Seagate Momentus 5400.2 120G SATA notebook drive

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Seagate Momentus 5400.2 120G SATA notebook drive

Post by MikeC » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:00 pm

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Post by the_smell » Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:11 pm

As always, a nice review. It's good to see an improvement in acoustics over the previous momentus, plus it nice that (finally) notebook drives are getting large enough to use for HTPC purposes - I'd love to have a couple of these in a RAID acting as a PVR!
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Post by acaurora » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:06 pm

I've tested at least 3 Momentus 5400.2s, both from their Pocket Hard Drives and in their bare OEM. They all were noisy -.-... perhaps Seagate has fixed this with the 120. I REALLY , however, want to try out the 7200.1, although the $300 price tag keeps me away from trying =[
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Post by wim » Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:30 am

looks like a winner. looking forward to seeing how a similarly sized sata drive from samsung would compare..

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Post by BaconTastesGood » Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:44 am

I'd be very interested in seeing a review of the new 7200.1 100GB hard drives. It would also be nice to quantify the difference in battery life that extra watt makes. If it means I go from 4 hours to 3:50, I'm fine with that, but if I go from 4 hours to 2:30...not so good.

The 4200RPM drive I have right now is just killing me, but I'm loathe to switch to a 5400 RPM, that just doesn't seem worth it. And I'd like something significantly larger than my current 60GB.

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Post by Pauli » Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:38 am

Is this drive available in an IDE interface? This would be a fantastic drive for my DirecTivo box and unfortunately, does not have a SATA interface.
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Post by MikeC » Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:40 am

Pauli wrote:Is this drive available in an IDE interface? This would be a fantastic drive for my DirecTivo box and unfortunately, does not have a SATA interface.
Yes. I believe the SPCR / Pricegrabber search links at the bottom of the article pages are for the IDE version.
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Post by Devonavar » Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:00 am

BaconTastesGood wrote:I'd be very interested in seeing a review of the new 7200.1 100GB hard drives. It would also be nice to quantify the difference in battery life that extra watt makes. If it means I go from 4 hours to 3:50, I'm fine with that, but if I go from 4 hours to 2:30...not so good.

The 4200RPM drive I have right now is just killing me, but I'm loathe to switch to a 5400 RPM, that just doesn't seem worth it. And I'd like something significantly larger than my current 60GB.
To put this in perspective, a Pentium M processor and motherboard together are likely to draw ~15-20W at idle. An extra watt from the HDD probably only represents a 5% increase in power draw ... and if you have a high powered "desktop replacement" (with a P4-based processor) it is even less significant. I'm guessing that if your laptop only lasts four hours, it's probably VERY power hungry, so the single watt is unlikely to count for too much.

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Post by MikeC » Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:48 am

Devonavar wrote: I'm guessing that if your laptop only lasts four hours, it's probably VERY power hungry, so the single watt is unlikely to count for too much.
ONLY 4 hrs??? 4 hrs is a very long time for a Wintel notebook. My P-M 1.7 IBM T40, which is no slouch for power consumption, doesn't make it to 3 hrs... tho it's probably true the battery could be a bit long in the tooth.
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Post by Devonavar » Wed Aug 17, 2005 12:12 pm

I stand corrected then. My experience with laptops is in a teaching lab, where laptops are often used for 2-3 hour stretches, but not much more. Often they don't get charged when they should, so I've seen them go out for two or more bookings without a charge in between.

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Post by Captain Spaulding » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:38 pm

"Our sample of one of the original Momentus left us nonplussed. This 5400.2 fares much better."

One Momentus. Two Momenti?

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Post by BaconTastesGood » Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:23 pm

BTW, the 7200's are bloody hard as hell to find right now.

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Power vs. performance in laptops

Post by Prozzaks » Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:09 am

Still, the higher power consumption is something to consider if the drive is intended for use in a notebook computer where battery power is often more precious than performance.
I have to disagree. Less power use is not always more precious than performance for laptops. For example lets says that component "A" uses 10 watts and completes a given task within 10 sec. However, component B requires only 7.5 watts, but needs 14 sec. to do the same task. What we get is that component A took 100 w/s to complete the task while component B took 105 w/s.

Now, the question is when thoses components are idle, how much power do they require? Lets suppose that they both require only 2 watts when they are idle. The obvious choice is then to buy component A. However, if their power usage doesn't drop a lot at idle or if it doesn't drop at all the obvious choice is to go with component B which in the long run will use less power.

Another issue that I have not even adressed is the percentage of time the components usually spend Idle/In-use.

