Seagate Momentus 7200 500GB Review

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iLog.Genius, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #1
    Had my MacBook Pro for about 4 months now and finally decided to max out my HDD since I was cutting it close with the stock 250GB. The Seagate Momentus seemed like the obvious choice as it is on of very few 7200RPM drives and there was a lot of good review on it so I decided to go for it.

    After an easy installation I went with a clean install rather than image the stock HDD and restore it. The speed was easily noticeable. An erase and install on the stock HDD took around 20 minutes while on the Seagate Momentus it only took 15 min. Start up times also decreased as did the launch of applications (tested on CS4 and only took 10 seconds to open compared to the 20 seconds+ with the stock HDD) so based on that, there is a definite speed increase.

    The big question to everyone looking into getting a Seagate Momentus is how is the vibration and how is the sound? For sound, it's not that bad and is on par with the the stock 5400 HDD but might be a bit louder (fans) depending on your tolerance. For the vibration, again based on tolerance it might differ from user to user, it is easily noticeable and is like a constant "humming" or "buzzing". Pretty significant if you use it on a hard surface, you can feel that surface vibrating as well. I read a few other reviews and those users said that it's not noticeable if you use the screws and bracket. I checked those out and everything seems to be screwed it tightly and snugged but the vibration is still there.

    Overall, the speed increase is there and will definitely help with load times of the OS and large applications. But the vibration would be the biggest draw back of the Seagate Momentus. If you're still undecided on which 500GB HDD you should get for your MacBook (Pro), I would recommend looking into a Western Digital 500GB 5400 HDD. Based on reviews, the performance is on par with the Seagate Momentus without the vibration.

    Should be noted that if you press down on the right palm rest, the vibration does seem to go away which could suggest that if there was someway to add something in the HDD bay it could reduce the vibration significantly.

    EDIT: I tried to see if I could lessen the vibration with rubber, corks but nothing seems to work. I'm going to see if I can call the store tomorrow and ask if I can get an exchange for another unit or get a WD Blue. I know I won't be able to get used to it with the constant "humming" sound due to vibration.
     
  2. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #2
    It would be interesting to see if the drive is actually faster than the best 500 gb 5400 rms (hitachi, wd blue). There is some evidence that it's not any faster. I had the 7200.3 and it seems faster than my hitachi 500 gb 5400 rpm drive, but I could easily be mistaken as it was psychological.
     
  3. iLog.Genius thread starter macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #3
    I've read a few review comparisons between the 2 drives that this is true so it's not just you. Compared to the stock 5400RPM drive, it is faster but between the WD Blue 5400 500GB drive, I don't know by how much or if at all. Again, just by what I was reading, I suggested that if you think the vibration might annoy you, it might be a good idea to look at the WD Blue 5400RPM drive.
     
  4. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #4
    yea ive had the 500gb seagate installed for a few days .. there is definitely a little vibration .. but its really no big deal .. even though i have considered sending it back and getting a 5400 rpm hd .. does anyone know what the 7200rpm 500g hd apple uses in the new mbps ?
     
  5. catachip macrumors regular

    catachip

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    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    #5
    They would be using the same Seagate drives as they are the only manufacturer with a 500 GB, 7200 RPM drive in the 9.5 mm heigh form factor.
     
  6. Zenor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #6
    Hello iLog.Genius. Thanks for the review.
    I also purchased this HD recently, but I just cloned my old HD on it.
    I haven't noticed that much of a difference though, maybe it's just me, that I can't notice it.

    I was thinking of a clean install.
    Is there any way to clean install, and just transfer over all my applications and run them as I would, by cloning?
     
  7. Paix247 macrumors 6502

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    Minneapolis
  8. iLog.Genius thread starter macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #8
    Overall it is better but if you go further into each test, the Momentus isn't always on top and even if they are, the WD 500GB isn't that too far behind and is actually comparable where you could actually consider 5400 over 7200 just for the vibration alone.
     
  9. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #9
    I ordered a 320GB Scorpio Black (7200) for a MBP13. I don't need more capacity than 320 and picked it over the 500GB Scorpio Blue (5400).

    I'm not getting worried about battery life impact and this vibration. Should I cancel it and go for the 5400 ?

    eV
     
  10. antskip macrumors regular

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    Apr 24, 2009
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    Australia
    #10
  11. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

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    #11
    if you dont need the capacity then stick with the 320GB scorpio black. it is the one i use and it is very very fast.
     
  12. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

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    Jan 7, 2003
    #12
    Heat/Vibration/Battery? I'm getting the MBP junior mainly for battery life.

    eV
     
  13. iLog.Genius thread starter macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #13
    I might just go ahead and get the 500GB 5400 WD Blue. Based on tests, it's up there with the 7200.4 Momentus and in some cases, it is faster than it. Times where it loses, it's only by a mere second or 2. Also, it should offer very little to no vibration that I can tolerate.
     
