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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Travelstar 7K100 vs Momentus 5400.2

Travelstar 7K100 vs Momentus 5400.2
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Jan 16, 2006, 09:23 AM
 
I plan to update my Titanium Powerbook with a quiet and fast harddrive.

In tests I have read that the Seagate Momentus drives are whisper quiet. Looking at the Benchmarks the Hitachi 100 GB 7K100 clearly outperforms the largest Momentus 120 GB 5400.2. But barefeats for example states that the hitachi is noisy. I once tested the Hitachi 7K60 and found it indeed noisy and more power consuming than my stock Hitachi 60 GB drive. But I have never heard a Momentus drive in operation.

Can anyone compare the two drives out of experience? (Maybe you have one and a friend has the other one).

Where I live the Momentus 7200.1 with 100 GB will not be available before summer. Thats no option. So my choice would be the 120 GB drive because due to highest data density it catches up a little in performance although the rpm is only 5400.

The reason why I ask? The Hitachi drives are much cheaper. So I pay more for a slower drive that has more storage (that I don't need). I would do that if the Momentus is really quiet. Otherwise it would be waste of money for me.
     
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Jan 16, 2006, 01:29 PM
 
i'm sorry that this is not exactly what you're looking for, but i have a 100gb 5400rpm seagate in my laptop and with other hard drives installed, the laptop runs QUIETLY. the loudest thing is the hard drive.

when my seagate is installed, my hard drive sounds like a very soft computer fan.

When i had an 80gb hitachi installed on my laptop, the more common sounds were tick tick tick of the hard drive accessing. (this is when my computer is not doing anything, no backgound apps running (like antivirus))
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Jan 16, 2006, 09:40 PM
 
As rated by the companies themselves -
Hitachi 7200RPM: 30 dbA
Hitachi 5400RPM: 27 dbA
Seagate 7200RPM: 29 dbA
Seagate 5400RPM: 29 dbA

Are you going to notice a 1 decibel difference? I doubt it.
     
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Jan 16, 2006, 10:14 PM
 
I don't have any experience with the newer Hitachis, but the ones that I have had experience with were all very noisy. The noise was a serious nuisance. That's why I haven't purchased any of their drives in a while and don't know if they've managed to quiet down any.
     
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Jan 17, 2006, 05:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
As rated by the companies themselves -
Hitachi 7200RPM: 30 dbA
Hitachi 5400RPM: 27 dbA
Seagate 7200RPM: 29 dbA
Seagate 5400RPM: 29 dbA

Are you going to notice a 1 decibel difference? I doubt it.
Thanks for the numbers.

Look closer:

Hitachi 4200: 23 - 29 dbA (typical idle - operation maximum)
Hitachi 7K60: 27 - 35 dbA (typical idle - operation maximum)

The 4200 GN is what I had in my old 12 inch powerbook. It is very quiet and one of the greatest (quietest) drives I ever had. Compared to that the 7K60 that I tried in my powerbook is very noisy and the difference is clearly audible for me.


Momentus 5400.2: 24 dbA (typical idle)
Hitachi 7K100: 26 - 30 dbA (typical idle - typical operation)

So the Momentus drives seem to be very close to my 4200 rpm Hitachi. But Seagate only gives the idle numbers, not operation.

uicandrew, I don't perfectly understand. You say the hitachi was quieter than the seagate? What are the rpms of your drives?


#######################
update
#######################
I have found measurements of the drives in 3mm distance. The seagates are the quietest drives.

And there is one sentence that sounds interesting:
The review unit's objective sound pressure measurement of 39.2 dB/A is among the lowest we've yet measured, though Seagate's 5400 RPM drives remains the quietest to the ear.
( Last edited by Dr.Michael; Jan 30, 2006 at 09:35 AM. )
     
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Jan 17, 2006, 11:29 AM
 
my 80gb hitachi was 4200rpm and made clicking sounds
my 100gb seagate was 5400rpm and made a soft fan like sound.

they make different sounds, and the seagate sound was easier to ignore. I'd have to say that the seagate was lounder. but at least i didn't have the clicking sound.

I remember when i first installed the 100gb, that the hard drive/laptop made a bit more sound, but i decided that it was a tradeoff to have more speed and space. (also, i had already cut out the upc so returning it was out of the question
     
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Jan 18, 2006, 12:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by uicandrew
my 80gb hitachi was 4200rpm and made clicking sounds
Same here. If it weren't for that consistent, annoying clicking noise (which is only heard when idle), the hitachi would be decent. It does get moderately loud under heavy accessing, but it isn't bad otherwise.

