Monday, September 12, 2011

seagate hard disk 4tb externalseagate hard disk 4tb external

I'm off to IDF this week while Ryan
and Brian cover Microsoft's BUILD
conference, so expect lots of CPU
and Windows 8 news in the coming
days. Just before I left however
Seagate sent me a review sample
of its recently announced GoFlex
Desk 4TB drive. Eager to find out if
anything had changed since I
reviewed last year's 3TB model I
dove right into testing.
The GoFlex connector standard
Seagate's GoFlex Desk is a line of
external 3.5" hard drives with
interchangeable GoFlex Desk docks.
Internally all GoFlex Desk drives
have a standard Seagate 3.5" SATA
hard drive; it's the GoFlex Desk
dock that converts SATA into USB
3.0, USB 2.0 or FireWire 800. Since
3.5" drives require more power
than you can get out of a single
USB port, Seagate's GoFlex Desk
requires an external power adapter
that comes with the drive.
Although the SATA power and data
connectors on the GoFlex Desk are
in a standardized location, to date
all implementations of Seagate's
GoFlex spec have been designed
for 2.5" drives. As a result the only
real advantage to this being a
GoFlex drive is that you can swap
out docks to get support for
different interfaces.
By default the GoFlex Desk bundle
comes with a USB 3.0 dock that's
obviously backwards compatible
with USB 2.0 ports. Seagate offers
an optional USB 2.0/FireWire 800
dock, presumably for Mac users
with FireWire 800 ports. The dock
features five LEDs, one for power
and the other four indicate capacity
used in 25% increments.
Seagate sent me the standard 4TB
USB 3.0 bundle; with it you get the
drive, power adapter and a USB 3.0
cable. The drive comes preloaded
with Seagate's Dashboard as well
as Memeo Instant Backup. Seagate
will part with a 4TB GoFlex Desk
bundle for $249.
As I mentioned in our initial post on
the 4TB GoFlex Desk, Seagate uses
a 5-platter 7200RPM 3.5" 6Gbps
SATA Barracuda hard drive inside
the GoFlex Desk. At 4TB that works
out to be 800GB per platter.
The spec for hard drive storage
capacity is done in base 10 where
1TB = 1 trillion bytes. That works
out to be 3725GiB of storage on the
GoFlex Desk 4TB. We've addressed
the issue with hard drives greater
than 2TB in previous articles, the
same discussion applies here.
A Redesigned Chassis
Despite retaining the name, the 4TB
GoFlex Desk introduces a new
external enclosure. It's sleeker and
more angular than last year's, but
more importantly it has better
cooling properties. For now it looks
like you can only get the new
chassis if you buy the 4TB drive,
the smaller capacities still ship with
the old chassis.
Seagate GoFlex Desk 3TB 2010
(left) vs. GoFlex Desk 4TB 2011
In our review of the 3TB GoFlex
Desk we found that under hours of
continued use the drive got quite
warm: up to 69C. The high
temperatures resulted from two
things: the GoFlex Desk enclosure
had very little ventilation and the
5-platter 7200RPM drive inside put
out a lot of heat. With the move to
4TB Seagate stuck with a 5-platter
7200RPM design, but gave the
enclosure more holes for
Seagate GoFlex Desk 3TB 2010
(left) vs. GoFlex Desk 4TB 2011
The top and back of the new
GoFlex Desk are vented to bring
down drive temperatures. The old
design had dents that looked like
holes but they were simply to give
the plastic texture, they weren't
functional. Western Digital's My
Book Essential is still better
ventilated but this is definitely a
step in the right direction.
Hooray, vents!
The new chassis definitely keeps
temperatures cooler for longer
under light usage, however if
you're copying a lot of data to the
GoFlex Desk temperatures will
climb. After one hour of sequential
writes over USB 3.0 I measured a
drive temperature of 63C. In just
under 2 hours the drive got up to
67C, a bit lower than last year's
model but still troubling. The good
news is unlike last year's model,
the drive will continue to operate at
full performance in this state. When
testing the 3TB version last year
we found that sequential write
speeds dropped to 50MB/s when
the temperature got into the upper
Granted that's after copying nearly
1TB of data without pause, so you
shouldn't see these numbers other
than the very first time you copy
all of your data to the drive. During
normal use and even when moving
around a couple hundred GB of
data the 4TB GoFlex Desk kept to
51C and below. I'm happy to see
that Seagate redesigned the
chassis, but I'd still feel more
comfortable with even more
ventilation or at least a cooler
running drive inside.
The internal Barracuda + USB 3.0
dock consume 11.9W at idle and
13.7W under load. The drive whine
is audible when on but it's not
overly loud. If you're using
anything other than a very quiet
notebook you'll likely not be too
bothered by the drive.

No comments:

Post a Comment