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  • Mitch89 - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    The swappable interfaces is an interesting idea, but wouldn't it just make sense to make it FW800/USB3 standard, instead of messing about with different adaptors? Reply
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    It's not hard to imagine a Thunderbolt adapter. FW800/USB3 are great but they have their disadvantages. Same with eSATA.

    FW800 - slow, hard drive is faster than the bus.
    USB 3.0 - while fast, it requires traveling over the USB protocol, which is at the mercy of the quality of your USB 3.0 controller.
    eSATA - fine for desktops, but may not be present on laptops.

    Thunderbolt - can be part of a daisy chain, which reduces the number of wires coming out of a laptop.
  • Guspaz - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    On the contrary, eSATA is far more common on laptops than desktops (although it's simple to add to desktops with cheap adapters); eSATAp ports (hybrid USB/eSATA ports that can provide power) are very common on laptops these days.

    While a thunderbolt adapter for the GoFlex drives might be convenient, it's not going to get you any performance over eSATA; the GoFlex drives basically just provide a mechanical standard that lets the adapter plug right into the drive's SATA port via modified eSATA. This means that an eSATA adapter for the GoFlex is entirely passive (being the native format of the drive), while a Thunderbolt adapter is going to be active. At that point, the real question is, which controller will be better; your laptop/desktop's SATA controller, or Seagate's Thunderbolt controller (which will be doing the same thing, SATA-to-PCIe)?
  • Jaybus - Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - link

    USB 3 can also connect to a hub. I think the author is far too quick to blame USB 3 for the performance issue with the last TB of the drive. I can think of no reason why the USB 3 controller should know or care which tracks of the drive the read heads happen to be over. I disagree with the author's assumption that the USB 3 controller is to blame. We can't know for sure, because it was deemed that USB 2 testing was not needed and neither was the drive removed from the case and tested in native SATA. Reply
  • seapeople - Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - link

    He's not blaming USB 3.0 for the low performance at the end of the drive, he's blaming it for bottlenecking the performance at the beginning of the drive. The write speed should decrease linearly as the drive fills up due to the physics of data storage on a rotating platter, but the fact that it doesn't decrease for 3TB means something is limiting the drive's performance. Reply
  • sheh - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    I'm guessing Firewire is for the Apple people? Reply
  • logic_88 - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    What's the advantage of GoFlex over something like a SATA dock? I have a couple of triple interface SATA docks (USB2, eSATA, FW400) and it's easy to swap bare SATA drives whenever I want more/different storage. Reply
  • TypeS - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Are you really asking that question? The GoFlex is not a dock, it is a packaged external drive with changeable interfaces. A a dock is a dock, a stationary device/tool. Reply
  • logic_88 - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Since the GoFlex has a power brick, I don't see how it's any more portable than my dock. Reply
  • enderwiggin21 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Fair enough, but essentially what you're asking is what's the point of ANY external drive when you can just use a dock. The answers to that shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Off the top of my head:

    Heat dissipation. Bare drives in my dock always run about 10 degrees cooler than drives I use that are actively cooled or have heatsinks attached to them.



    And Dock + Power Cable + Drive + Cables = at least 1 more item to carry around than any external drive.
  • mfenn - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    We see the USB 3.0 performance and a lot of speculation about the limitations of the controller, so let's rip it apart and find out how it performs on its native interface! Reply
  • Zoomer - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Agreed, that's all the product is good for anyway, assuming the drive inside is reasonable. Reply
  • dingetje - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    too big, too hot, too expensive
    so no thanks, Seagate.
  • TypeS - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Two platter 2GB drives huh.... you travel to future from the nineties? Reply
  • dingetje - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    lol..TB *cough* Reply
  • GeorgeH - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    I know I did. Kind of a cool decade, but it sure took awhile to travel through - almost 10 years, IIRC. ;) Reply
  • Impulses - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Why don't Seagate/WD ever make these enclosures out of aluminum? Wouldn't that conduct heat away better? Reply
  • TypeS - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Plastic is cheaper. They are a profit-making company after all. Reply
  • Watwatwat - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Doesn't even need to be that, simply more vent holes would do. In any case these cases are almost never just plastic, sometimes there is plenty of metal inside, more than enough for good heat sinking if it were properly designed. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    The profit margins are really tight on these 4 TB drives..

