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Samsung releases worlds first Hybrid Hard Drive (HHD)

The hybrids are out. These Samsung mutants of the data storage world are part hard disk drive, part flash memory cache. They have both the density to deliver 80GB, 120GB, or even 160GB of storage space in a neat 2.4-inch space, along with the OneNAND flash technology to give 50 percent faster read-write speeds, as well as greener power consumption, and faster boot time. And like any good mutant, the hybrid hard drives can take a beating better than your typical hard drive. The flash memory allows the hard drive to not have to run as often as in a regular hard drive.

In fact, the hybrid can remain idle 99 percent of the time your laptop is on. That means the drive doesn't heat up and risk burning out as much, and it's less likely to suffer shock damage or data loss. That's what you get when you meld a 2.5 inch hard drive with 128 or 256 MB of flash memory, with a little help from Microsoft's ReadyDrive software. The MH80 hybrid hard drive series from Samsung delivers a 70 percent to 90 percent reduction in power usage, compared with typical hard drives. That sort of energy savings can translate into an additional half-hour to your battery life.

Furthermore, the drive operates at a lower temperature than regular HD, reducing the likelihood of damage and hard drive failure. Although Microsoft has touted flash drives as a means to improve the performance of its Vista operating system, there are two types of flash drives. The first, more common form is known as ReadyBoost, where a specially formatted USB flash drive stores Windows system files, making boot cycles and restores from hibernation faster and more efficient.

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