How do you make one of the best mobile drives on the market even better? Make it faster, of course. We are taking a look at Seagates latest high-end notebook drive, which offers not only high density, but high-performance.
I don’t have a new laptop, so my two and a half year old Dell Inspiron had to sit on the sidelines. Lucky enough though, I still had the ASUS A8Js notebook that I reviewed earlier this week on hand, so I performed all testing there.
To prepare the system for testing, I installed a fresh copy of Windows XP Pro SP2 on the hard drive pre-installed with the laptop, which is a Hitachi 5400 RPM 100GB. I then installed all laptop drivers, benchmarking applications and games. In order to mirror this install to the other drives, I used Nero BackItUp on my desktop computer with each of the 2.5" drives connected to it. This essentially gave me perfect copies of my XP install on each.
During testing, no services were disabled as nothing besides the benchmarking tools and games were installed. No anti-virus was present and the Windows built-in security tools were disabled. No internet connection was present during testing. Lastly, the notebook had proper airflow.
In order to realistically compare the Momentus 7200.2 160GB to the other drives, I ran a variety of popular benchmarking tools as well as a few real world tests, which included file copying and also game level loading. Sadly, I did not have any other 7200RPM notebook drives on hand, so I instead used Toshibas 4200 200GB and Hitachi 5400 100GB for comparisons. Let’s jump right into our first benchmark, HD Tune.
HD Tune is a favorite here at Techgage. Not only because of it’s benchmarking capability, but because you can track your drives SMART features easily, including how many hours the drive has been powered on.
It didn’t take long to see the immediate difference that a 7200RPM drive can make over slower models. 46.2MB/s a a fantastic result. Even the minimum speed shows an obvious advantage.
HD Tach is another tool we use quite often. It’s great for thumb drives since it has write capabilities, but for mobile drives like these, we stick to the Read tests only.
The differences with HD Tach are similar to HD Tune. Compared to the Hitachi 5400 drive, the Seagate has an approximate 40% speed bonus. Now that we have these two important benchmarks out of the way, let’s move on to some real world testing.