So, if Hitachi hasn't addressed the clicking, I'd avoid it and go for the Seagate. I don't plan on purchasing another Hitachi laptop drive again, or at least not in the near future.
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Jan 18, 2006, 01:52 AM
 
I have a Hitachi 5K100 80GB 5400RPM drive in my 1.67 PB (Jan. 2005 model). It is very quiet and makes no clicking noises.

I had a Toshiba drive (MK4018GAS) in my Titanium PB and its calibration noises--which were very frequent--were annoying as hell.
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Jan 18, 2006, 05:27 AM
 
Thank you all for your information.

I have ordered a 120 GB Momentus 5400.2 now and might receive it by end of the week. I'll keep you informed about my subjective impressions.
     
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Jan 30, 2006, 07:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dr.Michael
Thank you all for your information.

I have ordered a 120 GB Momentus 5400.2 now and might receive it by end of the week. I'll keep you informed about my subjective impressions.
Here I am back with the new drive in my TiBook since last thursday night (3 days now).

The seagate was definitely a good choice. In operation it is hardly audible. If I put my ear on the trackpad (the drive is below the trackpad) I just hear a gentle whirr as if I would put a shell near my ear in a silent room. The clicking sound when a write/read operation happens is also hardly audible.
In upright position I have to stop beathing to hear the drive.

Speed is great. It has increased, the powerbook is noticibly snappier, startup is faster. A nice feature but not overwhelming.

The best thing is: My battery lifetime went up. On friday I drained my battery completely and got exactly 4 hours (3.5 before). I compared the power consuption of the new drive with the old 4200 rpm Toshiba and found indeed that it consumes 20% less power.

So if you want a fast and quiet drive I recommend the seagate. But make sure you buy the 120 GB drive because it is much faster than the one with 100 GB (see Toms hardware guide). The hitachi travelstar with 7200 rpm will surely be faster, but it will also be louder and consume more power. Since the momentus drive is already audible the hitachi might disturb you.
     
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Feb 1, 2006, 01:18 AM
 
I think right now the question should be between any 7200rpm drive and the 160GB Seagate 5400.3. Even though the access time would be lower because of lower spindle speed, the vastly bigger areal density of the 5400.3 should improve the sequential transfer rates quite a lot. And with less power consumption.

What troubles me is: what apple portables will suffer from the 120GB barrier that was on the desktop powermacs before the MDD models? What internal controllers will support more than 120GB hard disks?

I have a Pismo, so I'm out of the race.
( Last edited by tigas; Feb 2, 2006 at 11:12 PM. )
     
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Feb 1, 2006, 02:40 AM
 
I'm wondering that myself--I have a 1.5 Ghz Aluminum PowerBook, which I would *think* would not be affected by the barrier; if anyone knows for certain, please post.
     
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Feb 1, 2006, 05:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by tigas
I think right now the question should be between any 7200rpm drive and the 160GB Seagate 5400.3.
Currently 5400.3 drives are not available for purchase, so this is a question for the future.

My main concern was noise in the first place, also speed, but thats seconds rate for me. The 5400 rpm drive is faster than the 4200 rpm drives, but - to be really honest - it is not worth the investment if speed is the only reason.

As stated before, the Hitachi 7k60 was faster in benchmarks but not in every day use compared to the 60GB, 4200 rpm Hitachi that came with my 12 inch powerbook. I guess if the benchmarks are not more than 20% ahead, you won't feel the difference (the same as with processor performance).

It is indeed the nicest side effect to know, that the momentus drives use little power.
     
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Feb 1, 2006, 07:33 AM
 
"Currently 5400.3 drives are not available for purchase, so this is a question for the future."

They're available at new egg, and elsewhere--in stock and shipping immediately.
     
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Feb 1, 2006, 08:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by mrmister
"Currently 5400.3 drives are not available for purchase, so this is a question for the future."

They're available at new egg, and elsewhere--in stock and shipping immediately.
Oh yes, indeed. They seem to ship earlier in the us.
But the price ...
Imagine how much external storage you get for 355$

edit:
I can answer this myself: 3X250 GB = 750GB
     
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Feb 1, 2006, 10:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dr.Michael
Oh yes, indeed. They seem to ship earlier in the us.
But the price ...
Imagine how much external storage you get for 355$

edit:
I can answer this myself: 3X250 GB = 750GB
Right. Would you carry even ONE 250GB disk in an external enclosure day in day out with your portable? Maybe make it a luggable? Get a small cart to carry it around?

