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Reviewed: Seagate 500GB Momentus XT Hybrid Laptop Hard Drive

My report is now online. Even if you don’t want a laptop hard drive, the section on drive speed is instructive and useful for any hard drive on any computer.

Drive speed declines as the drive fills up
(riting 500GB of data as 1000 large files to fill the volume)

I’ve been testing two relatively new Seagate laptop hard drives, the 500GB Momentus XT and the 750GB Momentus.

The Momentus XT incorporates 4GB of SSD memory onboard, which Seagate claims provides “SSD-like performance”.

My report will follow. But in brief, the Momentus XT shows promise for certain things, and no advantage for others, as with disk intensive activity in Photoshop.

Disk-intensive activity is mainly a function of sustained transfer speed

The graph below is the overall feel of the time it takes to launch a variety of applications with each drive. The differences vary significantly by application, so I opted for a relative merit graph. The Seagate Momentus XT was particularly good at launching Adobe Photoshop, perhaps because it get loaded into the onboard SSD cache. The other two Seagates definitely lagged when launching applications. Nothing touches the OWC SSD, which feels almost instant.

Other operations depend a lot on small reads and semi-random access and caching
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