toshiba hybrid drive

We all love SSDs, but they are expensive and are not up to the capacities we require for serious editing. So could a combined hard disk with built in quick response flash memory be the answer? Toshiba think so.

We are not talking about what makes your Prius dodge petrol stations, these are two new 2.5" disk drives from Toshiba that are designed for notebooks. Available in 1TB and 750GB sizes, the drives also have 8GB of NAND Flash memory built in. They go by the snappy names of MQ01ABDH 100 and MQ01ABDH 075 respectively.

So what makes these drives special and how could they be of interest to video professionals? OK, here comes the science!

'Developed to enhance the PC user experience, the new 2.5-inch 9.5mm high SATA Hybrid Drive series features “self-learning” caching algorithms that learn the system user’s data access patterns to optimize performance. The self-learning caching algorithms also manage which user data is stored to the NAND Flash for quick response to the near future access from the host, as well as how the data in the NAND Flash is updated based on intelligent access pattern learning.'

Now we all know that Final Cut Pro X is pretty hard on external drives, especially when it comes to generating and storing the thumbnail strips. If these drives could store the data that FCPX needs quickly, then we should see faster editing available. Sometimes we get frustrated when we have to sit and wait whilst the browser redraws.

Are these disks suitable for video editing? Toshiba's Product Sheet shows benchmark tests with transfer speeds of over 80MB/s which is three times that of a conventional 5400 rpm 1 TB drive. That all looks pretty slow compared to the blistering speed of SSD Thunderbolt drives, but this technology is bound to trickle down through the entire HDD range.  The other benefits are a faster boot time for the computer and applications.

“Hybrid Drives represents a significant innovative technology for Toshiba in combining the high-performance features of NAND Flash, with the key HDD attributes of large capacity and cost-effective data storage,” said Joel Hagberg, vice president of marketing at Toshiba’s Storage Business Unit. “As the only storage company which designs and manufactures HDDs as well as NAND flash, Toshiba is in a unique position to capitalize on these benefits because the expertise on how these technologies function resides within Toshiba.” 

No word yet on price, but  the 1Tb model could make an excellent upgrade for one of our older 'storage challenged' MacBook Pros we have. 

Toshiba are not the only drive manufacturer to have announced hybrid drives. Seagate have two drives branded Momentus XT available now. The 750GB model has 8GB of NAND and the 500GB has 4GB built in.

Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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