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Seagate 160GB Momentus 5400.3 Hard Drive Review
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Seagate 160GB Momentus 5400.3 PATA Notebook Hard Drive

The petite size of the Seagate 160GB Momentus 5400.3 PATA hard drive certainly belies its amazing capacity. Its compact 2.5" form factor packs in 160GB of storage space!

That may not be a lot when compared to desktop hard drives, but those 3.5" drives are significantly larger, heavier and more power-hungry. As far as notebooks are concerned, this drive is a monster in disguise!

This amazing capacity is due to Seagate's implementation of Perpendicular Recording. By magnetizing the data bits perpendicularly to the plane of the platter, it allows a higher areal density than what was previously possible with the traditional method of longitudinal recording. The use of ST Microelectronics' Smooth Drive technology may also have allowed them to pack more bits into the limited surface area of the small platters.

But no matter how Seagate did it, the higher areal density of the new Seagate Momentus 5400.3 allowed it to record a slightly higher read speed than its predecessor, the Momentus 5400.2. It was also over 50% faster than a 4200 RPM hard drive like the Fujitsu MHT2040AT.

Unlike most notebook drives, the Seagate 160GB Momentus 5400.3 hard drive comes with a large 8MB SDRAM buffer. Such a large buffer is usually found only in desktop drives. This certainly helped it achieve more than twice the burst speed of the Fujitsu MHT2040AT which only has 2MB of buffer memory.

Incidentally, this hard drive comes with a magnificent 5-year limited warranty! While this does not guarantee that this hard drive won't quit on you in the next five years, it does show the amount of confidence Seagate has in the reliability of this model.

If you are looking for the highest capacity hard drive for your notebook, look no further. The Seagate 160GB Momentus 5400.3 hard drive is the drive you are looking for. However, do not expect a big boost in performance over its predecessor. It's faster to be sure, but not significantly so. But it sure is a lot larger at 160GB!

For more details, read our Comprehensive Review!


• NA

Lowest PriceGrabber Price


Comprehensive Review


• ST9160821A

Formatted Capacity

• 160 GB

Bytes Per Sector

• 512 bytes

Sectors Per Track






Read/Write Heads


Recording Method

• Perpendicular

Spindle Speed

• 5,400 RPM

Average Latency

• 5.6 msec.

Average Seek

• 12.5 msec.

Maximum Internal Data Transfer Rate

44 MB/s

Maximum I/O Data Transfer Rate

• 100 MB/s


• Ultra ATA 100

Cache Buffer


Maximum Height

• 9.5 mm
• 0.374 inches

Maximum Width

• 69.85 mm
• 2.75 inches

Maximum Length

• 100.2 mm
• 3.945 inches

Maximum Weight

• 102 g
• 0.22 lb

Typical Startup Current @ 5V (peak)

• 1.0 A

Seek Power (Typical)

• 2.0 W

Operating Power (Typical)

• Read : 2.0 W
• Write : 1.8 W

Idle Mode (Typical)

• 0.8 W

Standby Mode (Typical)

• 0.2 W

Ambient Temperature

• 0 °C to 60 °C (Operating)
• -40 °C to 70 °C (Non-Operating)

Maximum Operating Shock
(@ 2 msec.)

• 350 G

Maximum Non-Operating Shock
(@ 1 msec.)

• 900 G

Idle Drive Acoustics

• 2.3 bels (Typical)

Performance Seek Drive Acoustics

• 2.9 bels (Typical)

Head Rest Method

• QuietStepTM Ramp Load

Load/Unload Cycles

• > 600,000 Cycles

Non-Recoverable Read Errors

• 1 error per 1014 bits read


• 5 Years Limited Warranty


* Our New Review System

ARP is committed to developing new ways to improve your experience with us. As part of our continuous efforts to improve the value of our reviews to you, we are implementing a new review system.

This new review system is designed to allow you to quickly receive information on the latest hardware. This new system also allows you to quickly get the gist of the review without reading through it. This can be very useful, especially in situations where you need to make a quick purchase decision.

In this new system, we start with a Product Overview whenever a company sends us a press release about their latest product. We shift through extraneous PR-talk to create a straightforward summary of the product's features as well as its specifications. This allows you to quickly find out all the pertinent details about the product, without reading through official press releases.

When we receive the product for review, we will quickly take photos of it and create a Pictorial Review. The purpose of a pictorial review is to allow you, the reader, to quickly examine the product visually. It may help you make better purchase decisions, especially if you cannot wait for the full review.

After thorough testing, we will post a Comprehensive Review of the product. This adds on to the pictorial review with comprehensive test results and our final conclusion on the product.

But no matter whether you are reading a Pictorial Review or a Comprehensive Review, you can always read the summary of the review as well as examine the product's specifications right on the first page. In all our new reviews, we will maintain the first page as a Product Overview page. If the product is listed in PriceGrabber, you can also check out the lowest price online.

We hope this new review system will make your experience a lot more enjoyable and informative!


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