  • MarkLuvsCS - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    I have two WD external drives, a single 2tb and a 3tb and neither has any heat problems sitting in a small cubby hole devoid of any kind of real circulation. While writing ~80TB of info the drive barely warms up to ~44C for the 3tb and ~42 for the 2tb. The external drives are not 7200rpm but they certainly don't need to be. Transfer rates for the drives are ~120-140MB/s.

    Although Google's HDD study showed temperature increases not having a big impact on average failure rates, their charts did show 50C+ it seemed that drive failure did start to increase a little bit.

    I am staying clear of Seagate for the time being because of all these issues that seem to crop up time and time again.
  • khanov - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Back around May Seagate announced they would be the first to ship drives with 1TB per platter. I'm curious if they ever did so, and if not then what happened? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Hitachi beat them to it:
    and ||
    "09/09/11 - G-Technology by Hitachi Showcases its First 4TB Hard Drives — G-Technology™ Demos a Two-Drive 8TB G-RAID™ Thunderbolt® External Storage Solution With Blazing Throughput for Post Production; New 4TB Hitachi GST Hard Drives are First to Ship in G-Technology’s G-RAID and G-DRIVE™ solutions "
    There ya go. :)
  • Watwatwat - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    I've had several of the older model seagates bake themselves to death inside their cases, it seems seagate wants these things to fail. the refurbs they sent me as warranty replacement also had a pretty damn high failure rate. so yes, if you get one, don't leave it plugged in for any extended length of time, its pretty pathetic how they are designed. Reply
  • Nihility - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Hitachi already has 1 TB platters, it's only a matter of time before we see a 4TB drive with only 4 platters from them. Reply
  • iwodo - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    I had always thought 5 Platter was an Hitachi Exclusive Tech. Reply
  • vailr - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    Will Windows 8, OSX Lion and/or Ubuntu now provide the ability to boot an external USB 3.0 drive?
    I'm guessing "no" for Windows 8, but maybe if enough interest is shown during the beta testing...
    Otherwise, go with an external HD housing that includes both USB 3.0 and eSATA. And boot Windows 8 using the eSATA interface.
  • name99 - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - link

    WTF are you talking about? Mac's have been able to boot from USB officially since Intel Macs, and unofficially even on later PPC models.

    Of course this is a USB3 drive connected to a USB2 port, since that's what Apple ships today. I would imagine that when Apple ships a USB3 mac, it will be able to boot from that port right away.

    Likewise Apple supports booting from Thunderbolt today.

    I've never understood why other OS's can't get this right. OBVIOUSLY the user wants the ability, at least sometimes, to boot from any disk anywhere on there system, whether it's FW, USB or TB connected.
  • DanaG - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Too bad most external USB 3.0 controllers don't have a boot ROM. Without that, you won't be able to boot ANY operating system from USB 3.0 devices.
    Once chipsets have native USB 3.0, hopefully that will change.

    At the very least, they could probably load the kernel via 2.0 mode, and then let the OS flip it into 3.0 mode.
  • jdietz - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Are there available 4TB internal drives / bare drives? Reply
  • Etern205 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Why doesn't Seagate just have every kind of adapter on the drive rather than go with swappable interfaces? Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Are these transfer rates for BOT or UASP modes? Any idea what chips is this device using to bridge SATA to USB 3.0? Reply
  • Googer - Saturday, October 01, 2011 - link

    Still no e-sata benchmarks that we were promised. Reply
  • KenSorensen - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    Can anybody recommend an affordable & RELIABLE Backup External Drive?
    I have had 3 of these things quit on me! One had a Five year warranty, but you can't get any satisfaction from these guys. They seem to have the market cornered and feel any crap will do. Every one of them lost the abiliity for computers to recognize them, so you can do nothing with them including retrieving my data. I have attempted to get info from them on numerous occasions but never any satisfaction. Their answer is always pay us $299 and we will get your data back. Whats the point of backing it up if the backup keeps breaking down? Seagate Products gets the Two Thumbs Down from Me. Extremely Unhappy!

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