Articles: Storage

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Most often having an ordinary internal hard disk drive inside, external HDDs naturally have the same capacities and offer more storage space as soon as the capacities of the internal models increase. Today we’re going to review two high-capacity external drives from Seagate and Maxtor.

As you probably know, they are going to join their production potential in near future and make a single entity on the market, but as for today, the companies are still separate and we will be discussing their products under the two respective brands. The top external HDD model from Seagate is currently 400GB big as opposed to the storage capacity of 500GB of the top model from Maxtor, and we should keep this difference in mind as we compare the two products.

We didn’t want to wait for the 500GB drive announced on the Seagate website to come out and decided to test the two available models so that the users who need a highest-capacity external storage device with a single HDD inside could make a well-judged shopping choice right now.

Testing Participants

Maxtor One Touch III FireWire 400/USB 2.0 (F01G500)

This model doesn’t differ much from other devices in the OneTouch series. The name of the series comes from the button on the front panel which performs an automatic data backup after a single press. The external aluminum case of a bluish gray color is rather thick, probably for better ventilation of the HDD contained inside. The slits in the case are made for the same purpose, too. We dismantled the device to show you its design, particularly a fan and vent holes in the internal casing. There are two FireWire ports, one USB 2.0 port, a power button and a power connector on the device’s back panel.

The 3.5” hard disk drive employed here has a storage capacity of 500GB and is equipped with a 16MB buffer. The spindle rotation speed is 7200rpm; the average seek time is less than 9 milliseconds. The drive supports two interfaces: FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394a, iLink, SPB-2) and USB 2.0. The effective bandwidth as specified by the manufacturer is 43MB/s for FireWire 400 and 33MB/s for USB 2.0. The drive is operable within a temperature range of 5 to 35°C. The dimensions of the external case are 136 x 65 x 217mm; the weight of the device is 1.45kg.

The device is accompanied with a quick start guide, USB cable, FireWire cable (6x6 pin), power adapter with a cord, and CD with data backup software (EMC Dantz Retrospect HD) and user manual.

The retail price of the drive is $470.

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