"The Drive simply...WORKS AS ADVERTISED!"5.0 starson by emaildejan
Pros: Significantly speeds up boot times of OS and other frequently used apps; also works with accelerating load times on my PS3
Cons: It isn't cheap; it can be rather loud even when compared to other 7200rpm drives
Summary: Well, let's see. If you are in the market and have $130 to plunk down on a 500GB drive, then this very well may be the laptop drive for you. I have two of them. The first went into my PlayStation3. Installation was quick and easy (just followed the PS3 instructions). Formatting was taken care of by the PS3. The biggest annoyance was transferring the data from the stock 60GB hard drive to this new 500GB monster...but I think that's more my issue.
Anyhow, once I had the data transferred...the start up of the PS3 games that I played 3 times in a row were significantly faster to load. For example, Assassin's Creed (ACI) and Assassin's Creed II (ACII) both loaded their levels MUCH FASTER (in less than 10 sec versus the standard 20+ seconds in ACI). Music and video play nearly instantly. This may also be due to the fact that the stock 60GB drive was a 5400 rpm drive. But swapping the OEM 60GB drive back into the PS3 proved just how slow the original drive really was. So the Momentus is in the PS3 to stay (until/unless Seagate comes out with a bigger drive).
After seeing this performance on the PS3 (which I'm seriously satisfied with), I opted to plunk another $130 down for another Momentus XT for my laptop. While boot up time wasn't significantly improved (I MIGHT have seen up to a 5 sec improvement), the real benefit is in typical program boot-up. MS Office snaps opened within 3 seconds (usually took 20 sec). Civilization IV (normally taking approximately a solid minute or so to boot up) was up and ready to play (well, the home screen anyway) within 20 seconds! HUGE SPEED UPGRADE THERE! And just to prove to myself how much of a speed boost I was noticing, I swapped out the Momentus and put back the OEM drive I had...and it was again like night and day...the OEM drive was far too slow, and I put the Momentus XT back in within a few minutes. I'm using the OEM drive as merely a media storage backup now.
As I said, this drive isn't cheap. $130 for only 500GB is a bit steep. However, comparing it to a Raptor 10,000rpm drive and to a true Solid State Drive is telling: the drive performs somewhere in between the two, depending on the application(s). I haven't done those tests, but I have seen some of my IT guys at the office compare this drive, and their data appears to show that it is typically about 10-25% faster than a 10K rpm drive. Given how expensive 10K rpm drives can be and the limited memory space they offer, that makes the Momentus XT a serious bargain!
However, like those 10k rpm drives, this one isn't quiet...at least no where near as quiet as Seagate would like you to believe. It's loud (relatively speaking). The 60GB drive on the PS3 is dead silent compared to this thing. Will the noise drown out your gaming audio? Of course not, but the first time I heard ACI boot up, I thought the hard drive was going to crash on me. But, after using it for a while, I now realize it's just one LOUD drive. It is somewhat louder than most 7200 rpm drives that I have used, including other 2.5" and 3.5" drives. Still, it's not as bad (loud) as a Raptor drive, but it can be mildly annoying at times.
Overall, will you notice a significant speed boost if you're replacing a stock solid state drive with this thing? Of course not. Will you notice a speed boost when compared to 6GB/s SATA capable drives? I don't know...maybe, but I doubt it would be significant. Is it going to be faster than most 3GB/s SATA drives? I'd say definitely...just don't assume you'll catch lightning in a bottle. It will be faster than probably 90% of the drives out there given similar stats, but the way technology keeps improving, that lead may be temporary.
So, if you need a 500GB laptop drive and want something faster than most 2.5" 7200 drives, but don't want to get a SSD (since those are SERIOUSLY expensive), then the Momentus XT is a GREAT buy. Just install, format, and after using the typical programs maybe a dozen times...you'll see a significant performance boost over your old drive.
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