More 500GB notebook drives: Seagate 7200.4 & Hitachi 5K500.B

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ACOUSTICS

Our Momentus 7200.4 sample had excellent acoustics — 14 dBA@1m at idle, and only 15 dBA@1m during seek. The idle whirl was noticeably quieter and less hollow-sounding than its 5400.6 brother. It did have a touch of whine, which was only noticeable in close. Seeks were fairly muted and difficult to detect from one meter. These results would be excellent for any 7200rpm drive, let alone a 2.5" variety.


At idle.
The Momentus 7200.4 was very quiet.

The Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B 500GB also had excellent acoustics, matching the Momentus 7200.4 with 14 dBA@1m in idle and no more about about 1 dBA higher in seek.


The 5K500.B also exhibited extremely low noise; seek noise was nearly identical.

VIBRATION & POWER

The level of vibration was slightly lower with the Hitachi 5K500.B, which is as it should be, since it is a 5400rpm drive. The Seagate exhibited about the same level of vibration as the last couple 7200rpm notebook drives we tested, the Seagate Momentus 7200.2 160GB and the Hitachi Travelstar 7K100 100GB.

The power consumed by the Hitachi was a low 0.7W in idle. The maximum power peak in any of the testing was just 2.2W. This is the lowest measured power of any test HDD, by a very small margin over the Seagate Momentus 5400.4 500GB. The claims at other power points could not be established, because it was very difficult to identify the different states.

The Momentus was also very miserly, despite its high speed and performance. A 0.3~0.4W increase in power over the slower 5400rpm drives seems quite reasonable.

HDD
Mfg date
firmware version
Vibration
1-10
(10 = no vibration)
Activity State
Airborne Acoustics
(dBA@1m)
Measured
Power
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB ST9500420AS
March 2009
firmware 0002SDM1
7
Idle
14
1.1 W (0.9 W heads unloaded)
Seek
15
2.5W peak
Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B 500GB
Feb 2009
firmware PB4OC60G
8
Idle
14
0.7W (0.6 W heads unloaded)
Seek
15
2.2W peak


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