Seagate has sent the generation Momentus XT Drive with 750gig of storage space. Compared to its predecessor (1st Gen Momentus XT ST95005620AS drive), ST750LX003 Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB is with larger Flash NAND, SATA 6Gb/s interface- anything that one can expect from a successor. Does it succeed and even fair better than the other drives is something we’ll need to see as the review progresses.
H/W Specs and Impressions
Judging by the specs, the 2nd gen has some meat stuffed with an 8GB Flash NAND in and following the current SATA 6 Gb/s standard. In a nutshell, the read only Flash NAND on the Seagate drive helps to save little bit of a time between the system with the mechanical hard drive. It makes a decision which programs to keep on the flash NAND based on the applications you use on a regular basis. This way the system can access the program from the FLASH NAND rather than from the platters. Since flash NANDs are much quicker than mechanical drives, you shave off few seconds in the loading time. If you decide to use some other applications on a regular basis, it simply adapts.
The PCB Layout is similar and uses LSI/Seagate controller for the hard drive platters and the motor controller but there’s where the similarity ends.
The first gen came with 4GB SLC NAND whereas the second gen comes with Micron 8GB SLC NAND next to the EASIC controller. The Cache is 32MB DDR from Samsung.
Now since the NAND is double compared to its predecessor, the controller doesn’t have the need to carefully ration the Flash NAND for improving load times. However like the previous generation, I wished it had a larger Flash NAND and with Write support.
While I did wonder why wouldn’t Seagate use larger SLC Cache and implement write, we have to accept the fact that such drives made by Seagate or anyone design it keeping the requirements of OEMs. These drives to retail directly to end users, but the amount of such drives (especially 2.5" notebook drives) that are bought by end users is very small compared to the bulk purchase that OEMs like Dell, HP, Asus, MSI and such companies do in a single sweep. OEMs see cost, Reliability and Price per GB. That’s why you see notebooks from as low as Rs. 20,000/- to upto about Rs. 40,000-45,000 odd still come with 5400 RPM drives. They’re cheap and help to keep the cost of the notebook as low as possible. Like last time when I reviewed the first gen Momentus XT, Momentus drive and Western Digital 7500BPKT Black I did say in at least one of these reviews that if any OEMS will use such hard drives are in Desktop Replacement Units for entertainment or Gaming purposes.
The 2 only gaming notebooks that I ever evaluated till date came with these drives: G74SX from Asus came with both Momentus and Momentus XT drive, whereas MSI GT663R came with Western Digital WD5000BEKT 7200RPM drive in Raid 0 by default.
There are people who will buy this for their notebook to upgrade their internal storage space- or if they want faster drive. It still doesn’t change that the price plays major role for making a product that bought by OEMs and then maybe purchased in retail should the end user need. OEMS will pay for something that is less in price, but also something that can be reliable for years. Let’s not forget that due to fluctuation in distribution of hard drives due to the Thailand floods, keeping low cost drives as “low cost drives” has become bit more difficult to manage.
|1st Gen||Specifications||2nd Gen|
|SATA 3Gb/s||Interface||SATA 6Gb/s|
|394Gb/in2||Areal density (avg)||563.6Gb/in2|
|9.5mm (0.370 in)||Height||9.70mm (0.378 in)|
|69.85mm (2.75 in)||Width||70.10mm (2.760 in)|
|100.35mm (3.951 in)||Length||100.55mm (3.959 in)|
|110g (.238 lb)||Weight (typical)||115g (.253 lb)|
|7200 RPM||Spin Speed (RPM)||7200 RPM|
|11ms||Random read seek time||11.0ms|
|13ms||Random write seek time||13.0ms|
|300MB/s||I/O data transfer rate||600MB/s|
|1 in 1014||Unrecoverable read errors||1 in 1014|
|0.5%||Annual Failure Rate||0.5%|
|1.0A||5V start max current||1.2w|
|0.8W||Average idle power||1.2W|
|1.1W||Average operating power||2.4W|
|2.2W||Average seek power||N.A.|
|20°C per hour||Maximum operating temperature change||20°C per hour|
|35°C per hour||Maximum non-operating temperature change||35°C per hour|
|350 Gs for 2ms||Operating Shock (max)||350 Gs for 2ms|
|900 Gs for 1ms||Non-operating Shock (max)||1000 Gs for 1ms|
|2.3 bels||Acoustics (Idle )||2.3 bels|
|2.6 bels||Acoustics (Seek)||2.6 bels|
|Solid State Hybrid||Storage Type||Solid State Hybrid|
Since SLC flash is very expensive even compared to MLC NANDs, even 25nm Intel MLC flash NANDs (like how HyperX has), its going to take a lot of time to see if it can be feasible in the long run. Seagate has SSDs but for enterprise drives, but who knows- maybe Seagate might take a leap of faith with MLC NANDs for end users- or atleast 16-32GB FLASH NAND on future gen Momentus XT drive.
Test Setup and Benchmark
All the Storage Reviews done here is first thoroughly stress tested for 3 days without any interruptions using Anvil Benchmark to ensure the hard drive is in good health and its working without any defects and issues. There has been no issues faced during stress testing and usability after stress testing.
|Test Setup for:||Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB|
|Motherboard+ Processor||Gigabyte 890GPAUD3H Rev 1.0+ AMD 965BE (Cooled with Thermaltake Big Typhoon)|
|Memory||Kingston KHX1600C9D3P1K28G HyperX Genesis 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII|
|Primary drive||Western Digital 3000HLFS Drive|
|Power Supply||Corsair TX750|
|Chassis||Coolermaster Storm Trooper|
Boot Load Test
Western Digital 750GB Black 7500BPKT, but as you can see the second gen is 6 seconds quicker on the first boot and after that the different in boot speed is negligible.
AS SSD Benchmark
There is a very significant difference between mechanical drives, Hybrid drives and SSDs so after this point it doesn’t really make sense to make a comparison.
Keeping Sequential 4MB runs on Read and Write aside, there isn’t much to talk about here. The performance is something expected from a mechanical hard drive.
The drives picks up the pace as quick as possible on the start, but once it goes more than 64k file size on read and 256k on write, its stays on the same level as WD10JPVT. After 16k- both Read and Write- the scorpion Black flies!
Note: Due to the erratic price quote that changes pretty quickly due to the shortage of drives, I’ve evaluated this drive without keeping the cost in mind. Its best if you get a price quote from your preferred dealer.
You are getting 2 years warranty period in this drive.
If you are looking something as a replacement for your 5400RPM drive on your notebook and want more than 500Gigs of storage space with some advantage on the load times? Provided it uses SATA 6Gb/s, this is a good drive to shortlist.