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Seagate Momentus ST9500423AS

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      15.08.2012 19:31
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      • Reliability


      Best value for money for a 2.5" HDD.


      === Purpose of Purchase ===

      I previously had my main notebook hard drive from Hitachi, which the Acer Aspire notebook came with. The hard drive worked fine for a number of years, before Windows 7 became available. Installing Windows 7 showed a few problems with the out-dated BIOS firmware, and the hard drive. I wasn't aware if the hard drive required resetting it as an MBR volume, and reformatting, or if the hard drive physically was unable to meet the demands of Windows. The Windows Upgrade Advisor was pretty useless as always, and showed no problems. I re-read the technical specifications and found it to have only eight megabytes of buffer, which clearly suggested it was too slow to keep up to the new operating system's demands. This resulted in the system completely freezing.

      I was looking for a replacement, which would ideally have a thirty two megabytes buffer size. I wasn't successful in finding one with thirty two megabytes, but I did find a Seagate hard drive with sixteen megabytes buffer size. I was quite certain that if I replaced the hard drive; it would fix the system hanging fault, because I always saw the hard disk working very hard in Windows 7. The hard disk indicator didn't just flash regularly, it would stay on continuously until the system froze. The BIOS firmware wasn't related to that problem.

      === Purchase & Use ===

      I compared the prices on many stores and sellers online, before I decided to purchase the Seagate Momentus for close to a hundred pounds, which was the best price at the time. The hard drive now costs half the amount. I installed Windows 7 on the new hard drive, installed all the drivers and used it for a while in trial mode to make sure it works before registering, because I only had a one PC licence and didn't want to waste it on a system that it may not work on.

      Using Windows 7 for a few weeks, showed no signs of the previous problem- where the system used to freeze. I knew I made the right choice in purchasing the new hard drive, and with the new higher capacity I multi-booted the system with Linux.

      === Features & Comparison to the Hitachi HDD ===

      When compared to the Hitachi HTS541612J9SA00, the Seagate Momentus has about a third the seek time, which gives the computer a much faster access to the hard drive than on the Hitachi. The buffer size is double and the capacity is much higher, which allows more storage, is better for multi-booting, and allows faster interaction between the hard drive and RAM.

      The real performance difference for applications is the double data transfer rate, as compared to the Hitachi, which only has a hundred and fifty megabits per second. The Seagate Momentus has a very small difference in noise emissions, which is two decibels lower than the Hitachi. The Seagate Momentus has a twenty five decibel noise output during seek, and twenty three decibels while idle.

      === Current use ===

      Although it's been a few years since purchasing the hard drive, it's still the main drive on my Acer notebook, and continues to give very good performance. I only defragment the hard drive monthly using Defraggler, which is sufficient to restore the hard drive's performance to its best. There are however some tasks, which put strain on the hard drive. This makes a temporary, but noticeable reduction in its performance.

      I don't have any reason to upgrade the notebook hard drive to SSD right now, but I don't think technology will have much room for the old notebook in a few years' time. When that time comes; the hard drive can be used for backup and storage purposes.

      === Should you buy it? ===

      If not for performance, the hard drive is quite cheap and is worth buying for additional storage on a notebook. On many notebooks it's possible to add extra internal storage, which there maybe space for by default, or you may need to take out the optical drive. The option of external storage is better in my opinion, because you can easily unplug the device and reduce power consumption. This is especially useful if you're operating a notebook in battery mode.

      === My Conclusion ===

      This two point five inch hard drive is the best hard drive of its size I've purchased so far, and has shown great performance for everyday computing. A monthly defragmentation is good enough to ensure the hard drive is de-cluttered, and the performance is restored. Therefore, if you're looking to save money and invest in a good hard drive for a notebook, or for external storage; I recommend the Seagate Momentus.

      I give it an average five star for performance in a de-cluttered Windows 7 environment, and top five stars for its performance in Linux. The Linux operating system start-up is roughly twice the speed of Windows, from cold boot, and very similar performance from a restart.



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