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Turnblom 1 Joshua Turnblom ENGL 2010 Kate Kimball 2/21/11 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 Turnblom 2 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, www.seagate.com) Pros 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 Bestbuy.com. “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) Cons 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 Turnblom 3 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, www.wikipedia.org] 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 www.bestbuy.com. “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 http://www.seagate.com/www/en- 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) Turnblom 4 Pros 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 www.bestbuy.com 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 www.bestbuy.com 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 www.bestbuy.com. Cons 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 www.bestbuy.com. “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. Pros 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 LegitReviews.com. “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) Cons 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 www.bestbuy.com. Turnblom 6 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. Turnblom 7 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 . <http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate+ +Momentus+500GB+Internal +Serial+ATA+Hard+Drive+for+Laptops/9326428.p?id=12180854266 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 ck/1149896.p?id=1218225362552&skuId=1149896&st=seagate momentus&cp=1&lp=2>. 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+ Hard+Drive++Silver/1592311.p?id=1218270598219&skuId=1592311 &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. <http://www.intel.com/design/flash /nand/mainstream/index.htm>. Kirsch , Nathan. "Intel X25 -M 160GB 34nm MLC G2 SSD Benchmark Review." Legit Reviews 23 Jul 2009 : 1-13. Web. 22 Feb 2011. <http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1022/1/>. Seagate. "Momentus® Laptop Hard Drives." Seagate. Seagate Technology LLC, 2011. Web. 22 Feb 2011. <http://www.seagate.com/www/en - 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. <http://www.seagate.com/ww w/en-us/products/laptops/laptop -hdd/>.
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