Momentus XT 750 GB Review: A Second-Gen Hybrid Hard Drive

Benchmark Results: Windows 7 Boot/Shutdown And Application Launch

Once again, we ran the scripts in this real-world test five times before recording the final result. The idea was to replicate what you'd see after a short period of real-world use (rather than the fresh-out-of-box performance you'd only see once).

Windows 7 Boot/Shutdown Time

Pleasantly, Seagate’s Momentus XT 750 GB actually delivers a Windows 7 start-up time of 10.6 seconds on our test system, while the SSDs we included all dip in under eight seconds. That few-second gap is pretty reasonable, considering that competing mobile hard drives take almost 30 seconds to boot the same machine. It'd take a pricey 10 000 RPM disk to even come close to the first-gen Momentus XT. The new model increases performance even further.

It’s also nice to see that boot times improve as early as the second start-up. This is where the Momentus XT 750 GB is much better than its predecessor, which needed 3-5 repetitions to deliver noticeable improvements. Moreover, the overall performance of this second-gen drive is still better across all iterations than the 500 GB drive's best effort.

The performance difference shutting Windows 7 down is much less striking than the start-up results. Again, the new drives deliver respectable performance, nearly matching Western Digital's VelociRaptor.

Interestingly, you don't see any speed-up after successive shutdowns. In fact, it actually takes longer to shut down after numerous repetitions, though the differences are small.

Application Start Time

What about real-world programs installed on your hard drive? Can the Momentus XT 750 GB start some of your favorite apps quicker than competing disks? Can it be as fast as SSDs?

Windows' own caching mechanisms seem to be affecting performance here, as even the conventional hard drives deliver better performance after several iterations of our application start-up script. Our test launches Internet Explorer 8, Outlook 2010, Powerpoint 2010, and Adobe Photoshop CS5. Then, it closes all of the apps and starts over.

The graphs make it pretty clear that the Momentus XT drives (both of them) deliver a notable benefit. They both see massive speed-ups after just two iterations. Although the other drives do speed up eventually, none of them do it as quickly. Rather, it takes three or four runs of the script for Windows to cache data on the competing disks and exhibit a performance boost.