As far as the 128GB barrier, it seems that at least 2002 TiBooks and later are safe with the 5400.3, according to www.xlr8yourmac.com. No iBook data yet. It's just a matter of waiting for people to buy some and see what's the model that stops recognizing it.
     
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Feb 1, 2006, 12:42 PM
 
"As far as the 128GB barrier, it seems that at least 2002 TiBooks and later are safe with the 5400.3, according to www.xlr8yourmac.com."

That clears my AlBook--as soon as the prices come down that's the way I'll go, I suspect.
     
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Feb 1, 2006, 08:10 PM
 
Dr. Michael: Presumably you're not seeing higher temps or fan speeds from the 120 GB 5400 rpm drive?

______________

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Feb 2, 2006, 05:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by amazing
Dr. Michael: Presumably you're not seeing higher temps or fan speeds from the 120 GB 5400 rpm drive?

______________

old folk saying: Vorsichtig ist die Mutter der porzelan Titanium.
No not at all. The machine does not get hotter and the fans run as frequent as before. Here I can see no change. My TiBook has no temperature sensors so I cannot give accurate numbers. But basically the machine is only faster, makes less noise, has more storage and enhanced battery life. Great, isn"t it?
After more than a week I highly recommend the seagate drive. It was not cheap (the 100 GB drive would have been 80 euro less) but worth its money.
( Last edited by Dr.Michael; Feb 2, 2006 at 05:59 AM. )
     
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Feb 2, 2006, 07:23 AM
 
After having had two Hitachi "Deathstars" (Apple 4200 rpm original @ 13 months and out of warranty and replacement 7200 rpm @ 6 weeks) die in a pampered 1.3 GHz 12" PB , I went for the Seagate 120 GB Momentus. So far the third time is a charm and it is very quiet and battery saving.
     
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Feb 2, 2006, 01:40 PM
 
Thanks for the positive feedback on the Seagate, Dr Michael and rocky2.

I dearly miss the ease of switching the HD in my old Ti, and the 60 GB in my 1.33 MiniMe grows tight of girth. I am going to put the HD on a diet? I am sorely tempted to attempt the switch, but don't wish to endanger the applecare, after having sent the Ti in for small things (if, for example, a loose hinge can be said to be minor in a Ti.)
     
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Feb 3, 2006, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by amazing
Thanks for the positive feedback on the Seagate, Dr Michael and rocky2.

I dearly miss the ease of switching the HD in my old Ti, and the 60 GB in my 1.33 MiniMe grows tight of girth. I am going to put the HD on a diet? I am sorely tempted to attempt the switch, but don't wish to endanger the applecare, after having sent the Ti in for small things (if, for example, a loose hinge can be said to be minor in a Ti.)
I do understand your concerns. I once disassembled my 12 inch/1GHz powerbook to test the hitachi 7K60 . Its only something for technically skilled tinkerers and yes, I wouldn't void apple care. One of the reasons I did not buy apple care . I knew that I would need a new drive before 3 years are over.
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 03:55 PM
 
Where can you find a 120 GB Seagate 7200 RPM 2.5" notebook drive? All I can find is the 100 GB ones.
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Sep 1, 2006, 08:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by STAT
Where can you find a 120 GB Seagate 7200 RPM 2.5" notebook drive? All I can find is the 100 GB ones.
100G is the biggest I've seen for sale, although Seagate's sales literature now mentions 120 and 160G.
     
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Sep 12, 2006, 01:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dr.Michael
I do understand your concerns. I once disassembled my 12 inch/1GHz powerbook to test the hitachi 7K60 . Its only something for technically skilled tinkerers
is it really that difficult to install a fresh drive in a 12" powerbook? my 12" has a 4200 Toshiba drive in it which is very quiet. i'm thinking of upgrading it with a 7200 momentus - are they still they quietest drives around? are 7200 drives much quicker than 5400 when inside a laptop? I'm mainly using audio apps with disk recording so extra speed is good.

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Sep 13, 2006, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
100G is the biggest I've seen for sale, although Seagate's sales literature now mentions 120 and 160G.
I called Seagate a few weeks ago, and was told that their 7200RPM 160GB internal drives should be available by early in 2007.
Whether that comes to pass or not... your guess is as good as mine. But the fact that Seagate is advertising these drives on their website surely means they're fairly imminent, don't you think??!!
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Sep 14, 2006, 08:27 AM
 
What is the noise difference from apples "standard" notebook drives, to SeagateĀ“s Momentus 5400.2 ? Im talking about if I can actually hear a difference.