  14. TXBDan macrumors regular

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    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #14
    I'm running a Hitachi 320gig 7200rpm, and while i do hear it whirr from time to time, i don't feel or hear any vibrations at all. Not even on a hard counter top or table.
     
  15. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #15
    The 15" might actually get better battery life. I feel like the 73 wh battery will more than offset the 2" LED larger screen. The 13" has a 58 wH battery.
     
  16. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

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    #16
    Maybe. But the 15" is not THAT much smaller than the 17 and the drop in resolution is way too much.
     
  17. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

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    May 25, 2008
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    Apple state
    #17
    i bought the 7200 seagate also but returned it because of how much noise it made, im waiting for WD to make a 500gb 7200
     
  18. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #18
    Thanks for the review. It reinforces my decision to go with the WD 500 Scorpion Blue.

    No vibration, no noise, just a ton of space !!!!!!!!

    By the way a report on Techreport is what sold me on the Scorpion Blue.
     
  19. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

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    Jan 7, 2003
    #19
    Ok. Here's a dumb question. When does drive speed actually make a difference? Is this something you would notice in daily use?

    I'm now thinking of just putting the 7200 320 GB new drive into my old MBP and upgrading the MBP drive to 250 gigs. I'm probably going to do photo and video editing on the MBP anyway. I'm keeping both and the little one will be my travel/coffee shop machine. (yes i looked at the MBA and there's too many issues)

    eV
     
  20. designgeek macrumors 65816

    designgeek

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    #20
    I've noticed quite a bit of noise from my stock Hitachi 250GB 7200 rpm that came with my MBP. The bottom cover doesn't fit tightly enough to effectively dampen the noise. Perhaps the ones from WWDC will be quieter.
     
  21. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #21
    How fast a drive performs is dependent on several factors, one of which is spindle speed. Another is capacity, since higher-capacity disks tend to store the data more closely together, resulting in higher throughput. Lastly there is the firmware to consider, which can affect the performance just as much as any other factor. Better programming can make one drive perform better than another, which is a major factor causing the gaps in performance between like drives from different manufacturers.

    In most cases, for two drives with the same capacity, the drive with the higher spindle speed will be faster. The 500GB 7200 RPM Seagate, for example, does have better throughput in synthetic non-real-world benchmarks than all of the 5400 RPM drives it has been pitted against. However, due to poor programming, it lags behind in more real-world-applicable benchmarks, where the drive logic makes a bigger difference than raw spindle speed.

    Typically when comparing equal-capacity drives from the same manufacturer in the same rotational speed the higher-speed drive is the faster one, so one could expect a 7200 RPM 320GB Hitachi drive to be faster than a 5400 RPM 320GB Hitachi drive. However, it is important to ensure that you are comparing drives within the same series, or within the same generation. All companies do this, but I am most familiar with Hitachi's naming convention so I will use them as an example. If you go to Hitachi's website you can see some overlap between the product lines. For example, it is possible to purchase a 7K200 drive and a 7K320 drive in the same capacity since there are some sizes that are the same between the two series. However, I would expect a drive from the 7K320 line to be faster due to Hitachi having optimized their drive design learning from the successes and failures of the older, more mature 7K200 series. The same is true for their other series. Sometimes the drive manufacturers are able to reduce the number of platters inside a hard drive, thereby increasing the data density, increasing throughput. It is therefore possible that a new 5400 RPM drive from the relatively new 5K500.B series could actually be faster than an equal-capacity 7K200 drive simply due to improved drive-logic, or enhancements in other areas of the hard drive.

    Essentially, when in doubt, go for the newest, highest-capacity drive from a brand you trust. Since Western Digital only offers a 500GB drive in a 5400 RPM variant, I would therefore be inclined to purchase that drive over a 320GB 7200 RPM drive. In cases like this one, such a large jump in capacity (320GB -> 500GB) typically results in larger performance gains than one would see just from an increase in spindle speed (5400 RPM -> 7200 RPM). Note that this may not be the case and you'll have to do some research to find out.
     
  22. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

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    #22
    have not noticed a difference in heat over the stock. Battery, same thing. Vibration is slightly more but is not really noticeable. You might be like i can feel it vibrate a bit but then forget about it after about a minute.
     
  23. Philflow macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    #23
    Actually the WD3200BEKT still slightly beats the WD5000BEVT in performance and when it comes to heavy multi tasking the difference becomes bigger. The WD3200BEKT has faster I/O and lower acces times, which pays off in multi tasking.

    Benchmarks on Techreport and Tomshardware (I/O meter).

    Good post by the way.
     
  24. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

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    Jan 7, 2003
    #24
    How does drive speed affect multitasking? :confused:

    eV
     
  25. Philflow macrumors 65816

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    #25
    When several applications need to read or write to the hard drive at the same time, the hard drive becomes the bottleneck.

    For the differences between 5400rpm and 7200rpm refer to this review:
    http://www.laptopmag.com/review/storage/intel-x25-m.aspx?page=6

    Note that the Scorpio Blue in that review is slower than the WD5000BEVT. WD5000BEVT performs close to WD3200BEKT.
     

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