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Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 2TB review

Verdict:

The 2TB FreeAgent GoFlex Desk is fast and has lots of storage. It can be easily and cheaply upgraded to USB3 too.

Review Date: 24 Aug 2010

Price when reviewed: £115

Supplier: http://www.play.com

Reviewed By: Alan Lu

Our Rating 5 stars out of 5

Seagate's latest desktop external hard disk has a massive capacity of 2TB. It's also part of the company's new GoFlex range so, instead of having a fixed USB port, it has a removable USB adaptor. This can be quickly detached and replaced with others, the range includes faster interfaces such as USB3 or eSATA.

The adaptors connect using a modified version of the SATA interface found on internal hard disks, but the space around the SATA connector is too cramped to fit standard SATA cables. We tested the GoFlex Desk with both its included USB adapter and the optional USB3 adapter which costs an extra £20 from Lambda-tek. Over USB, its speeds were in line with what we'd expect from a USB 7,200rpm disk.

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 2TB

When connected using the USB3 adapter, it was not only significantly faster than USB, as we expected, it was also one of the fastest USB3 disks we've seen. Large files were written at 104.6MB/s and read at 114.3MB/s. Small files were read at a fast 103.6MB/s. It fell behind other USB3 disks only when writing small files, but it's still quicker than any USB disk at 52.2MB/s, and you won’t notice if largely transfer larger files like video clips.

The GoFlex Desk is very quiet since it doesn't have a cooling fan, relying instead on passive cooling. You'll therefore want to keep it in a well-ventilated area. Although it never became alarmingly hot during our demanding tests, you may prefer an alternative disk with a cooling fan for especially disk-intensive work such as editing video.

We previously reviewed the portable 500GB version the GoFlex and weren't convinced its removable interface adaptors were worth the added expense over a standard portable USB disk. The GoFlex Desk costs £15 more than a standard 2TB USB disk. When combined with the cost of the USB3 adapter, it's actually the cheapest USB3 2TB disk we've seen. This makes it a good buy for those wanting plenty of fast, external, storage.

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