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BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

SHOOTOUT:
Seagate 7200rpm 160G
Notebook Drive versus others

Originally posted April 12th, 2007, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
Updated April 27th, 2007, with 160GB 5400rpm results

We ordered our MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo with the optional 100GB 7200RPM internal 2.5 inch drive for maximum storage performance. But in this day and age, 100GB is barely adequate for a main boot drive. We were thrilled to hear Seagate's plan to release a 160GB version of their 7200rpm notebook drive. We tested the ST9160823AS model (courtesy of Trans International). There is also a ST9160823ASG model that includes G-Force Protection where it stops operating if you drop it.

We weren't willing to crack open our MacBook Pro (due to warranty concerns) but we did the next best thing. We connected a "bare" Seagate Momentus 7200.2 drive to the Mac Pro's SATA 3G host adapter, providing power from special external 500W power supply. We tested the other notebook SATA drives the same way. The results posted here will be very close to what you see if you install these drives inside your MacBook Pro. If nothing else, the relative performance applies.

LEGEND of GRAPH of Notebook SATA drives
160G 7200rpm = Seagate Momentus 7200.2 7200rpm 160GB (ST9160823AS)
100G 7200rpm = Hitachi Travelstar 7K100 7200rpm 100GB (HTS721010G9SA00)
160G 5400rpm = Hitachi Travelstar 5K160 5400rpm 160GB (HTS541616J9SA00)
200G 4200rpm = Toshiba MK2035GSS 4200rpm 200GB

CONCLUSION
The new 160GB 7200rpm Seagate Momentus 7200.2 (SATA 3G) is truly the ultimate MacBook Pro internal notebook drive. Hopefully Apple will start offering it as a CTO option. For those of you who already purchased a MacBook Pro, you should check with your local Apple certified dealer as to their policy on installation (without breaking factory warranty). We checked with CryWolf, our local dealer. They said, "no problemo."

WHAT IF THIS DRIVE iS IN AN ENCLOSURE?
On April 20th, we tested the Seagate 160GB 7200rpm notebook drive inside the OWC Mercury On-The-Go enclosure using the FireWire 800 port connected to a Mac Pro (bus powered). We measured numbers so similar to the bare drive tests that we can say it is just as fast as having it inside your Mac Pro.

Though the enclosure includes a USB 2.0 port, you'll definitely want to use the FireWire 800 port to take full advantage of this drive's speed.

Other companies making a FireWire 800 bus powered enclosure are listed in the "WHERE TO BUY..." section below.

MORE LARGE CAPACITY 7200RPM NOTEBOOK DRIVES COMING...
Fujitsu has announced they will start shipping their new 160GB 7200rpm notebook drive in second quarter 2007 (model MHW2160BJ).
Hitachi PR informed us they will be releasing a 200GB 7200rpm notebook drive "in the first half of this year" but "it's not quite available yet." They will probably call it the "Travelstar 7K200" when it ships.


RELATED ARTICLES

November 15th, 2006 -- SHOOTOUT: MacBook Pro 4200rpm vs 5400rpm vs 7200rpm internal notebook drives

Apple Online Store

WHERE TO BUY THE SEAGATE MOMENTUS 7200.2

Trans International

Other World Computing

Small Dog Electronics

WHERE TO BUY BUS POWERED FW800 NOTEBOOK Enclosures for your MAC

Other World Computing

Trans International

Wiebetech

FWDepot

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2007 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster and mad scientist