The race for faster data access has a casualty. AnandTech got wind of a report from X-bit Labs that Seagate will discontinue its 2.5-inch laptop-size 7,200-rpm hard drives by the end of this year. The move comes as prices for solid state drives continue to fall while offering more storage space. Seagate currently has three 7,200-rpm drives on the market, the Momentus 7200.4, 7200.2 and Momentus Thin 7200, and one hybrid drive, the Momentus XT. This drive combines a 7,200-rpm drive with 8GB of SLC NAND for caching.
This news does make us a bit sad, because we've always enjoyed the combination of disk size, speed and price that 7,200-rpm drives offered compared with their slower 5,400-rpm cousins. Granted, SSDs will smoke almost any 7,200-rpm drive in a data access race, but 7,200-rpm drives have a much more reasonable price per gigabyte.
It seems that Seagate shares our affinity for a balance of storage and speed. In part, they are ditching the 7,200-rpm market to focus on hybrid drives, an emerging category from which no manufacturer has risen to the top. We're sure to see more variations on the Momentus XT come to market and perhaps some dual drive solutions as well.
In the meantime, if you're a fan of Seagate's 7,200-rpm drives, start hoarding them now.