Hard Disk Test Comparison and Features

Hard Drive Specifications
Seagate Momentus
7200.2 160GB
Samsung MH80
FlashON 160GB
Manufacturer's Stated Capacity 32 GB 160 GB 160 GB
Operating System Stated Capacity 30.9 GB 149.05 GB 149.05 GB
Interface SATA 1.5Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s SATA 1.5Gb/s
Rotational Speed n/a 7,200 RPM 5,400 RPM
Cache Size n/a 8 MB 8 MB DRAM Buffer, 256 MB oneNAND Flash buffer
Read Seek Time .1 ms 14.1 ms 18.9 ms
Number of Heads n/a 4 4
Number of Platters n/a 2 2
Power Draw Idle / Load .15W / .55W .87W / 2.89W .85W / 2.27W
Acoustics Idle / Load 0 dB(A) / 0 dB(A) 27 dB(A) / 33 dB(A) 26 dB(A) / 30 dB(A)
Thermals Idle / Load 29C / 31C 33C / 39C 33C / 37C
Write/Erase Endurance >140 years at
50GB Write/Erase Cycles per Day
- -
Data Retention 10 years - -
Command Queuing n/a Native Command Queuing Native Command Queuing
Warranty 5 Years 5 Years 3 Years

The MTRON MSD-SATA6025-032 features a capacity of 32GB with sizes ranging from 4GB to 32GB in the 2.5" form factor and up to 128GB in the 3.5" form factor. The 32GB drive sells for approximately $1499 in the US, although pricing in the Asian markets have dropped below $1000 now. We will go into more detail about the Seagate and Samsung drives in our 2.5" drive roundup.

Briefly, our Samsung HM16HJI drive is the first available Hybrid drive in the notebook market and features a 256MB NAND flash buffer that is utilized as a ReadyDrive device in Vista. The Seagate Momentus is one of the faster pure mechanical 2.5" hard drives in the market today. We say one of the faster as early testing with the new Hitachi Travelstar 7K200 indicates that Seagate has some catching up to do from a performance viewpoint now.

Our thermal, acoustic, and power numbers are based upon actual readings in our AMD/NVIDIA based Hewlett Packard Pavilion dv9000z testbed. We still have several additional tests to generate with an Intel based platform and will report those results in a future article.

Hardware Setup

HP Pavilion dv9000z
Laptop Storage Test Bed
Processor AMD Turin X2 - TL-60 (2.0GHz Dual Core)
Chipset NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 / nForce 430
RAM 2 x 2GB PC2-5300
Settings: DDR2-667 - 5-5-5-18
OS Hard Drive 1 x Seagate Momentus 7200.2 160GB
System Platform Drivers NVIDIA 5.53a
Video Card 1 x GeForce G0 6150
Video Drivers NVIDIA ForceWare
Optical Drive SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW
Display 17" WVGA+ HD-Ultra
Operating System Vista Home Premium - 32-bit

The notebook test bed we are utilizing today features the Hewlett Packard Pavilion dv9000z that features the AMD Turin X2 TL-60 CPU running at 2.0GHz. We are utilizing a 4GB memory configuration that is now standard in our test beds. The system is equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 GPU that includes the nForce Go 430 chipset logic. Our desktop resolutions are set to 1440x900 with our gaming tests run at 1024x768 resolutions with Medium Quality settings. Windows Vista Home Premium is fully updated and we load a clean drive image for each platform to keep driver conflicts to a minimum.

The review drive is formatted before each test run and five tests are completed on each drive in order to ensure consistency in the benchmark results for the individual test results. The high and low scores are removed with the remaining score representing our reported result. We utilize the latest drivers and BIOS available from the manufacturer to ensure consistency in our playback results. The Windows Vista swap file is set to a static 2048MB and we clean the prefetch folder after each benchmark run. Battery life tests will be available in the 2.5" drive roundup.

Index HD Tach 3.0 Performance


View All Comments

  • John Kotches - Thursday, December 6, 2007 - link

    It is quite misleading to show the theoretical limitations of other interfaces against the actual performance of a drive.

    If this were thorough, it would show drives of each interface type against its theoretical maximum.

