Conclusion: Progress Is Noticeable
The new drive can indeed do it all. Thanks once again to increased data density, the Momentus 5400.2 with 120 GB broke the 40 MB/s mark for the first time, and consequently offers a high transfer capacity that is similar to Hitachi's TravelStar 7K60 running at 7,200 RPM.
Both models offer pleasantly short access times and good I/O performance. Here, the SATA version scores some additional points, because it supports NCQ. In addition, we like the five-year manufacturer's warranty. For these reasons, the UltraATA model of the Momentus 5400.2 earns 3.5 stars and the SATA version earns 4. Only the pricing of the two units prevented even higher scores, because the two drives are not cheap.
Unfortunately, the user normally can't choose whether to put a SATA or an UltraATA drive in their notebook. In general, the following rule applies: All current, Intel-based models from well-known manufacturers utilize the mobile version of the 915 chipset, and consequently can also run SATA hard disks. In practice, however, few manufacturers have chosen to exercise this option.