On the surface, little separates these 500GB notebook driveswell, the 5,400-RPM models, anyway. But after seeing how each handled our diverse suite of performance tests, a clear winner has emerged.
That winner does not come from the Seagate camp, despite the fact that the Momentus 7200.4 boasts a higher spindle speed than the rest of the pack. I was hoping the faster-spinning platters, combined with a larger cache, would translate into better real-world performance. But they don't. The Momentus was often slower than the best 5,400-RPM drives, and while it enjoyed a few moments in the spotlight, those victories were far too rare to justify the drive's significantly higher price.
The Momentus 5400.6's sub-$90 asking price is considerably more competitive. For the most part, though, the drive's performance is not. The 5,400-RPM Momentus actually held its own with demanding multi-tasking and multi-user loads. However, it didn't fare as well in WorldBench and was easily the slowest in FC-Testbenchmarks, which are far more indicative of typical notebook workloads than either iPEAK or IOMeter.
Samsung's Spinpoint M7 is the Jekyll and Hyde of the bunch. In some tests, the drive performs quite well. However, when the Spinpoint struggles, it really struggles. The M7 fell well short of the competition when faced with our disk-intensive multitasking workloads, and it hit the same random write performance drop-off in IOMeter as the Momentus 7200.4. I do like the Spinpoint's low noise levels, but there are more well-rounded drives for the money.
Rather than oscillating between impressive and depressing performances, Hitachi's Travelstar 5K500.B was decidedly average throughout our testing. This drive lived in the middle of the pack, and while its ability to handle a mix of workloads without floundering is admirable, the Travelstar is actually slightly more expensive than our clear favorite of the bunch.
That favorite? Western Digital's Scorpio Blue. We subject drives to a varied mix of performance tests because we're looking for weaknesses, and the Scorpio Blue exhibited none. It may not have come out ahead of the pack in each and every test, but over our entire suite, the Scorpio was clearly the performance leader. At just $90 online, the Blue won't cost you more than other drives we've looked at today, either. Picking an Editor's Choice doesn't get any easier than that.
58 comments — Last by YeuEmMaiMai at 10:26 PM on 06/13/09
|Patriot's Hellfire 480GB NVMe SSD reviewedThe NVMe competition heats up||22|
|Nvidia unveils its GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti for laptopsThe pint-size Pascal empowers portable players||16|
|Gigabyte's P57X v6 gaming notebook reviewed Full-fat Pascal comes to notebooks||20|
|The Tech Report's winter 2016 mobile staff picksThe best tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, and phones||42|
|Samsung's 960 EVO SSD reviewedMore affordable NVMe magic||37|
|Adata's Ultimate SU800 512GB SSD reviewedMicron's 3D NAND finds a new home||11|
|Samsung's 960 Pro 2TB SSD reviewedHoly crap||129|
|Toshiba's OCZ VX500 512GB SSD reviewedA19 flash bids adieu||33|
|AMD's eight-core, 16-thread chips lead the Ryzen charge||118|
|Nvidia all but confirms the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||5|
|Report: VR headset market is dominated by Google Cardboard||3|
|Intel XMM 7560 modem is ready for 5G anywhere in the world||4|
|Kopin microdisplays could make VR headsets sharper and slimmer||7|
|Rumor: Ryzen stock coolers and retail packaging pictured||51|
|International Mother Language Day Shortbread||19|
|AOC readies up a pair of 144-Hz curved VA monitors||17|
|Fallout 4's wasteland is coming to VR||11|
|Something about running from a deathclaw right into my mancave wall is not that appealing.||+30|