Notebook Drives At Up To 160 GB Put Under the Microscope

Seagate Momentus 5400.3

The new Momentus 5400.3 is available in 40, 60, 80, 100, 120 and 160 GB sizes. For the first time, Seagate has deployed the vertical recording technology called perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR). Thanks to this, a greater number of vertically aligned bits can be stored per square inch. Although Seagate is not the first to offer a PMR drive, it is the first company to sell a 160 GB drive running at a fast 5,400 RPM.

In contrast to Fujitsu's approach, Seagate sticks to the common drive height of 9.5 mm, so the drive can be deployed into all sorts of devices. In this context, it is interesting to see that the temperature range is pretty impressive: While other drives are specified to run in between 5 and 55°C, Seagate allows for 0-60°C.

The performance we measured is pretty impressive. While the Momentus 5400.3 cannot beat competitors that run at 7,200 RPM, it is the fastest drive of its kind. In addition to that, Seagate adds a nice 5 year warranty, which is unmatched in the 2.5" space.