Taking a look at the capacity of the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 4TB Desk Drive we see that in Windows, there is 3.63 TB available to the user as reported by Windows. The used space on the drive is 1.43GB and that is partly due to the pre-loaded software that comes on the drive.
The Seagate 4TB GoFlex Desk is an impressive external storage drive that raises the bar for what can be stored on a single external storage drive. The key to this is the use of one of the very first 3.5″ SATA hard drives that is 4TB in capacity. As with any cutting edge technology, you’ll have to pay dearly for this as the Seagate 4TB GoFlex Desk has an MSRP of $249.99. This makes the drive $100 more expensive than the 3TB version, so the best bang for your buck would actually be one of the smaller versions.
The performance of the Seagate 4TB GoFlex Desk drive was impressive with benchmarks like ATTO showing 192MB/s read speeds and 162MB/s write speeds! The Seagate 4TB SATA 6Gbps 7200 RPM 3.5″ hard drive that Seagate uses inside the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ready enclosure is no performance slouch! We didn’t bother testing at USB 2.0 speeds as both the read and write speeds never dropped below the maximum speeds of USB 2.0 and you’ll get close to 40MB/s read and write speeds.
One thing that we didn’t mention in the performance section of the review is how much power than this drive consumed during use. We saw the power draw at the wall of this drive being 8.1 Watts at idle and then 12.3 Watts during most read/write operations. Not too bad on the power usage front. The noise level wasn’t bad either as you could hear the drive whirring along when in use, but it wasn’t loud enough to complain about unless you want complete silence from your PC. The temperature of the drive was mostly around 45C at idle and we saw it get up to 65C under heavy long-term use in a room that was 24C. Usually we wouldn’t worry about high temperatures, but Seagate only placed a two year warranty on this drive. Seagate offers up to a five year warranty on other 3.5″ hard drives, but for some reason that isn’t the case here.
We also noticed that Seagate changed the design on this enclosure and gave it more on an industrial look than the other 1TB, 2TB and 3TB versions of the GoFlex Desk series. We like the new looks of the drive and also like how Seagate increased the cooling properties of the external housing. The housing still doesn’t have a wide footprint though and can still easily tip over if bumped when in the vertical position. We knocked ours over a few times without incident and our shipping box looks like it went through an NFL training camp for kickers.
Legit Bottom Line: If you want 4TB of external data storage in a rather small enclosure using the USB 3.0 interface then the Seagate 4TB GoFlex Desk is the only real option that you have. Just be sure to figure out a way to backup this drive as that is a ton of data to put on a single drive and we are big fans of data redundancy.