  • Dataland - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    (Pingback) Many computer users know that their computer's data is stored on a mechanical hard drive. What many people don’t realize is just how old ...

  • genotypewriter - Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - link

    In your File Compression Performance test, you claim that the "Samsung drive thrives on small sequential data blocks"... ok, why? Because of its on-board flash memory? Then why should the Mtron, which is made up entirely of flash memory, not be faster than the Samsung?

    If you look at the HDTach results, you'll see the CPU utilisation being 6%,4% and 3% respectively for the Mtron, Seagate and the Samsung. Although "File Compression" has the word "file" in it, it's a computationally-intensive task before being an IO-heavy task. If it was primarily an IO-based task then there's no reason why the Mtron setup shouldn't be the first. If it was only CPU based then the Seagate should come before the Mtron, but it didn't. It would make a lot more sense to say that the Samsung is faster here because of its low CPU usage in combination with its on-board flash.

    It seems like you're using existing benchmark programs without thinking exactly how they relate to what's being tested. You may say this article is an intial test" or "quick and dirty" or something similar but you still make some wrong conclusions.

    You go on to make more unjustifiable claims in favour of Samsung at the end of the File Copy Performance test saying "we find it hard to fault the Samsung drive considering most portable users will be using applications that usually generate small sequential or out-of order data blocks. These type of read or write patterns is something the Samsung drive excels at in initial testing."... So where are the test results that show this? You were surely not pointing at the Photoshop (workstation *cough*) test right where the Samsung was about 1% (wow!) faster than the Seagate, right? And at the point you made these comments you hadn't even gone in to the OS speed tests... and even if you did, how can you keep to your claim when the Samsung is much faster than the Seagate when entering/exiting OS hybernation mode that writes/reads the entire (yes, SuperFetch'ed) 4GB of RAM on your test laptop to disk, sequentially? Shouldn't the Seagate be faster than the Samsung here, if your claims are true?

    And why on earth did you use a laptop with 4GB RAM to test hard drive performance? Wouldn't you have been able to learn a lot more if it was a 512MB/1GB laptop? Yes, there are laptops still out there that come with 1GB or less RAM... especially the ones that are more portable. These happen to be the same laptops that can benefit from the low weight and low power consumption of a SSD.

    Also, why not give times for Windows start up/shutdown? Also, where's the Samsung SSD? Or is that for another half-baked article?

    Please use some quality control on your articles because this one is not any more useful than the typical ones that appear on C|*ET.
  • goku - Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - link

    In the mean time, people can get CF to mini IDE adapters to put into their laptops, allowing solid state storage for a fraction of the price of these SSD drives, though the speed in which the data is read is dependent on the adapter's speed and the CF card's speed. Reply
  • araczynski - Sunday, August 19, 2007 - link

    hardly impressive for the price, i suppose if you're rich and bored... Reply
  • finbarqs - Sunday, August 19, 2007 - link

    is this different than RAM drives? Meaning that this does NOT need a backup battery or power adapter to keep it charged so it doesn't loose it's memory? Reply
  • Spoelie - Sunday, August 19, 2007 - link

    Yes Reply
  • 8steve8 - Saturday, August 18, 2007 - link

    the toshiba r500 is soon shipping witha 64GB sata ssd (i believe a sandisk unit)
    its $3000 fully configured with 2gb ram/ dvdrw 1.06 Ultra low voltage core 2 duo... led 12.1" widescreen etc etc... very small very light...

    if this is $1500 for 32GB..why is a 64GB drive only carrying a $500 premium in these R500's... is there a big difference in performance? 32gb is really too small...

    could you plaese review this notebook specifically... the R500.. it seems very very cool.
  • AnnihilatorX - Saturday, August 18, 2007 - link

    MTRON SSD has a premium price of $1499 for 32GB
    While SanDisk 32GB has a price of $500
    I think SanDisk 64GB is around $1000 still cheaper than MTRON 32GB

    The difference between them is MTRON is the fastest SSD in the world. Sandisk's transfer rate is around
  • brundlefly - Sunday, August 19, 2007 - link

    More importantly, the mtron surpasses all mechanicals while the Samsung does not.

    Not all SSDs are created equal.

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