Momentus XT

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Beaverman3001, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2010
    #1
    I plan on ordering a mini in a week or so and I believe I am going to order a Momentus XT hybrid drive to go along with it. I've watched a few videos of its performance and it seems like a neat concept. Just wanted to see if anyone here has any hands on experience with its performance.
     
  2. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Seattle
    #2
    I'll let you know by the end of the week. My Momentus XT got delayed but will be here by Friday. It's going in my 2010 mini ASAP!
     
  3. Beaverman3001 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2010
    #3
    Definitely let me know how it goes! Still debating between it and a intel SSD, tough choices!
     
  4. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #4
  5. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

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    Aug 1, 2005
    #5
    Anything to report folks? The more I look at things the more I think this is the route that I'm going to take too, unless they release the MP real soon!

    The speed and space seem to make this a now brainer for the new mini! Let us know and give us some geekbench and xbench numbers!

    thanks,
    BZ
     
  6. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2010
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    Lawton, OK
    #6
    I had the 500GB Momentus XT sitting and waiting for when my new Mac Mini showed up (2.66GHz BTO desktop) along with 8GB of DDR3. TL;DR Best $130 shipped you can spend.

    After the third boot/application launch is when you'll see the greatest benefit, which is in-line with what Anand's review showed. Most apps open in 1/2 to 1 bounce. For me the real exclusion is iTunes, but that's because my iTunes library (the media) resides on an external 500GB FW800 disk (so any advantage from the Momentus is lost). Mail.app is also more like 1 1/2 bounces since there's a ton of email -- but still much faster than the stock 5400rpm Toshiba.

    You'll lose some of the speedup benefit if you switch constantly between OS X and a Boot Camp partition since some of the files get purged from the adaptive flash cache since it ends up trying to optimize booting both Snow Leopard and Windows (7 in my case). The same goes for VMWare/Parallels -- limited benefit if you have it on the Momentus since you're bumping up against the cache limits more quickly.

    The disk is the slowest part of the system, so it was most certainly the best bang for the buck. If SSD's like Crucial's RealSSD was A) available in a 512GB capacity and B) also only $500 I might've went for an SSD. But with SSDs still close to $3/GB even though the performance is utterly fantastic I don't personally feel inclined to pay the costs at this time.
     
  7. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

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    Aug 1, 2005
    #7
    Thanks for the info. I've got a couple questions. Where did you get 8GB of RAM for $130? Also do you run CS4 or CS5, and LightRoom or Aperture? If so how well do they run? How about iPhoto? How many photos roughly in your library?

    Thanks for the input, some more info about these apps will help us gauge the speed of the Momentus XT.
     
  8. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2010
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    Lawton, OK
    #8
    I didn't. I got the Momentus XT for that ($130 shipped). I paid $377 at the time from Amazon for the memory (Crucial).

    In general for application performance, expect OPENING the application to be fast if you use it often. The data itself is not going to reside in the 4GB cache. This is because A) your working set changes often and B) your working set may be larger than 4GB. For example, my Aperture Library is 80GB.

    So something like Safari? Open in under a bounce. Though web pages aren't loading any faster.

    Aperture 2? Open in a bounce. Though your library isn't going to be blistering fast. Faster than a 5400rpm drive? Yeah. Fast like an SSD? No way in heck. Why? Your library isn't in the cache.

    iTunes? Open in a bounce. But loading a 300GB library? Reading the library XML file is faster to get all the metadata to populate iTunes' controls. That's still absurdly quick. But starting a random 720p video isn't much quicker because it's not in the cache.

    Even games you shouldn't expect a massive boost except for getting to the title screen. I think Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword starts in around 4 seconds (initial start was more around 15 to 20 seconds).
     
  9. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

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    Aug 1, 2005
    #9
    Thanks for all the examples, it makes a lot of sense and helps put things into perspective.

    Overall for the mini I think the momentus makes a lot of sense for the $$. Also I think it'd move over to a MacPro nicely too.

    Then down the road when 256GB+ SSDs are more affordable then go full SSD...
     
  10. mangrove macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2010
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    FL, USA
    #10
    XT in a Late 2009 Mini

    Has anyone put an XT in a late 2009 Mini? I plan on it,but would like to hear of any pitfalls.
     
  11. Bkxmnr macrumors regular

    Bkxmnr

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    #11
    I put one in my early 2009 Mini, which I think is essentially the same machine. So far no pitfalls whatsoever. Boots much faster. I have not experienced any of the noise some folks have complained about.
     
  12. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

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    May 30, 2005
    #12
    For what it's worth. I put the Momentus XT in to my 13" Unibody MBP and used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my existing installation over. I did not see any performance gains until i formatted and did a fresh install of OS X. Cloning is NOT recommend (by me at least). After the fresh install boot times were cut in half. Now i hit the power button and by the time i have put my keyboard cover and zipper case away the machine is already at the login screen!
     
