Sub-Terabyte External Hard Drives

Buffalo DriveStation Turbo USB 1 TB

Buffalo’s external terabyte hard drive is called DriveStation Turbo USB, which refers to the USB interface running at a lower overhead than typical USB 2.0 connections. The vendor claims to achieve "up to 37% faster" USB 2.0 transfer speed, but without referring to the base line behind this statement. Yes, the drive provides good performance at up to 32 MB/s read throughput and 27 MB/s write transfer rates. However, this isn’t a new record, and definitely still within the performance boundaries of USB 2.0.

The DriveStation Turbo USB consists of an aluminum body that acts as a passive cooling device, with a black plastic frame wrapped around it. We found that this product utilizes a Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 terabyte hard drive, which comes pre-formatted and ready to use. It makes a lot of sense to operate the device vertically, because this will allow heated air to exit the device at the top. Since the five-platter Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 drive gets rather warm even when the DriveStation Turbo USB is operated in this manner, we recommend attaching the included snap-on cooler. It basically is a black plastic frame that fits perfectly on top of the drive, with a 40 mm fan whose power cable has to be connected to the appropriate jack on the back of the device.

The drive runs on an external power supply unit and we found it good to see that there is a physical power switch on the back. Many external storage products don’t allow the user to switch the product on and off manually, and rely on a soft-off or standby mode instead, which we feel provides insufficient control. Buffalo also added a little switch to select between auto and manual power modes. The manual mode allows us to set shutdown timer and wakeup events manually, while the auto mode will take care of things automatically and also switch off the drive once the USB cable is disconnected.

Buffalo adds small plastic mounts to make these drives stackable if wanted. All the software comes on a CD, which is a good decision : other vendors simply pre-install their software, meaning that you’ll kill it should you decide to repartition or format the hard drive. The visual appearance of the drive is technical, but the mix of plastic and aluminum isn’t really stylish.

Plastic mounts turn the DriveStation Turbo USB into a stackable product.

This snap-on cooler can be installed on the top of the DriveStation Turbo USB to add active ventilation.

Buffalo includes a quick installation manual and handbook, the power supply with a power cable, the installation CD and a USB cable.

  • brett_30
    I'm surprised that the waterproof and fireproof ioSafe Solo didn't make it onto this list!
  • I need the driver for this external hard drive, Im out of town and need to use it. Any ideas?