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File Copy Test
Since we've tested theoretical transfer rates, it's only fitting that we follow up with a look at how each drive handles a more realistic set of sequential transfers. File Copy Test is a pseudo-real-world benchmark that times how long it takes to create, read, and copy files in various test patterns. We've converted those completion times to MB/s to make the results easier to interpret.

Windows 7's intelligent caching schemes make obtaining consistent and repeatable performance results rather difficult with FC-Test. To get reliable results, we had to drop back to an older 0.3 revision of the application and create our own custom test patterns. During our initial testing, we noticed that larger test patterns tended to generate more consistent file creation, read, and copy times. That makes sense, because with 4GB of system memory, our test rig has plenty of free RAM available to be filled by Windows 7's caching and pre-fetching mojo.

For our tests, we created custom MP3, video, and program files test patterns weighing in at roughly 10GB each. The MP3 test pattern was created from a chunk of my own archive of ultra-high-quality MP3s, while the video test pattern was built from a mix of video files ranging from 360MB to 1.4GB in size. The program files test pattern was derived from, you guessed it, the contents of our test system's Program Files directory.

Even with these changes, we noticed obviously erroneous results pop up every so often. Additional test runs were performed to replace those scores.

The Momentus XT looks very good in our file creation tests, besting the 7200.4 by huge margins across all three file sets. The XT also manages faster creation speeds than a good number of SSDs, including some very expensive SandForce-based drives that have particular problems with this test.

Impressive as it may be against the mechanical notebook drives, the Momentus XT still faces stiff competition from the desktop drives and a good number of the SSDs.

Once again, the XT struggles with sequential reads. The hybrid Momentus falls to last place with the MP3 file set, although it at least beats the two-year-old Scorpio Black with the others.

A couple of the SSDs also find the MP3 file set particularly problematic. Overall, though, the solid-state drives offer much quicker read speeds than the Momentus XT.

The XT regains its composure in the copy tests, achieving substantially better performance than our traditional notebook drives. However, the hybrid is still no match for the fastest SSDs, which complete these copy tests in less than half the time it takes the Momentus.