Seagate Momentus 7200.5 750GB Hard Drive Review (ST9750420AS)Mon, Nov 28, 2011 - 12:00 AM
The Largest Capacity Momentus Goes 4k
With the crush of SSDs on the storage market and falling prices of NAND, the trusty hard drive has fallen out of the consumer radar for the most part. Only when large capacities and/or external back up drives are needed do the spinning platter stalwarts get the call. Seagate hasn’t forgotten the hard drive business and they’ve been hard at work making improvements that don’t involve platter speeds or cache expansion which were the areas that saw the most change in the hard drive evolution in recent history. As such, Seagate sent us over a few drives to put through the wringer and the first up is there 2.5″ Momentus 750GB drive.
The drive spins at 7200 RPM and uses a SATA II interface but it has a feature that gives it a performance edge. Namely, this is an Advance Format drive maintained by Seagate’s proprietary SmartAlign Technology with 4k sector alignment rather than the old 512 bytes alignment. What’s great about this is that the 4k alignment can cause issues with operating systems that don’t support it; however, the SmartAlign technology doesn’t really re-align the partitions but rather manages the read/writes dynamically without the OS ever seeing it or having to intervene. No external utilities or hassles for the user and with it comes performance perks as well as allowing Seagate to squeeze out more capacity.
This particular drive does not contain a free-fall sensor module (found on the 500GB and 250GB models) which is highly recommended if you have plan on installing a drive in your laptop – although some laptops have this feature included in the hardware outside of the actual drive. Hard drive prices have really taken a hit as of late with the natural disasters in the east so the current going price is $149.99 online which, not too long ago, would have bought a 1.5TB drive or larger.
Seagate Momentus 750GB Specifications and Features
|Areal density (avg)||541Gb/in2|
|Height||9.5mm (0.370 in)|
|Width||69.85mm (2.750 in)|
|Length||100.35mm (3.951 in)|
|Weight (typical)||115g (0.254 lb)|
|Spin Speed (RPM)||7200 RPM|
|Random read seek time||11.0ms|
|Random write seek time||13.0ms|
|I/O data transfer rate||300MB/s|
|Unrecoverable read errors||1 in 1014|
|Annual Failure Rate||0.5%|
|5V start max current||1.0A|
|Average idle power||0.96W|
|Average seek power||2.5W|
|Maximum operating temperature change||20°C per hour|
|Maximum nonoperating temperature change||35°C per hour|
|Operating Shock (max)||350 Gs for 2ms|
|Nonoperating Shock (max)||1000 Gs for 1ms|
|Acoustics (Idle Volume)||2.3 bels|
|Acoustics (Seek Volume)||2.5 bels|
The video below from Seagate does a really nice job of explaining the SmartAlign technology and how it helps performance.
While the inner workings of the drive have been updated, the outside is virtually indistinguishable from other models/generations save for the model information on the sticker. The usual SATA data and power connectors are on one end next to a four pin jumper block. Even though this is a high capacity drive at 750GB, the height remains at 9.5mm which makes it compatible with just about any computer.
Let’s have a look at the test system before we head to the benchmarks.