750GB Seagate Momentus XT Performance and Benchmarks

by Jerry Jackson Reads (38,806)

Performance and Benchmarks

If you read the first half of this review closely then you probably realized why benchmarking a hybrid drive is tricky. Since a hybrid drive uses complex firmware algorithms to learn how to be fast, you can’t simply run basic synthetic benchmarks once or twice to find out the maximum read and write speeds. In fact, you have to run the same benchmarks and real-world Windows boot and application tests at least three or more times in a row in order for the Momentus XT to learn which files are most important and dedicate the appropriate amount of flash storage space.

For comparison purposes we tested the new 750GB Seagate Momentus XT against two SSDs (the Kingston HyperX 240GB and 256GB Samsung 470 Series) and two standard hard drives (the 1TB Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT and 1TB Samsung Spinpoint M8). First, we used CrystalDiskMark to test both the sequential and random read and write speeds of all drives.

CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:


750GB Seagate Momentus XT

Kingston HyperX 240GB

256GB Samsung 470 Series

1TB Western Digital Scorpio Blue

1TB Samsung Spinpoint M8

Next, we compared the Momentus XT against the fastest SSD we tested–the Kingston HyperX 240GB–using PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7. We also ran several timed tests of Windows 7 boot and launched Photoshop CS5 64-bit and opened a 2.7MB JPEG file. Since the firmware in the Momentus XT needs time to learn which files are important we recorded the Windows 7 boot time and Photoshop times of the drive in both a “fresh” state (first test result) and a “learned” result (recorded after running the same test four times).

PCMark Vantage HDD Test Suite:


750GB Seagate Momentus XT

Kingston HyperX 240GB

PCMark 7 System Storage Tests:


750GB Seagate Momentus XT

Kingston HyperX 240GB

Windows 7 Boot Time Comparison:


Photoshop CS5 Application Launch Comparison:

Conclusion

Should you spend $245 on the new 750GB Seagate Momentus XT when you can buy a traditional laptop hard drive with 1TB of storage capacity for slightly less? The short answer: Yes. While 1TB notebook hard drives like the Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT and the Samsung Spinpoint M8 offer a massive amount of storage and reasonable speed, there is just no way that a traditional hard drive can match the speed of the new Momentus XT after the drive has “learned” which files you use on a regular basis.

Windows boot times are fast, application switching is snappy, and the cost per GB is far more reasonable than a high-performance SSD. The Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD is amazingly fast, but that drive costs $470 at the time of this writing. The Momentus XT is basically half the price for three times more storage space.

Pros:

  • Windows boot and application launch speeds similar to SSD
  • Lower cost than SSD

Cons:

  • Price per GB slightly higher than a traditional HDD
  • Drive has to “learn” before it gets fast.


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