Seagate Momentus XT: The Best of Both Worlds?

Storage
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ACOUSTICS, VIBRATION & POWER

The Momentus XT is not only a very fast laptop hard drive, it's also very quiet, sharing similar acoustics to its fully mechanical brother. It measured about half a decibel lower than the Momentus 7200.4, 13~14 dBA idle and 14~15 dBA when seeking, essentially the same given sample variation and margin of error. It has a touch of whine but its seeks are muted and innocuous.



The rotation of the platters causes a low frequency 120 Hz spike, while seeking creates mostly high frequency noise at 3~5 KHz.

The Momentus XT also exhibits a similar, moderate level of vibration as the 7200.4, scoring a 7 on our subjective scale. It's not particularly bad for a laptop drive but there are a few 5400 RPM models that are noticeably superior in this regard like the Momentus 5400.6 and Hitachi 5K500.B.

500GB NOTEBOOK DRIVES
HDD
Mfg date
firmware version
Vibration
1-10
(10 = no vibration)
Activity State
Airborne Acoustics
(dBA@1m)
Measured
Power
Seagate Momentus
XT 500GB
ST95005620AS
June 2010
firmware SD22
10
Sleep
11
0.55 W
7
Idle
13~14
1.34 W (1.16 W heads unloaded)
Seek
14~15
2.08 W
Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B 500GB
February 2009
firmware PB4OC60G
8
Idle
14
0.7W (0.6 W heads unloaded)
Seek
15
2.2 W
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB ST9500420AS
March 2009
firmware 002SDM1
7
Idle
14
1.1 W (0.9 W heads unloaded)
Seek
15
2.35 W
Seagate Momentus 5400.6 500GB ST9500325ASG
February 2009
firmware 0001SDM1
8
Idle
16
0.8 W (0.65 W heads unloaded)
Seek
18
2.2 W

While it has similar acoustics and vibration levels as the 7200.4, it's idle power consumption is poor by modern standards — we haven't seen 1.3 W idle from a laptop drive in 4~5 years. In addition, the drive needs to sit idle for about 30 seconds before the head parks, 3~4 times longer than most notebook drives, making its overall idle power even worse. After about 50 seconds the mechanical portion of the drive shuts down completely, but only when used as a secondary data drive — we did not experience this when running Windows on it. When seeking, the advantage swings the other way with the XT being more frugal by 0.27 W.

DRIVE COMPARISON

Like the Momentus 7200.4, the Momentus XT is one of the quietest notebook hard drive we've tested, though its power consumption is disappointing.

ALL DRIVES TESTED IN ANECHOIC CHAMBER
Drive
Mfg date
firmware version
Vibration
1-10
(10 = no vibration)
Activity State
Airborne Acoustics
(dBA@1m)
Measured
Power
SOLID STATE DRIVES
Kingston SSDNow V 30GB
10
Idle
10~11
0.20 W
Seek
1.40 W
OCZ Vertex 30GB
10
Idle
10~11
0.40 W
Seek
1.26 W
Intel X25-M G1 80GB
10
Idle
10~11
0.56 W
Seek
2.15 W
Kingston SSDNow V Gen II 64GB
10
Idle
10~11
1.03 W
Seek
2.95 W
NOTEBOOK DRIVES
Hitachi Travelstar 5K320-250 250GB
May 2009
firmware FBE0C40C
8
Idle
13
1.08 W (0.85 W heads unloaded)
Seek
13~14
2.15 W
Seagate Momentus
XT 500GB
ST95005620AS
June 2010
firmware SD22
7
Idle
13~14
1.34 W (1.16 W heads unloaded)
Seek
14~15
2.08 W
Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B 500GB
February 2009
firmware PB4OC60G
8
Idle
14
0.7 W (0.6 W heads unloaded)
Seek
15
2.2 W
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB ST9500420AS
March 2009
firmware 0002SDM1
7
Idle
14
1.1 W (0.9 W heads unloaded)
Seek
15
2.35 W
Seagate Momentus 5400.6 500GB ST9500325ASG
February 2009
firmware 0001SDM1
8
Idle
16
0.8 W (0.65 W heads unloaded)
Seek
18
2.2 W
WD Scorpio Blue 500GB WD5000BEVT
September 2008
firmware 01.01A01
7
Idle
15
0.95 W (0.8 W heads unloaded)
Seek
16
2.5 W
WD Scorpio Blue 640GB WD6400BEVT
September 2009
firmware 01.01A01
7
Idle
15~16
0.87 W (0.74 W heads unloaded)
Seek
16
1.95 W
"GREEN" DESKTOP DRIVES
WD Caviar Green
1.5TB WD15EADS
November 2009
firmware 01.00A01
9
Idle
13
4.5 W
(2.8 W heads unloaded)
Seek (AAM)
14
5.8 W
Seek
Seagate Pipeline HD .2 500GB ST3500414CS
March 2009
firmware SC13
8
Idle
13
2.7 W
Seek
14
6.7 W
Samsung F2 EcoGreen 500GB HD502HI
February 2009
firmware 1AG01114
8
Idle
12
3.2 W
Seek (AAM)
15
5.3 W
Seek
16
6.1 W
WD Caviar Green
2TB WD20EADS

February 2009
firmware 01.00A01
7
Idle
13
6.4 W (4.0W heads unloaded)
Seek (AAM)
6.5 W
Seek
13~14
6.5 W
Seagate Pipeline HD .2 1TB ST31000424CS
April 2009
firmware SC13
7
Idle
12
4.3 W
Seek
16
7.3 W
Seagate Pipeline HD
500GB ST3500321CS

July 2008
firmware SC14
6
Idle
14
4.1 W
Seek
15
6.9 W
Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB ST32000542AS
June 2009
firmware CC32
6
Idle
14
4.7W
Seek
17
7.9W
Samsung EcoGreen F3
2TB HD203WI
May 2010
firmware 1AN10003
7
Idle
15~16
4.7 W
Seek (AAM)
17~18
6.1W
Seek
18~19
6.9 W


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