First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Seagate SSD 600 solid state drive
Seagate's SSD 600 is a great drive to consider if you have a laptop that you want to revitalise
Seagate's SSD 600 (ST240HM000) is a 2.5in solid state drive with a 7mm thickness, and that means it should fit into most common notebooks. It has a 6Gbps SATA 3 interface, a hard casing, and it comes in capacities of 120GB, 240GB and 480GB. We tested the middle capacity, which can be bought from Australian online stores for about $275.
- Very good sequential performance
- Light, yet sturdy construction
- Power efficient
- Could perhaps be a little lighter
There's no doubt that a solid state drive can make your laptop or desktop PC run faster and boot up quicker. Seagate's SSD 600 is among the fastest of the recent solid state drives we've seen, and it's also power efficient, light, and rugged. Definitely a drive worth considering.
Price$ 275 (AUD)
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Even though it's a solidly constructed drive (Seagate calls it rugged), it only weighs 78g, which is about 40g lighter than a standard 2.5in, 500GB mechanical drive, for example, and about 10g lighter than a modem 'slim' drive. It shouldn't take too long to install, as long as your laptop's drive bay is easy to access. However, because it's a 7mm thick model, it will need to be properly secured so as not to move up and down in the drive bay — this is especially true of laptops that are designed for 9.5mm drives.
Once it's installed and you're ready to rock and roll (you'll get the full benefit of this drive if you make it your system drive), you'll notice an immediate improvement in performance over a mechanical drive. In our tests, on a Dell Latitude laptop with a second-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, boot up time was only 19sec — this is the time it took the laptop to cold boot to the Windows 7 Pro Desktop screen. It's typical of the time most solid state drives take to get into a Windows 7 system loaded only with its necessary driver software, and about twice as fast as the mechanical drive that the Seagate replaced in the Dell laptop. It definitely gave the laptop some much-needed zip in this area.
Overall performance was also very fast for sequential reading and writing tasks. In CrystalDiskMark, a read rate of 519.8 megabytes per second (MBps) was achieved, along with a write rate of 458.3MBps. Both rates are very fast for a standard SATA-based solid state drive (among the ones we've tested), with only the Samsung 840 SSD offering speeds that are faster in this particular test. It was a tad slower than the Samsung when it came to random read and write operations in the same benchmark. In our own file duplication tests, in which the drive simultaneously has to read and write data, the Seagate recorded 265MBps, which is one of the fastest rates we've seen in this test, and equal to the rate that was recorded by the Samsung drive.
In our battery test, in which we disable power management on the laptop, enable Wi-Fi, maximise brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video, the Seagate SSD 600 lasted 3hr 2min. This is about 14min longer than the WD Scorpio Black drive that the Seagate SSD 600 replaced, and it's the best time that we've recorded from the last few solid state drives we've tested using our standard test laptop.
The Seagate SSD has a formatted capacity of 223GB, which works out to a cost per gigabyte of $1.20 when taking into account the $275 price tag that we've seen from many Australian online stores. We think it's a great option if you're after a drive that will give your notebook a significant performance boost, slightly longer battery life, slightly reduced weight, silent operation and reduced heat generation.
This table shows how the Seagate SSD 600 performed against some other recent solid state drives that we've seen, as well as some thin and ultra-thin mechanical drives.