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Seagate 320GB Momentus 7200.3

Last updated 2009-06-01 - Send Feedback
Related: hard drive, Seagate, storage

The 320GB Seagate Momentus 7200.3 is a vastly better performer than the 2007 vintage 160GB Momentus 7200.2; it’s an inexpensive upgrade, well worth the money for the space and performance gains.

As of late 2008, Seagate Momentus 7200.3 offers the fastest sustained read and write speeds available in a 2.5" notebook hard drive (the Western Digital VelociRaptor won’t fit in most notebooks).

See the review of the Intel X25-M solid state drive for more performance data; this is one drive that performs very nicely on real-world tasks.

DiskTester results

Test mule: MacBook Pro (Oct 2008 unibody) 2.8GHz 
SATA hardware: internal SATA II connector
Driver: Apple standard
Drive model: ST9320421AS
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MN9H2LL/A (USA/Global Unlocked)
Used, Mint Condition, Factory Unlocked

Sequential sustained transfer

These are excellent results for a laptop drive, exceeding the speeds seen only 18 months ago in 3.5" desktop drives. Peak performance is reached with a 512K transfer size, but 128K is very close.

# Sequential sustained transfer
----- Averages for "sg320" (512MB/start, 3 iterations) -----
Chunk Size Write MB/sec Read MB/sec
32K 51.0 73.4
64K 64.7 86.9
128K 76.1 86.8
256K 82.8 87.3
512K 86.7 86.8
1MB 86.7 86.4
2MB 87.0 87.0
4MB 86.6 87.4
8MB 86.6 87.1
16MB 86.2 87.4
32MB 86.5 86.9

Speed across the drive (area test)

These are class-leading results for a laptop drive in late 2008, exceeding the speeds seen only 18 months ago in 3.5" desktop drives. Results are shown for 1MB and 32MB transfer sizes.

---------------- Averages for "sg320" (512MB/1MB, 3 iterations) ----------------
Area (295.9GB) Write MB/sec Read MB/sec
0% 86.2 86.9
10% 84.5 85.3
20% 82.3 81.9
30% 79.1 79.2
40% 77.4 76.1
50% 72.3 71.7
60% 68.1 67.0
70% 62.5 62.1
80% 59.4 59.0
90% 53.7 53.6
100% 45.0 44.7
Average write speed across the volume: 70.0MB/sec
Average read speed across the volume: 69.8MB/sec ---------------- Averages for "sg320" (512MB/32MB, 3 iterations) ---------------
Area (295.9GB) Write MB/sec Read MB/sec
0% 86.2 87.5
10% 85.0 85.2
20% 81.7 82.1
30% 78.7 79.5
40% 77.0 77.6
50% 72.2 71.2
60% 67.9 67.5
70% 62.6 61.8
80% 59.7 59.2
90% 53.6 53.5
100% 45.0 44.7
Average write speed across the volume: 70.0MB/sec
Average read speed across the volume: 70.0MB/sec

Create and read files

This test times how long it takes to create and flush files to disk, and to read them back, with the Mac OS X cache bypassed so as to reflect actual hard drive performance. The test is run on empty freshly-formatted drive.

disktester create-files / read-files
Action Time (seconds) MB/sec
Create 5120 1MB files 59.4 86.2
Read 5120 1MB files 59.9 85.5
Create 512 10MB files 59.0 86.8
Read 512 10MB files 59.0 86.8

With the advent of “stutter” in mediocre solid state drives, it’s not a bad idea to look at the consistency of performance, easily visualized here.

Variance of 10MB file creation times (ms)
 
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