Seagate is a dominant company in the hard-drive sector, but it has played only in the enterprise space when it comes to solid-state storage. That changed with the introduction of the 600, an SSD aimed squarely at the broader consumer base.
One of the first SSDs to feature Toshiba's new 19nm MLC NAND NAND (a flash-memory technology), the 600 also leverages the Link-A-Media LM87800 controller that Corsair has employed with great success in its Neutron series. The 600 is available in both 7- and 5mm profiles—so they'll fit where drives have to be thin. We reviewed the 7mm version (Seagate model number ST480HM000). If you want the 5mm variant, look for Seagate's model number ST480HM001.
Seagate shipped us a 480GB version of the 600 and a 400GB version of the 600 Pro (model number ST400FP0021, available in only a 7mm height). Both drives have the same amount of NAND on board, but the Pro uses 80GB for error correction and replacing worn-out cells. This provides a longer life and safer operation in mission-critical roles. The 600 has a slightly racier black-and-white paint job; beyond that, our test drives were physically identical 6GBps-SATA units with tamperproof cases.
The 600 isn't the fastest SSD we've tested, but it proved to be upper-crust in all phases of our testing. The drive wrote a 10GB mix of files and folders at 393.8MBps and read them at 394.1MBps. With large, 10GB files, those numbers jumped to 626.3MBps writing and 467.8MBps reading. These results placed the drive anywhere from fifth to eighth place in individual tests. When the scores are aggregated, this drive becomes the third-fastest we've tested, behind Samsung's 840 Pro and OCZ's Vector.
The 600 and the 600 Pro carry automobile-like warranties—stated in terms of years or data written, whichever comes first: Three years or 72TB for the 600, and five years or 1020TB for the 600 Pro. Seagate was unwilling to provide a suggested retail price for the 600 or 600 Pro at the time of this writing, saying only that the models would be "priced according to market."
We found the 480GB consumer model selling at NewEgg.com for $410, which is about 85 cents per gigabyte. Samsung's überfast 512GB 840 Pro consumer SSD is street-priced slightly less per gigabyte. NewEgg was selling Seagate's enterprise-oriented drive, the 400GB Pro, for $610, or $1.52 per gigabyte.
Seagate's 600 is an outstanding overall performer that will give the company a solid presence in the consumer SSD market.