Seagate FreeAgent Go 640GB & FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra 500GB Mobile Hard Drive Reviewajmatson - February 1, 2011
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This is the point where we get down to the nitty gritty of using external storage. Speed is where it counts especially when transferring large amounts of data. To see where these two drives stand, I will be running a series of benchmarks designed to weigh in the performance of each one and the respective interfaces used. For the FreeAgent Go 640MB there is only the one USB 2.0 interface that is available which will be used. For the FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra 500GB I will be running the tests using the included USB 2.0 interface as well as the extra USB 3.0 interface supplied by Seagate. To give you an idea on overall performance among other setups, I will be including results from an external dock which provides USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 interfaces, as well as direct SATA connection.
- Processor(s):AMD Phenom II X4 965
- Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3
- Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE
- Memory: Mushkin 996744 DDR3 1600MHz 8-8-8-24
- Video Card : XFX HD 5870
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: LG Supermulti DVD-R/W
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- Seagate FreeAgent Go 640GB USB 2.0
- Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex USB 2.0
- Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex USB 3.0
- Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 w/ Seagate 750GB 7200.11 (ST3750330AS)
- Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 2.0 w/ Seagate 750GB 7200.11 (ST3750330AS)
- Internal SATA w/ Seagate 750GB 7200.11 (ST3750330AS)
- Average Transfer Rate (HD Tune)
- Access Time (HD Tune)
- Burst Rate (HD Tune)
- CPU Usage (HD Tune)
- Physical Disk Drive Index (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
- Physical Disk Access Time (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
- File Systems Drive Index (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
- File Systems Access Time (SiSoftware Sandra Professional XIIc)
- Real world transfer time
HDTune allows you to do many things with hard drives beyond benchmarking, however, for the purposes of this review I just used it for benchmarking. After the benchmark finished I recorded the Average Transfer Rate, Access Time, Burst Rate, and CPU Usage.
SiSoft Sandra allows you to run a veriety of hardware benchmarks on your PC. For the purposes of testing, I investigated Physical and File Systems in both Drive Index and Access Time. Upon completion of each test I marked down testing statistics
Real Time File Transfer:
Here I take 10MB, 100MB, and 500MB zipped files and transfer them from Internal drive to external and internal to internal. During each transfer I start a stopwatch at the beginning and stop it at the end and then record the time it took for the transfer to complete. For me 1 second was an instant transfer, as in no dialog box showed for it, it completed before one could be displayed.
Both drives performed as expected using USB 2.0 which is the limitation of the interface. When the GoFlex was used with the USB 3.0 interface their was a huge improvement over USB 2.0. Because a 5400RPM drive is used for low power in the portable drive it was expected to be slower than the BlacX enclosure with a 7200RPM drive but the scores were not far behind.