Samsung M3 Station
Samsung’s M3 Station series of drives sport what could easily be considered the most stylish design of all the drives on test. It’s not all looks either, the textured sides offer some grip so that you’re much less likely to drop the M3, and a fairly wide base means it won’t tip quite as easily either.
Performance is above average, but the M3 is still no match for the top contenders from Seagate and Verbatim. Unlike most of the other drives, the M3 Station does not include any additional software, but Samsung does at least provide a three-year warranty.
Reg Rating 75%
Price £110 (1TB), £120 (1.5TB), £130 (2TB)
More info Samsung
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk
At first glance Seagate’s offering looks fairly ordinary, but it has a neat trick. The base of these drives is actually a removable Sata to USB 3.0 adapter capable, accepting pretty much any Sata drive. I threw a Patriot Wildfire SSD on it and managed 170MB/s read/write. While the removable base is very useful once off the GoFlex, I wouldn’t recommend actually standing this drive vertically unless you harbour some kind of unimaginable hatred for your data.
However, if you’re careful, the GoFlex is an absolute bargain at £80 for 2TB – not to mention it’s blazingly fast.
Reg Rating 90%
Price £80 (2TB), £130 (3TB)
More info Seagate
Next page: Verbatim USB 3.0 HDD
False Ads by 3TB Hard Drives & Microsoft or a test left undone
I need disc image backups and since I use Win 7 Pro 64 bit, I look for the Microsoft Win 7 logo on the HD package. Since my disc image size is about 600GB, I want something that is big and faster than USB 2.0. Yep, there is a WIn 7 logo on the 3TB WD My Book Essential External Hard Drive USB 3.0. box. Since I could get 2 of them for US$250, I bought two. Shock & ****, I could not use either drive to make a WIn 7 system image. Google the error message - formatting issue. But, on the box was "Formatted NTFS for Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7."
Search on Microsoft and find a posting from 2007 that admits to this "rare error." It seems that Microsoft software does not like the 3TB size. Yep, I have the May 2011 KB update that was to fix this issue installed on my system . I should mention that WD is in big denial of any such problem. Tried using USB 2 instead of USB 3, no go. Formatted HD as exFAT, no go in USB 2 or USB 3. Reformatted back to plain NTFS and wonders, able to make system image in USB 3. Then, several days later, I needed a file back that had been securely erased.
Oh, unhappy days. System will display the system image, but try to restore the system image and the computer tells you - unable to find the system image in either USB 3 or USB 2. I had to copy the system image from the WD to a Verbatim 2 TB External HD USB 3 over 8 hours, then use the Verbatim 2TB HD in USB 2 mode to restore the system image. It seems 3TB is a TB too far for Windows 7. You should tested the use of WIn 7 system image on the various 3TB hard drives because that a major reason to buy 3TB external hard drives
OS centric drives...
OS centric drives simply are not future proof. Anything that forgoes the obvious standard USB driver for something more bothersome is not only locking out current alternatives. It's also going to create extra support headaches in the here and now as well as a whole bunch in the future as tech moves on.
If you have to load a driver to use the disk then it's a big fat FAIL.
You'd be hard pressed finding a 3.5" caddy that doesn't require a separate power supply.
I don't know of many decent 3.5" drives that will happily spin up on 10V 1A of supply, which is all you can draw from two USB sockets.
2.5" drives on the other hand are more or less designed around lower power draw, so happily power themselves off a USB cable. 7200rpm drives often need two ports though to spin up.
How many of them *require* windows or macos?
One trend I have noticed recently with many of the boxed HDD solutions is that they are no longer simply hard disks in a box, so if you want to use them at BIOS level, they aren't accessible.
Western Digital & Seagates are particularly bad for this now, the older passports were pretty dumb, but the new ones have custom circuitry that requires drivers to be installed before they can be accessed. I guess it makes one-touch backups easier, but plays merry hell if you want to use them with a bootable CD or alternative OS.
@All of them need their own seperate power-supply?
Then why did you bother looking at an article that clearly stated they were desktop drives that 'might' be considered portable?