Hands-On: The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 3TB external hard drive

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Is the world ready for a 3TB hard drive? Seagate thinks so and announced the 3TB FreeAgent GoFlex Desk external hard drive a few days back. The FedEx man just dropped one off on my doorstep so let’s see what this thing is all about. 3TB, wow.

Specs:

  • Model number STAC1000100
  • 192-bit Triple DES encryption
  • 7200 RPM
  • Backup software included
  • Comes with USB 2.0 GoFlex adapter
  • USB 3.0 and Firewire adapters available for additional $39.99 and $49.99, respectively
  • MSRP of $249 (back-ordered as of writing)
  • Product Page

First impressions:

  • The external drive is heavy and solid — noticeably more so than a Western Digital MyBook.
  • The drive itself is surprisingly quiet when it’s in the external casing. There isn’t any audible clicks or whines — at least so far.
  • The GoFlex adapter snaps through the external case and directly into the hard drive’s power and SATA connectors. This means that modders can easily and quickly integrate the hard drive into their systems temporarily.
  • The external casing is clearly not meant to be removed, but it’s possible. Just pry the one loose side panel off. I only broke one of the four tabs and only used my fingernails for the prying.

Benchmarks:

SATA performance

  • Average read: 129.7 MB/s
  • Average write: 127.7 MB/s
  • Access time: 11 ms

USB 2.0 performance

  • Average read: 32.6 MB/s
  • Average write: 24.9 MB/s
  • Access time: 16.8 ms

Stats gathered using HD Tune Pro 4.01

The drive is as good as can be expected from a fresh-off-the-line unit. It’s fast and quiet, a near perfect drive for internal or external installation. The only question left is do you really wanna trust 3TB of your photos, movies, files, and programs to a single drive?

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