The HD-227FW regains its absolute leadership when reading the file-sets in NTFS. The Transcend StoreJet is second best in four out of the five patterns. The HD-227U2 and the WD Passport are slowest with large and small files, respectively.
When copying within the same partition the HD-227U2 is just a little better with small files than its FireWire mate. The Transcend takes last place in four out of the five file-sets.
Like with FAT32, the drives’ standings do not change when we switch from copying within the same partition to copying into another partition.
2.5” hard disk drives have progressed to the point when the USB interface bandwidth proves to be barely enough to allow them working at their highest speeds. Our comparison of the HD-227FW and the HD-227U2 has shown that the drive with a FireWire (IEEE1394a) interface delivers higher speed than its USB counterpart. The USB is by far more widespread, though. If you purchase an external HDD with a FireWire interface you may find yourself unable to connect to a PC just because it lacks a FireWire port. You should be also aware of the emerging external interface eSATA which provides an even higher data-transfer rate. We’ll discuss it in some other article.
Our tests have also shown that although the USB is close to being a bottleneck for an external HDD, the characteristics of the hard disk itself matter, too. We hope our reviews will help make your search for the highest-performance external 2.5” HDD easier.