Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB SATA 2.5 Review

ajmatson - 2009-07-11 18:48:41 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: ajmatson   
Reviewed on: August 6, 2009
Price: $119.99


It truly amazes me on the capacity and speed that hard drives have evolved into over the years. I remember not so long ago the large 3.5" drives with the IDE cables that took up so much room in the case. Let alone the limitation on only four IDE devices allowable counting your optical drives unless you had a plug-in card for more. Now look we have Serial ATA devices with faster speeds and smaller 2.5" drives that are as good or better than the older generation of hard drives. One new drive we are going to be taking a look at today is the Seagate Mometus ST9500420AS 500GB drive. This drive has speed and power packed into a 2.5" form factor with a 9mm height. This size makes it possible to have mounted in either your large computer desktop case or a notebook for screaming performance. Unlike the majority of 2.5" hard drives The Momentus 500GB is a 7200 RPM hard drive and has a 16MB cache. The interface is SATA 3.0Gb/s and has an average latency of 4.17 msec. Seagate states this drive to have a 11.0 ms Random Seek Time and a 13.0 ms Random Write Time, so I am curious on the performance of this baby.


Closer Look:

The Seagate Momentus 500GB drive came to me packaged OEM style sealed in an anti-static bag. This drive is very small and should be handled with care jsut as you would with any other hard drive. This particular drive is has a capacity of 500GB which equates to 465.76GB usable when formatted. The Momentus has a 16MB cache and a spindle speed of 7200RPM for faster speed and performance. It measures 9mm high so you would have no problems using this high performance drive in laptops, desktops or even servers which use the smaller drives to increase server capacity. The interface for the Seagate Momentus 7200.4 is SATA 3.0Gb/s for fast transfer speeds and performance.




Now that we have the drive out of the package let's plug her in and let her loose.



Model Number
Interface Type
SATA 3.0Gb/s
Areal density (avg):
394 Gbits/inch2
Guaranteed Sectors:
Height (max):
9.5 mm (0.370 inches)
Width (max):
69.85 mm (2.750 inches)
Length (max):
100.35 mm (3.951 inches)
Weight (typical):
110 grams (0.238 pounds)
Spindle Speed:
7,200 rpm
Average latency:
4.17 msec
Random read seek time:
11.0 msec
Random write seek time:
13.0 msec
Annual Failure Rate:
Power / 5V start max current:
1.0 amps


All information taken from Seagate's website at:


To test the capabilities of the Seagate Momentus 500GB hard drive I will use several benchmarks. These benchmarks are designed to test all aspects of the hard drives including the read speeds, write speeds, access times, and more. To prevent any outside interference from variables all hardware will be run at their stock speeds, settings, voltages, and latencies.



Comparison Hard Drives:



  1. HDTune 3.50 Pro
  2. HD Tach
  3. SISoft Sandra 2009
  4. Crystal Disk Mark
  5. ATTO Disk Benchmark
  6. AS SSD
  7. PCMark Vantage



HD Tune 3.50 Pro measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers. In the 3.50 Pro version the user can measure not only drive performace as a whole but  there is a more precice file benchmark and random access benchmark.











File Benchmark:






Random Access Benchmark:




In the HD Tune tests the Seagate Momentus was the fastest in the general benchmark and file benchmark tests and came in second for the access times.


HD Tach v3.0.4.0: HD Tach is another hard drive benchmark utility much like HD Tune is. This benchmark will measure the average read speed, the random access time, and the amout of the CPU used during operation.










SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP3: SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful.

File System



Physical Disks



In HD Tach the Seagate Momentus put up a stong fight and even used 0% of the CPU for the benchmark. In Sandra it was the fastest in disk speed but second in access times.


Crystal Disk Mark 2.2: Crystal Disk Mark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds for the drives in in 4k blocks, 512k blocks, and sequential data.












In Crystal Disk Mark the Seagate Momentus outperformed the other drives in all but the 4k write test.


Atto Disk Benchmark v2.34: Atto Disk Benchmark is another aged but good hard drive benchmark utility designed to test read and write speeds for different file sizes.















For the ATTO tests the Seagate Momentus blew away the competition with the fastest read and write speeds of them all.


AS SSD v1.1.3466.29641: AS SSD is a benchmark designed for the speeds of Solid State Drives however it also will work for traditional hard drives as well. It is designed to measure the read and write speeds and access time for set block sizes. It also assignes a score to the read, write and overall performacne of the drive.














In the AS SSD tests the Seagate Momentus had the highest read, write, and total score for all of the three drives compared.


PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite, as well as the hard drive test suite. The measurement for the system suite will be the total score. The measurement for hard drive performance is the total memory score as well as a break down on the hard drive tests.















In PCMark Vantage the Momentus had the highest hard disk overall score and ran strongly throughout the individual tests.


The Seagate Momentus 7200.4 drive performed very well throughout the testing. The drive even gave the bigger brother the 3.5" Seagate 7200.11 drive a run for its money and even beating it out the majority of the time. The overall read and write speeds were the best of the comparison drives for all of the testing, reaching over 100MB a second at one point. The fact that this is a 2.5" hard drive this makes it a great contender for everything from a laptop, to a server. With desktops and servers trying to save more space, this drive makes a great candidate for any situation you need. The Seagate Momentus measures only 9mm thick so this can be placed into the thinnest notebook and even some netbooks. With this speed comes a price tag though. At $119.99 for the Seagate Momentus, it breaks down to $0.24 a gigabyte. Compare that to a 500GB 5400RPM drive at around $84.99 ( $.17/Gigabyte) that is about a third more expensive for the faster spindle speed. If you are wanting the latest and fastest of everything for your system, then this is the drive for you and you will not be disappointed. For performance that is the best it can be achieved without having to go to a solid state drive - the Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB drive will fill every need you have.