In other words, there is a lot to consider, and it's not just a simple matter of choosing the component that requires less power.

A real life example of this is the Transmetta Crusoe processor. It required little power but offered little performance. When compared to a Centrino processor, the Centrino accomplish the work faster and could return to idle more quickly ( while providing a better response time ). In the end, in similarly configured laptops, the Centrino would last longer while on battery even if it required more power whille working.

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Post by mkk » Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:43 am

As a side note I'd just like to say that as a desktop user it's interesting to see the 2,5" drives develop. I'd be very happy to see the industry to begin moving over to making 2,5" the standard format for desktops.

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Post by sgrossklass » Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:17 am

JFTR, the unusually high power draw is likely due to the SATA interface. SATA drives tend to draw around 0.6 W more than their PATA colleagues, judging by the iXBT numbers. One can only hope that notebooks to use SATA drives feature better drive cooling than the hard drive heaters of yore. Apparently it'll still take a while until SATA is more power efficient than PATA.
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Post by Xavier » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:07 am

I just fitted a Momentus 5400.2 120 G SATA drive in the Shuttle SD11G5 with an elastic suspension as Mike Chan has tested the Shuttle.

The HDD is inaudible as far as I can tell. No seek noise, no idle noise, nothing that you can hear in a normal (non lab) environment.

According to Dtemp, the temperature of the HDD stabilizes around 40° C.

When I touch the HDD I feel a very low level of vibration but touching the case you feel no vibration at all. The elastic suspension does a good job.

The only noise you can hear (when you get very close) is a very low wind noise coming from the Nexus fan at the back of the SD11G5.

I am pleasantly surprised by the whole system.
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Post by D235hadow » Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:04 pm

I picked up the retail 60G PATA momentus 5400.(?) on sale a few days ago. This replaced a very, very loud 12G travelstar in a thinkpad T20, which is being used to make this post.

Noise -
My initial impression was pretty good, but not great. However, my opinion changed when I realized the low, intermittent whining noises I was hearing were interference noises coming from the speakers (apparently this is somewhat common for this machine under linux, used during my initial testing). The drive makes a very quiet whooshing just barely audible with my ear turned toward it from arms length in a quiet room at 2 a.m. I can make out a faint whistle or whine with my ear positioned dead above the drive from less than 4 inches away. The seeks are a quiet rustle, at most a 2 between a baseline of my room at 1 and the sound of my typing at 10. I'd peg the cpu fan at a 5 on this scale, in case anyone's familiar with that sound.

Temps -
Mobile Meter says the drive temp is now 46, the room is probably mid to high 20's C. The cpu (700mHz p3) is in the high 40's, for reference.

Performance -
The old drive was slow (and likely on its way out, giving the odd "death click" here and there) and disk swapping was hell. The new drive is more than a match for the rest of the system speed wise. IIRC, the T20 has only an ATA-33 interface, so take that with a grain of salt.

Overall -
I would guess that, suspended in a tower (or perhaps even hard mounted, if anyone actually does that with notebook drives), the noise of yourself would be more of a concern than this drive. I have to sit still to hear it in my thinkpad.

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Post by Sendorm » Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:45 am

How is the interface on sata notebook drives. I've been reading that they can be connected to desktop computers with sata connectors but how.
I guess the sata interface is the same but what about the power?
Are they really out of the box, suitable for desktop computers.
From the pictures in article it seems so, but i just wanted to verify this. Thanks

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Post by Devonavar » Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:31 am

Yes, they really are "out-of-the-box" compatible, with the exception of the mounting system, since most cases are not designed to support 2.5" drives. Suspension in a 3.5" bay is recommended.

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Post by Slaugh » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:12 pm

From X-bit Labs:

[quote]Seagate Announces Hard Disk Drive with Flash Cache.
Seagate Reveals Hybrid Hard Disk Drive


Seagate Technology, the global largest maker of hard disk drives (HDDs), on Wednesday unveiled the world’s first hard drive featuring large flash memory cache, which allows to improve boot up speed, performance as well as battery life of mobile computers. Despite of announcement coinciding with a largest trade-show Computex Taipei 2006, the company will only ship the novelty next year.

Seagate’s Momentus 5400 PSD (power saving drive) product with Serial ATA-300 interconnection will be available in different capacities from 40GB to 160GB and will feature 5400rpm motor as well as traditional 8MB static random access memory (SRAM) cache.

