Notebook Hard Drives: 750GB And 640GB Models Reviewed

Seagate Momentus 5400 (640GB)

Seagate recently dropped its product generation suffixes, but if you were to add it back in, this drive would be the Momentus 5400.7. It is available at 160, 250, 320, 500, and 640 gigabyte capacity points, and it runs at a mainstream 5,400 RPM spindle speed. All models come with 8MB of cache memory, a SATA 3Gb/s interface, and support for native command queuing (NCQ).

Seagate specifies 0.81W idle power and 1.54W during seek operations. Our idle power measurement confirms Seagate at 0.8W, but the drive required 2.5W at maximum sequential reads, 1.0W at playback of full HD video, and 1.8W during workstation I/O activity. Throughput reaches up to 88 MB/s, making this the smallest maximum of all four drives, but the minimum sustained throughput of 45.7 MB/s is better than Toshiba’s 43.4 MB/s low.

The new 640GB Momentus 5400 delivers solid I/O performance for a mechanical hard drive, and is only beaten by the Toshiba drive here and there. PCMark Vantage shows application performance as better than average. In most of the test runs, the Seagate drive gets close to some 7,200 RPM competitors, but in the end it can’t fully match them. The drive weighs in at a comparatively light 98.8 g, which might be important for ultraportable laptop designs.