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Joshua Turnblom
ENGL 2010
Kate Kimball
                          Upgrading the PlayStation 3’s Storage Device

       Storage devices are being used in almost every electronic device these days. Each of the

devices available have different purposes, but what type should you choose if you’re planning on

upgrading a PlayStation 3 gaming system? Although there are many varieties of storage devices

available for and compatible with the PlayStation 3, it is difficult to decide on which type is best

to use. There is much data and many reviews available for each type, but not all can be found in

the same place. I’m going to provide information on the three most popular types used to

upgrade the memory capability on the system and the most important Pros and Cons for each;

allowing you to decide for yourself which is the best type for you and your purposes.

       When replacing a hard drive in a gaming system there are several important aspects you

need to consider before deciding which to purchase. First you need to look at the cost of the

device. You will also need to consider the total capacity of the storage device, the warranty if

available, the acoustics (how much noise is produced) and most importantly, the transfer speed.

While the transfer speed isn’t very important on home computers or laptops it is very important

for gaming systems. The transfer speed is what determines load times while playing games, the

various load times that are affected are boot up and shutdown times of the system and games.

The videos for cut scenes, if there are any, and lag times of loading maps and environment.

       You will also need to check to ensure that each hard drive is compatible with the device

being upgraded. The PlayStation 3 computer and gaming system is compatible with any hard

drive with the dimensions 3.75” (Width) x 0.4” (Height) x 4” (Depth). Hard drives of this

dimension are also used in laptops, so they are very easy to locate and recognize. The hard drives
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being evaluated and which are compatible are the Seagate® Momentus® XT HDD (Hard Disk

Drive), Momentus®, and the Intel® X25-M Mainstream SATA (SSD) Solid-State Drive.

                               Momentus® Hard Disk Drive series

       The Momentus® is the first hard drive that I looked into using for upgrading the

PlayStation 3. This is how Seagate® describes the Momentus® HDD in their product overview.

“The Momentus family is designed for standard form factor high-performance and mainstream

laptops, entry-level laptops and external backup storage enclosures.” (Product Overview,


       It comes in various capacities up to 750GB, which provides the storage of many videos

and songs. This is great if you also plan on using the PS3 as a media center. The Momentus also

has a 5 year limited warranty to accompany it. The Momentus® series hard drives can be

purchased for a very reasonable price, the cost for a 500GB hard drive at

WWW.BESTBUY.COM is $89.99. A great price if you’re on a strict budget, as USER DP1214

posted in his comment about the hard drive on “This was the least expensive 500

GB, 7200 RPM laptop drive I could find the week I needed one and that was pretty much the

only factor in my decision. I've used every brand of hard drive known to man and don't anticipate

any issues with this one.”

(DP1214, Good value-but watch the Best Buy pricing strategy)


       The transfer speed of the Momentus® hard drives on a 7200 RPM spindle can reach

300MB/s but are limited horribly by having 5.6ms latency (lag time). By having such a large lag

time, each time the hard drive needs to be accessed for anything, you will have to wait for it to
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load. In the gaming world, having to wait for load times can be the difference between life and

death. It can also make or break the gaming experience of the individual playing.

       The acoustics of the Momentus® series are pretty horrible at 2.3 to 2.6 bels or 23 – 26

decibels (a typical conversation between humans is between 40 and 60dB). [Sound Pressure,] The level of sound output by this hard drive combined with the cooling fan

of a PlayStation would require you to increase the volume of your television, possibly to

damaging levels. With further research on the internet, these hard drives have numerous bad

reviews. USER FatChance explains on his comment posted on “About a

week after the initial installation I started to hear a click. Being in IT this immediately worried

me. […] As time goes by the clicks are happening more and more. Will be replacing this drive in

the next day or two.” (FatChance, Research on the web before purchasing this item)

                          Momentus® XT Hard Disk Drive Hybrid series

       The next hard drive I looked into was the Momentus® XT series, the difference between

the standard Momentus® and the XT series of hard drives is that the Momentus® XT series are

hard disk hybrid drives. They are a hybrid of standard HDDs and SSDs (solid state drives).

These hard drives have a standard spindle with which the data platter spins and a solid state

component, which is similar to the standard flash drive, also known as a thumb drive. By

utilizing the Adaptive Memory Technology, the load times of some programs and files are

reduced, as stated in the product overview on

us/products/laptops/. “Adaptive Memory technology intelligently monitors frequently used

applications and data files, then places them into the solid state portion of the drive so they can

be quickly recalled. Adaptive Memory technology enables the drive to tailor its performance to

the user.” (Momentus® XT)
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       This series of hard drives comes in three different sizes, 250, 320 and 500GB, three

different sizes all large enough to handle most situations even backing up other storage devices.

