performance, and only poses a delay when you access the data that is still stored in the cache.
The WD Blue SSHD WD10J31X is armed with self-learning technology that utilizes an advanced set of algorithms. These algorithms track SSHD data usage, prioritizing frequently used data for quick access in the solid-state portion of the device. This lets the machine adapt learn and optimize as new applications and command requests change over time. These advanced algorithms reside in the SSHD firmware, which lets WD10J31X make intelligent determinations of which data to store in NAND flash memory.
What We Like About WD WD10J31X
The NAND memory provides faster speed and enhanced performance.
What We Don’t Like About WD WD10J31X
Transferring large data files will experience some delay
| 8 GB NAND flash|
|Transferring large data files is time-consuming|
4. Seagate FireCuda 3.5 ‘’
This is yet another SSHD from the FireCuda series of the tech giant Seagate. The Seagate FireCuda 3.5 ‘’ is also aimed at gamers and features gamer-friendly specs. It is best suited for a typical full-sized desktop computer, but it will also work with either a laptop or gaming console if you store it in an external enclosure.
The desktop 3.5-inch version of the FireCuda SSHD comes in 1 TB and 2 TB capacity variants. Both these versions utilize a disk spinning at 7200 RPM. It accompanies an 8 GB of NAND storage and a 64 MB cache memory. Seagate guarantees an average data rate of 190 MB/s from NAND and an average of 156 MB/s from all zones. This model comes with a SATA 6Gb/s interface.
What We Like About Seagate FireCuda 3.5 ‘’
The drive is perfect for PC gaming, high-performance PCs, and creative pro applications.
What We Don’t Like About Seagate FireCuda 3.5 ‘’
It has a smaller storage size than regular HDDs.
| Improved speeds vs. regular HDDs|
|Cannot deliver SSD speeds|
1. How fast are SSHDs?
SSHDs are faster than hard disk drives and some solid-state drives depending on their storage capacities. Since SSHD is a new technology and is yet to see developments, many SSDs are much faster than SSHDs. This is also because SSDs are built to deliver faster load times for games, applications, and movies. These devices have faster website loading speed which results in a better user experience as well.
2. What is an SSD?
A solid-state drive or an SSD is a new generation of storage devices in the market used in computers. SSDs replace traditional mechanical hard disks by using flash memory making them run the computers faster than ever before. Older hard disk storage technologies run comparatively slower making your computer have a drag in its performance. SSDs allow the computer to operate significantly faster due to low read-access times and fast throughputs.
3. Difference between SSHD and SSD?
SSD is a flash storage device quite similar to a USB drive. But, it is much faster as it uses NAND memory. SSHD, on the other hand, contains both a regular hard disk and NAND memory, which makes this device much faster and also works like a big cache buffer.
SSHDs are typically built with a storage capacity of up to 14 TB with an additional 8GB SSD cache, whereas SSDs have a maximum capacity of 4 TB. SSHDs are traditional spinning hard disks that have a small amount of fast solid-state storage built-in while SSDs are storage drives composed entirely of memory chips. Therefore, SSHDs have moving parts while the latter has none. This contributes to the fast speed of an SSD.
4. Should you buy an SSHD?
If you have demanding storage needs, then you can consider getting one. The more games you download on your PC the slower your machine runs. Especially if it is a regular laptop and not a gaming-oriented one, you will run into frequent performance problems. It could be blurry graphics, low FPS, drastically reduced load times, etc. These problems can easily be avoided if you have an efficient storage system. However, don’t forget a beefy internet connection as well.
The true strength of SSHD drives can be seen when Windows are booting up or during repetitive loading. These drives are built to learn from your frequent commands and your habitual actions on the operating system. This learning ability helps them cache frequently used files onto the NAND memory of the drive. This will significantly boost your Windows boot-up times making it faster than regular SSD levels. This speed boost also applies to the programs and games that you load often on your PC.
We hope our review helps you pick the best SSHD for your PC so that your gaming sessions are more fun.