The main advantage of the Momentus 5400 PSD is 256MB non-volatile (NAND) flash memory cache, which, when combined with Microsoft’s next-generation Windows Vista operating system will allow to increase boot-up time, increase resume time by 20%, reduce power consumption by up to 50%, improve reliability and increase performance. Seagate did not unveil any characteristics of the NAND cache.

“Microsoft is pleased to be working with Seagate on the next generation of notebook disc drives. Seagate’s new notebook disc drives will be able to take advantage of breakthrough features in Windows Vista that will benefit customers by delivering faster boot times and longer battery life,â€
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Post by Devonavar » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:44 pm

Xbitlabs wrote:...increase boot-up time, increase resume time by 20%...
:shock: :lol: :lol: :shock:

Is this a Seagate press release? If it is they need to hire a new publicist...

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Post by Slaugh » Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:43 pm

Devonavar wrote:Is this a Seagate press release? If it is they need to hire a new publicist...
Yes, here is the official press release:
Seagate wrote:Momentus 5400 PSD: Higher notebook PC performance PLUS longer battery life

It's the perennial trade-off for notebook PCs. Boost performance, but pay the penalty in battery drain. How do you reduce power consumption while delivering faster access to notebook data? Combine power-thrifty flash memory with a fast hard disc drive.

The new Momentus 5400 PSD (Power-Saving Drive) drive does just that, bringing together a high performance hard drive and flash memory in a single hybrid device that offers the best of both worlds. Seagate's 5,400-RPM drive duplicates the most commonly used hard drive data onto a large 256MB non-volatile cache to deliver these capabilities:
  • Faster boot-up and resume - Once a notebook is powered up, the hard drive's platters must spin up before boot-up can begin. Booting straight from the flash cache eliminates this delay. Likewise, Seagate hybrid drives resume operation from hibernation up to 20 percent faster than traditional models since frequently accessed data is written to the flash cache before a system goes to sleep.
  • Lower power consumption - Seagate's Momentus 5400 PSD hard drives reduce power draw by up to 50 percent and extends battery life - especially important in mobile applications - by reducing platter spin time.
  • Greater reliability - Reducing platter spin time extends drive life by reducing the power-on hours.
  • Higher performance - Hybrid technology uses the non-volatile cache to improve drive performance and will offer an even bigger jump in speed with Microsoft Vista since the new operating system takes advantage of the full 256MB cache.

"Microsoft is pleased to be working with Seagate on the next generation of notebook disc drives," said Mike Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows Client Marketing at Microsoft. "Seagate's new notebook disc drives will be able to take advantage of breakthrough features in Windows Vista that will benefit customers by delivering faster boot times and longer battery life."
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Post by Devonavar » Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:53 pm

Ah, so the "increased boot time" is Xbitlabs' fault. Great website. Lousy mastery of English.

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Far too noisy for me (just got one), very disappointed

Post by Jake » Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:57 am

I just got an 80GB PATA version of this to replace my near-silent Hitachi TravelStar 4200rpm 40GB drive that came with my otherwise completely silent and highly recommended Acer C111TCi, three years in age.

Model number ST98823A, FW: 3.04.

I booted up with the Momentus and my laptop made a typical harddrive spinning sound, very much audible. My old drive could only be heard spinning with an ear within a few centimitres of the laptop. The new drive can be heard very easily and annoyingly at a good metre or two, and no doubt further as well. Its not loud compared with 3.5" drives, but its most certainly nowhere near 'silent' either.

A big disappointment. There's no way I can live with the drive. I'm buying a Western Digital Scorpio 80GB UDMA100 5400rpm 8MB instead to see how it compares.

I bought the Momentus from Dabs.com... does anyone know if I have any chance of getting a refund for it? Is "this drive is too bloody loud" a good enough reason for a refund?
Last edited by Jake on Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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WD Scorpio = about half as loud as Momentus

Post by Jake » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:54 pm

Following my disappointment with the Momentus, I bought a Western Digital WD800 Scorpoio. 80GB, 8MB as per the Momentus.

I did the same test as with the Momentus. I put it in the laptop and booted up with "No OS Installed". i.e. this just tests the drive's spinning noise, not reading and writing.

The drive was subjectively about half as loud as the Momentus. The tone is lower in pitch than the Momentus- a more 'woooooosh'ing sound which is far more easily lived with. But generally, much quieter.

Its not as quiet as my now 3 year old Hitachi Travelstar 40GB 4,200rpm drive, but I guess that's the compromise.

If you want a dead-silent 2.5" HDD, get a 4,200rpm one. If you want a 5,400rpm drive, get the WD Scorpio over the Momentus.

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