The reason for this question is that I am currently getting a Blackbook with 80GB, and find it a bit waste to just plunge out that 80GB and make it an external storage (whatever), and pay $$$ for a new drive that does minimal to performance and acustics.

Is there much difference ? Then I will buy, if only minor, then I will save my hard earned $.

Please answer this, those that already know (I am a person in love with "whisper quiet" notebooks).
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Sep 14, 2006, 05:39 PM
 
I've had a Hitachi E7K100 80GB drive in my Pismo for a while. You can't hear it at all. AT ALL.

Plus it has some decent cache on it.

Going from the stock 4200rpm drive to a Hitachi 5400rpm drive to this 7200rpm drive has been a speed bump each time.

Tom
     
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Sep 14, 2006, 07:24 PM
 
Sounds like there is no real downside then to getting a 7200RPM drive, if you choose Seagate or Hitachi. Uhmm.

Oh well, I think I will hold my money until they develop some more S-ATA drives.... it seems its a bit new tech in the Notebooks no ? Atleast the prices will go down on the 100GB+ drives if I wait a couple of months.
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Sep 15, 2006, 03:23 AM
 
I have that exact Hitachi in my PowerBook and it is indeed extremely loud. I can't stand it. And it's not just the volume, it's the type of noise as well.. You here all the "ticks" of the drive accessing, it's extremely annoying and medium to high pitch.

The fujitsu drive in my MBP however is extremely quiet. I love it.
     
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Sep 15, 2006, 08:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Fusion
I have that exact Hitachi in my PowerBook and it is indeed extremely loud. I can't stand it. And it's not just the volume, it's the type of noise as well.. You here all the "ticks" of the drive accessing, it's extremely annoying and medium to high pitch.

The fujitsu drive in my MBP however is extremely quiet. I love it.
Stop confusing me!

In realworld tests, it seems Seagate is the quietest of the drives (being still fast too), and Hitachi is all about speed (who dosenĀ“t mind if it makes noise).

Maybe the pismo mentioned above already is a bit "noisy" (apart from the Harddrive), or you just got the "golden" model from Hitachi. Anyway, grats on the noise free harddrive.

Fusion: Is there any difference in snappyness from your fujitsu and your hitachi ? Do you use any video rendering programs or graphic apps to measure the difference ?
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Sep 15, 2006, 01:23 PM
 
I'm probably the worst test case for this becase:

1. The difference between a MBP and a PowerBook. Obviously the MBP is 10x teh snappie!

2. I don't do video editing but I do a quite a bit of graphics, however my app of choice is Photoshop, which currently runs under Rosetta on the MBP, so I can't do a straight comparison there either.

However, I can say this:

When I first got the PowerBook with the 7200 Hitachi I went from a PowerBook with a 5400. I was severely disappointed. From the way people talk around the forums, a HD upgrade is faster than a processor upgrade, but that was totally not the case. The difference was negligible... at best.

For the people that notice the big difference, I speculate that this is because they are starting with a fresh drive that a) has less files on it, b) has a fresh snappy install of the OS and c) has just had all files copied over to it and is therefore properly arranged or "defragged."* All of these aspects add some level of speed to a new drive, but it really has nothing to do with real world stuff. Use that drive for a year straight and then come back and compare it... you wouldn't notice the difference.

You still get beach balls, folders still take split seconds to show files, copy rates don't really increase in real world measurability, etc...

But at the end of the day you just need to decide what is important to you. I am an extremely anal person about noise. I lived with the HD noise for over a year but I hated every moment of it. Every time I would be sitting some where, "tick tick tick tick." It's just at the right medium-high frequency to be extremely audible and extremely annoying. In fact one time I was recording a speakerphone conference call that was extremely important using the PowerBook's internal mic because I didn't have another mic laying around. When I went back and listened to it, I was extremely disappointed to hear "tick tick tick tick" all throughout the entire recording.... very loud. To me the choice is a no brainer.

But if you are the person that doesn't get annoyed by a slightly noisy laptop, and you get excited about benchmarks, then maybe the speed one is for you. Just decide what's more important, a slight speed increase or noise and then choose.

*Footnote: Yes, I know OS X defrags files on the fly, but only files under 20mb and I have a ton of files that are larger than that, and so do most people, especially the video/audio/graphics people of the world. So a fresh install does make a HUGE difference.
     
   
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