They come with a 5 year limited warranty and the 500GB HDD on sells for

$149.99. This hard drive is a great upgrade for the cost, and can even upgrade your system’s load

times for only a small cost increase from standard HDDs. USER Alanl on

explains why the hybrid feature is worth the extra cost towards the upgrade. “The

additional/upgrade cost was $30 at the time I got my new laptop. That's insignificant compared

to the potential savings, so I sprung for it. […] Absolutely no difference in installation. The

"hybrid" part (the flash memory) is completely transparent. No driver. No software. Looks and

acts like a normal drive. It learns usage patterns and will cache your commonly-accessed files,

which ends up being operating system files and application files.” (Alanl, no-brainer

performance boost) His entire evaluation can be found in the customer reviews section of the

Momentus® XT 500GB hard drive on


       Unfortunately the hybrid configuration doesn’t help to reduce the acoustic level of this

hard drive series. The Momentus® XT series operates at 2.3 – 2.5 bels (23-25 dB) and even with

the solid state portion, the transfer speed doesn’t improve the load times of programs and files

that aren’t used often. The latency of the Momentus® XT is 4.17ms with a 7200RPM spindle

speed the transfer rate can reach 300/MBs. Even though programs that utilize the Adaptive

Memory technology load faster, data transfer speeds are unaffected by the hybrid components.

Purchasing this hard drive for secondary storage is a bad idea as USER Alanl explains on
                                                                                       Turnblom 5 “No difference in file transfer speed. Don't waste money by putting this in an

external enclosure. It won't move files any faster.” (Alanl, no-brainer performance boost)

                   Intel® X25-M Mainstream SATA (SSD) Solid-State Drive

       The last hard drive I looked at for an upgrade possibility was the X25-M Mainstream

from Intel®. This hard drive is known as an SSD, a solid state hard drive, meaning that it is in a

completely solid condition. Being in a solid condition helps to reduce wear and tear, as well as

noise from motors spinning. SSDs are similar to RAM (Random Access Memory) and Flash

memory drives.


       With no moving parts in the Intel® X25-M Mainstream, the acoustics level can only be

registered with equipment designed to pick up faint sounds. The human ear is unable to detect

any sounds coming from the device. It comes with a 3 year warranty and the transfer speeds are

incredible. While the read/write speeds reach 250 MB/s the operating latency is only 65. A more

detailed description of the speed capabilities of the Intel® X25-M Mainstream are explained by

the Intel® PR in the review done by Nathan Kirsch of “Specifically, Intel’s

new SSD provides a 25 percent further reduction in latency, for quicker access to data, operating

at 65-microsecond read latency compared to approximately 4,000 microseconds for an HDD.” -

INTEL PR (Kirsch)


       Since this is a SSD the storage, capacity is limited to 160GB maximum size with today’s

current technology. The cost can be unbearably expensive for anyone on a budget when a 120GB

SSD sells for $249.99 at
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                                      My Personal Choice

       Out of the three hard drives I looked into purchasing for an upgrade for the PS3 system, I

would have to select the Intel® X25-M Mainstream. Even with the higher cost for the product,

video gaming load times are very important. By having such a low latency, cut scenes from

games will load almost immediately. If one is gaming online against other people, the load times

for the environments could help you get the jump on your competition, giving you the edge.

Since having the edge in online gaming is extremely important there really is no substitute for

this hard drive, because winning really is everything when playing games online.
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                                                       Works Cited

B e s t B u y. " S e a g a t e - M o m e n t u s 5 0 0 G B I n t e r n a l S e r i a l A T A H a r d D r i v e
         f o r L a p t o p s . " B e s t B u y . B e s t B u y, 2 0 1 1 . W e b . 2 2 F e b 2 0 1 1 .
         < +Momentus+500GB+Internal
         87&skuId=9326428&st=seagate momentus&cp=1&lp=1>.

B e s t B u y, . " S e a g a t e - M o m e n t u s X T 5 0 0 G B I n t e r n a l S e r i a l A T A H a r d
         D r i v e f o r L a p t o p s - S i l v e r / B l a c k . " B e s t B u y . B e s t B u y, 2 0 1 1 . W e b .
         2 2 F e b 2 0 1 1 . < h t t p : / / w w w . b e s t b u y. c o m / s i t e / S e a g a t e + + M o m e n t u s + X T +
         500GB+Internal+Ser ial+ATA+Hard+Drive+for+Laptops+ +Silver/Bla

B e s t B u y, . " I n t e l ® - X 2 5 - M M a i n s t r e a m 1 2 0 G B I n t e r n a l S e r i a l A T A I I
         S o l i d S t a t e H a r d D r i v e - S i l v e r . " B e s t B u y. B e s t B u y, 2 0 1 1 . W e b . 2 7
         F e b 2 0 1 1 . < h t t p : / / w w w . b e s t b u y. c o m / s i t e / I n t e l % 2 6 % 2 3 1 7 4 % 3 B + -
         +X25M+Mainstream+120GB+Internal+Serial +ATA+II+Solid+State+
         &st=solid state hard drive&cp=1&lp=1>.

Intel, . "Intel® X25 -M and X18 -M Mainstream SATA Solid -State Drives .”
       Intel.Intel,2009.Web.22Feb2011. <

Kirsch , Nathan. "Intel X25 -M 160GB 34nm MLC G2 SSD
     Benchmark Review." Legit Reviews 23 Jul 2009 : 1-13. Web. 22 Feb
     2011. <>.

Seagate. "Momentus® Laptop Hard Drives." Seagate. Seagate Technology
     LLC, 2011. Web. 22 Feb 2011. < -
     us/products/laptops/laptop -hard-drives/>.

S e a g a t e . " M o m e n t u s ® X T S o l i d S t a t e H yb r i d D r i v e s . " S e a g a t e . S e a g a t e \
          TechnologyLLC,2011.Web.22Feb2011. <
          w/en-us/products/laptops/laptop -hdd/>.

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