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Buffalo DriveStation USB 3.0 1TB review

Verdict:

Buffalo's USB3 DriveStation is easily the fastest external hard disk we've seen. It's pricy, but it's worth having if time is a big issue.

Review Date: 21 Dec 2009

Price when reviewed: inc VAT

Reviewed By: Alan Lu

Our Rating 5 stars out of 5

ExpertReviews Award

Buffalo's DriveStation is the first USB3 external hard disk we've seen. USB3 has a theoretical top speed of around 600MB/s. This is 10 times faster than USB2's maximum possible speed.

As expected, Buffalo's DriveStation didn't come anywhere near these speeds in our file- transfer tests, but its performance is seriously impressive. It copied large files at an average speed of 130.6MB/s and small files at an overall speed of 109.1MB/s. This is almost four times faster than the quickest USB2 disks, which we'd expect to manage 30MB/s in both tests. The best FireWire or eSATA external disks we've seen did not come close to matching the DriveStation's speeds.

To take advantage of its fastest performance, you must add USB3 ports to your PC. It will work when plugged into any USB2 port, but transfer speeds are limited by the old standard. Despite its high speeds, the DriveStation is quiet.

This is the external hard disk to buy if performance is critical, but it will cost you. It's £45 more than our favourite 1TB USB2 disk, Samsung's Story Station, and you also have to factor in the cost of upgrading your computer.

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