Seagate Momentus 7200.3 Hard DrivesSeagate’s Momentus 7200.3 hard drive is a very popular 7,200 RPM, 320GB hard drive for performance and gaming notebooks. The drive can be found in everything from Dell XPS and Alienware laptops to retail store shelves around the world. This 2.5 inch form factor drive features the latest and greatest SATA 3.0 Gbit/second interface as well as a 16MB cache that enhances performance. This means that the Momentus 7200.3 hard drives are ideal for mainstream and performance-class laptops, small form factor PCs and even workstations. The Momentus 7200.3 is the third generation 7200 RPM hard drive from Seagate and features a number of improvements over the 7200.2 series of hard drives that we have reviewed in this past article.
As previously mentioned, the Seagate 7200.3 is the third generation of 7200rpm Momentus series drives. The drive is able to store 320GB on two platters rather than just 200GB due to the fact that the data density is higher per platter. The Seagate Momentus 7200.3 laptop hard drive will still fit in any device that has a 2.5-inch drive space.
Hard Drive Features:
- Form Factor: 2.5" x 1/8H
- Capacity: 320 GB
- Interface Type: Serial ATA-300
- Buffer Size: 16 MB
- Features: Native Command Queuing (NCQ), Perpendicular Recording
- Drive Transfer Rate: 300 MBps (external) / 80 MBps (internal)
- Seek Time: 11 ms (average)
- Average Latency: 4.17 ms
- Spindle Speed: 7200 RPM
- Shock Tolerance: 350 g @ 2ms (operating) / 1000 g @ 1ms (non-operating)
- Manufacturer Warranty: 3 year limited warranty
The back of this 2.5" notebook hard drive gives a better look at the SATA power connector and the SATA NCQ interface. There is a jumper just to the left of the SATA data connection that enables the drive's 3GB/s speeds. With the jumper in place the speed is limited at 1.5GB/s, and with it removed the full potential of the drive is unlocked. This OEM drive was shipped to us with no jumper installed.
Now that we know the basics on the Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320B hard drive, let's move on to the benchmarks!
HD Tach v126.96.36.199
HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.
Benchmark Results: The Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB notebook hard drive has great read and write speeds as seen in the benchmark results above. The disk starts out at nearly 90MB/s and then slows down to 40MB/s at the outside of the platter. All said and done, the average read speed was found to be 75.6MB/s with a write speed of 69.1MB/s.
Comparison Chart: When comparing the Seagate Momentus 7200.3 to other popular hard drives like the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500GB and the Seagate Momentus 7200.2 200GB, you can see just how fast the drive performs. The Seagate Momentus 7200.3 destroys the older 7200.2 drive in all the benchmarks with the exception of the random access test. It also is significantly faster than the WD Scorpio Blue 500GB Hard Drive in all the benchmarks. The results of HD Tach's CPU utilization test don't mean much as the application has a +/- 2% margin of error and the results are within this range.
HD Tune v3.50
HD Tune Pro 3.50 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as: write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.
Benchmark Results: The Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB notebook hard drive had stellar performance numbers in HD Tune Pro in both the read and write tests. The disk again starts out at 88.9MB/s and then slows down to 46MB/s at the outside of the platter. All said and done, the average read speed was found to be 72.2MB/s with a write speed of 70.4MB/s.
Comparison Chart: When comparing the Seagate Momentus 7200.3 to other popular hard drives like the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500GB and the Seagate Momentus 7200.2 200GB, you can see that it dominates the performance tests. One thing that should be pointed out is the temperatures observed while testing the hard drives. The Seagate 7200.2 and 7200.3 hard drives operate at 7200 RPM and as a result are much hotter than the 5400 RPM Western Digital Scorpio Blue as you can tell from the chart above.
64MB File Test
Benchmark Results: Running the built-in file benchmark test in HD Tune showed once again just how the drive performs with various file sizes. This test shows the Seagate 7200.3 320GB hard drive topping out at nearly 88MB/sec in both the read and write tests.
SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3
SiSoftware Sandra (the System Analyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. Sandra provides most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software. In order to test the hard drive SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3 was used as part of the test suite. The graphical results that Sandra gives you after the test is completed nicely shows how drives perform over time and where at on the drive the performance is seen.
READ Performance Testing:
WRITE Performance Testing:
Benchmark Results: The Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB notebook hard drive easily outperformed the drive scores found in Sandra 2009 SP3.
Comparison Chart: When comparing the Seagate Momentus 7200.3 to other popular hard drives like the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500GB and the Seagate Momentus 7200.2 200GB it does well, but the WD Scorpio Blue 500GB hard drive does better in the write test. When it comes to the read speed the Seagate 7200.3 320GB hard drive is the clear winner, though, as it was found to be 40% faster than the 7200.2!
CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random read/write speeds.
100MB Files Test:
50MB Files Test:
Benchmark Results: With Crystal Mark v2.2 run with both a file size of 50MB and 100MB a performance difference can be observed. With the file size down to 50MB the Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB hard drive had a higher peak read speed and write speed in all the tests but one.
50MB Files Test Comparison Chart: The write performance on the Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB is more than double the results that were recorded on the 7200.2 200GB hard drive. The WD Scorpio Blue 500GB hard drive was able to stay close, but was still significantly slower than the 7200.3 drive.
ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.34
ATTO is one of the oldest hard drive benchmarks that is still used today. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that you can easily interpret. The test was run with the default runs of 0.5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes with the total length being 256mb.
Benchmark Results: The Seagate Momentus 7200.2 200GB hard drive was able to reach 48MBps on both the read and write tests, but the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500GB hard drive was able to reach 84MBps on the same test. With a 75% faster transfer rate the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500GB hard drive is very impressive!
4MB Files Test Comparison Chart: The Seagate 7200.3 320GB hard drive had very impressive results compared to the other two drives it was benchmarked against. The Seagate 7200.3 320GB hard drive is the real deal as you have been able to find out from looking at the five benchmarks the drive was tested with.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
The Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB notebook hard drive didn't disappoint and was much faster than the 200GB hard drive from the 7200.2 series. Not only was it faster, the drive is also more resilient as it has a shock tolerance of 350g @ 2ms. This shock tolerance is 17% better than the 300g @ 2ms found on the 7200.2 series. If you are hard on your notebook you might want to search for a drive with G-Force Protection as it will increase your chances of not losing data in the case that your notebook is dropped. This is made possible due to an optional drop sensor that senses when the system is in a free-fall state, moving the heads off the platter and locking them in place—all within three-tenths of a second. This is a pretty neat little feature that not many people know about, so if you are upgrading an old hard drive it is something to look into if you like trying out new things.
When it comes to storage space the Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB hard drive had a free capacity of 298GB as shown above. With nearly 300GB of storage space for your applications and media files, it should take you some time to fill up this drive. The Seagate Momentus 7200.3 hard drive series uses the same 2.1W during read/write operations that the 7200.2 series does, but uses 0.05W less at idle than the 7200.2 series. With the system at idle the 7200.3 series of hard drives consumes just 0.75W, which is impressive.
When it comes to pricing, the Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB hard drive can be found online for $74.99. That means you are paying $0.23 per Gigabyte for this hard drive. Not a bad price to pay for a hard drive that easily performs significantly better than the previous generation Momentus 7200.2 hard drive and far less than what a 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD) costs.
Legit Bottom Line: The Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320GB hard drive is faster, cooler and uses less power than the previous generation of 7200.2 hard drives.