Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 4TB Desk External Drive ReviewMon, Sep 12, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Seagate Breaks the 4TB Hard Drive Barrier
Last week Seagate announced the worlds first 4TB external desktop hard drive and one just happened to show up on our door step! This is a rather significant leap in terms of storage capabilities as we went from 3TB to 4TB of storage on a 3.5″ hard drive! It isn’t every day you get a 33% increase, so this is a huge milestone for both the enterprise and consumer markets. It took forever to break the 2TB barrier and it feels like just yesterday that 3TB drives came out. Now the 3TB barrier has been broken and the age of 4TB drives is here. To put that into perspective, you can store roughly 160 Blu-ray movies or around 2,000 compressed HD movies!
Seagate sent us the retail boxed 4TB GoFlex Desk model, which features the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface to connect to our PC. It’s a good thing that this drive is USB 3.0 as with that much data you’ll want to be able to access it and move it around quickly!
The outer shipping box looks like it was drop kicked by UPS before we opened it up and even the inner box was dented up. It looks like we’ll get to try out the durability of this hard drive the first time we turn it on! The Seagate GoFlex Desk series feature a 2 year warranty, which is good to know when you receive a product like this.
Opening up the Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB box we see that the drive is packaged with an inner crush zone and in a plastic bag, so the drive should be good to go.
The Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB drive comes with drive itself, AC power adapter, a five foot USB 3.0 cable and the trusty quick start guide. The GoFlex Desk 4TB comes pre-loaded with backup software featuring 192-bit triple DES encryption.
We removed the Seagate GoFlex 4TB drive from the plastic shipping bag only to find that Seagate placed a protective film over the entire enclosure to keep the gloss black finish from being scratched up.
The Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB enclosure might look large, but when placed next to an object that you know it really isn’t that large. The image above shows the Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB drive sitting next to a Seagate 2TB 3.5-inch hard drive. Inside the GoFlex Desk 4TB enclosure is a single Seagate 3.5″ SATA 6Gbps hard drive that has five 800GB platters spinning at 7200 RPM.
Notice that the top of the Seagate GoFlex Desk has vent holes on the top to help get the hot air our of the enclosure. As you can see from the image, the GoFlex Desk isn’t much larger and that is with the USB 3.0 base installed on it. What base is this?
The GoFlex Desk bundle comes with a USB 3.0 dock pre-installed that is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports. Seagate does this as users can purchase an optional USB 2.0/FireWire 800 adapter dock for $49.99 that is aimed at Apple Mac users with FireWire 800 ports. The dock features five LEDs, one for power and the other four indicate the capacity used on the drive in 25% increments.
Looking at the back side of the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 4TB external desk drive you’ll see that the drive also has a number of cooling slits on the back of the housing for cooling purposes. This drive requires the use of AC power and you’ll find the power port and the USB 3.0 Micro B header on the removable USB 3.0 adapter.
Seagate includes a five foot long black USB 3.0 cable (A to Micro B) that is needed to hook the GoFlex Desk up to your desktop PC or notebook. The micro-USB side pictured above must be connected to the external drive and the other side is a typical USB connector that can be plugged into any USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 device.