  13. mangrove macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Thanks I'm going to get one from OWC. I guess their formatting and cloning instructions are as good as any.
     
  14. Bkxmnr macrumors regular

    Bkxmnr

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    #14
    You might check out Newegg. $125 w/ free shipping. I'm half tempted to buy another one.
     
  15. mangrove macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Another quick question. Did you clone or do an OSX reinstall to get "boots much faster"?
     
  16. stefimke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    #16
    Put a Momentus XT 500GB in my late2007 MacBook last night, after cloning the previous drive (already upgraded the original HDD to a WD Scorpio Blue 320GB). I've cloned it with Carbon Copy Cloner (freeware).

    I've noticed faster booting, but not a lot faster. But then, how often do you reboot your Mac? Once a month?

    Launching apps however was putting a smile on my face. After having launched an app 2 times or so the drive puts (parts of) it in its 4GB flash and makes starting the app the next time -very- fast. OpenOffice, Photoshop Elements where typical apps taking over 10 seconds to start. Now it's done in less then half that time.

    Overal it makes the system a lot snappier. I wouldn't hesitate to put one in a Mini, it's a cheap upgrade which does make quite a difference.
     
  17. mangrove macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Some are saying that they do not get good speed after cloning. Instead they do an OSX reinstall and then install apps, etc. What is your take on that?
     
  18. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

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    Aug 1, 2005
    #18
    Hello,

    Have any of you done any Geekbench, Xbench or Cinebench runs with the momentus xt/mini combo? If not can someone take a few moments and post your results?

    I'm super curious because I just ordered a refurb 2.53GHz, 4GB RAM, 09 Mini, and I ordered the momentus XT 500GB from NewEgg.

    It would be really cool to know what a mini/momentus xt setup will do compared to the old PPC G5 dual 2.0 I'm writing this on. From what I can gather this G5 Geekbench score is somewhere around 1800, a 09 or 10 stock mini is somewhere around 3200-3500. I bet with this hybrid drive the mini could break 4000-4500 after a few runs. What do you think?
     
  19. stefimke macrumors newbie

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    Apr 8, 2010
    #19
    I don't understand why you wouldn't get good speed after cloning? I can imagine that a freshly installed OS does help of course, but it's certainly not bad by any means. Just the thought of having to reconfigure Mail, Parallels, Virtual Box, Picasa, find out how to backup iPhoto databases and albums, contacts, .... were for me enough reason to just clone the drive.

    Be aware that if you clone a drive and replace the old drive with a new one you have to go to preferences->startup-disk and enable the newly placed disk as startup-disk. This is not done by default. What happens if you do not do this that during boot you will get a white screen for a long time (10-20secs or so) before the grey apple appears. This might be the reason some people report slow boot times. It happened to me too ;) .

    I don't think the XT is a drive which does good in synthetic benchmarks, as benchmarks tend to do a lot of random operations, both read and write. The XT shines in real-life environments, where you READ certain data a couple of times. Then the built-in software puts this data in the flash, enabling faster reads.
    I guess the drive does benchmark-wise about the same as any other 7k2 disk. There are plenty of reviews out there which have run benchmarks.
     
  20. mangrove macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I agree reinstall seems laborious considering applications and related files.

    Does anyone have an idea if you accomplish anything toward having a more efficient new drive by cloning in order to get all your goodies over to the new drive and then reinstall OSX? If that is a stupid question, keep in mind I have never done anything close to this.
     
  21. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

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    May 30, 2005
    #21
    SEE MY POST ABOVE!!!

    I cloned and did not see any significant speed boost! After a full format and fresh install it cut my boot times in half.
     
  22. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #22
    Well I just cloned and swapped disks in my MBP. I am definitely not going to reinstall. We'll see.
     
  23. stefimke macrumors newbie

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    Apr 8, 2010
    #23
    Did you go to preferences, startup-disk and select the newly installed disk as your boot-disk after you replaced the disk? This has a HUGE impact on boot time, otherwise you'll be staring at a white screen after the chime for 10-20secs before the grey apple appears.

    There's really no scientific reason why you should have to reinstall your OS to make it boot fast.
     
  24. uplusd macrumors 6502

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #24
    Seems like most people are upgrading from a 5400rpm drive. Has anyone upgraded from a 7200rpm drive to the XT? I'm interested if there are any noticeable improvements in that regard.
     
  25. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

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    Aug 1, 2005
    #25
    I don't know anyone with a mini that has done that switch, but BareFeats did a comparision with the XT/SSD/fastest 7200RPM HDD here: http://www.barefeats.com/hard134.html

    The difference wasn't too staggering as you can imagine, but the XT kicks the snot out of any/all 5400RPM drives!

    Anyone try a GeekBench just for fun? It does make total sense that the XT wouldn't give that much of an advantage because of the random reads and writes, but it would be interesting.
     

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