Hybrid hard drives bring flash benefits to platter drives

Flash drives, or SSD drives, might be the wave of the future, but they're still much to expensive to really be practical in today's computers. Even though they save energy and are faster than their platter-based cousins, we just aren't ready for the switch. They don't have big enough capacities and their pricetags are astronomical.

Seagate knows that total acceptance of flash-based drives is still a few years off, but that isn't stopping them from using the tech to improve their current hard drives. Their new hybrid drives are large platter hard drives that have an additional 256MB of flash memory built-in. This helps the computer boot up 25% faster and cut the power consumption of the drives by 50%. Pretty awesome, right? Well, in theory, yes. The problem is, Microsoft's Vista doesn't quite know how to handle the new drives despite Microsoft's claims to the contrary. Until an update gets Vista's act together, these drives can't fulfill their true potential. Hopefully everything will be worked out soon and we can look forward to using these drives in the near future.

Extreme Tech, via Gadget Lab