Picking The Right External 2.5" Hard Drive
The real star of the show today is USB 3.0, which allows the Adata DashDrive Durable HD710, Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro, and Western Digital My Passport to demonstrate their respective advantages, while allowing us to pinpoint their weaknesses without interference from a USB bottleneck. Technically, you could pick any one of these three external disks and be satisfied with it. However, each has specific strengths that endear it to a particular type of customer.
The Fastest: We cannot hand Hitachi's Touro Mobile Pro an unconditional victory when it comes to performance. It loses out to Western Digital's My Passport in the real-world read tasks we'd expect these drives to be tasked with. Moreover, Samsung's S2 demonstrates more consistently-good results overall.
Hitachi does particularly well in our synthetic metrics, where it takes a number of first-place finishes. Sporting a maximum sequential read/write rate of 125 MB/s in h2benchw, you'd expect the Touro Mobile Pro to decimate its competition in picture and music file transfers. Although it is the fastest drive of the three we tested, its advantage shrinks quite a bit. In this round-up, at least, Hitachi scores a victory, though we'd hardly call it commanding.
The Toughest: If you're shopping for an external drive able to take a beating, the number of viable options drops precipitously. Fortunately, Adata's DashDrive Durable HD710 does qualify. This ruggedized option is able to drop from a tablet to the floor or spend half an hour at the bottom of a garden fountain without compromising your data. In spite of its specially-designed chassis, the DashDrive Durable HD710 is only slightly larger than non-ruggedized drives, and barely heavier, weighing in at 0.5 lbs. Its performance is average, making it respectably quick. Even though we would have liked to see a greater-than three-year warranty on this particular model, Adata can at least rest easy knowing it offers one more year of coverage than either Hitachi or Western Digital.
The Largest: Diminutive physical dimensions do not give away the fact that Western Digital's My Passport crams in an impressive 2 TB of capacity, representing a new record for 2.5” drives. If you need to maximize this ever-important variable, the My Passport is a winner. Just be ready to pay about $200 for the drive. That's only 10 cents per gigabyte, which isn't bad overall.
The good news is that Western Digital doesn't necessarily compromise performance in its aim to serve up lots of storage space. Its 5400 RPM drive is able to outmaneuver Hitachi's 7200 RPM model in our real-world read tests. It finishes further down the stack in our write tests, and is more similar to Adata's DashDrive Durable HD710 in the synthetics. You'd likely have a hard time telling the difference during day-to-day use, though.
So, Who Wins?
Each of these three drives satisfies a purpose. And, in a way, none of them directly compete against the others as a result of their different balances between performance, capacity, and durability. As a result, we'd have an equally difficult time declaring a winner as a loser; each serves its purpose well in its specialty. The key is knowing what you're looking for in a drive before you sit down to buy one. Perhaps our comparison will help guide such a purchasing decision.
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how fast is usb3? i mean real world, say you put a ssd in the best enclosure, what would it do?Reply
alidanhow fast is usb3? i mean real world, say you put a ssd in the best enclosure, what would it do?Reply
The theoretical bandwidth of USB 3.0 is roughly 625 MB/s, but this speed is rarely achieved -- even with the fastest hardware -- because the bus relies on a protocol for transferring data which is poorly optimized and eats up a chunk of the bandwidth.
alidanhow fast is usb3? i mean real world, say you put a ssd in the best enclosure, what would it do?I get like 70~140 MB/s (copying from WD my passport 1TB to my WD HDD (7200rpm black))Reply
and I get 30~40 MB/s copying from USB 2 WD my book 2TB to ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
shahroozI get like 70~140 MB/s (copying from WD my passport 1TB to my WD HDD (7200rpm black))and I get 30~40 MB/s copying from USB 2 WD my book 2TB to ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^USB 3 is more than twice as fast as USB 2.Reply
I'm sitting here, daydreaming about a Velociraptor external drive. Maybe that would be able to use the USB 3's capacity better, or maybe something's slightly wrong in my head for wishing for such a thing.Reply
willyrocUSB 3 is more than twice as fast as USB 2.Yeah but you're still limited to both the source and destination drive's read/write speed. So when copying from a HDD to an HDD, you're unlikely to exceed 140 MBps.Reply
If you're copying from a SATA 3 SSD to a USB 3.0 SSD, then yes, you could see much faster speeds.
USB 3.0 + UASP (or) eSATA (or) Internal (SATA 2 or 3) HDD.Reply
USB 3.0 in most instances isn't ready for prime time for external HDD's, and without UASP the queuing is too slow; UASP solves this problem. Otherwise without UASP IMO use eSATA or a backup internal SATA HDD.
More info see TH article June 20th, 2012 - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-3-uas-turbo,3215.html
Note: The Hitachi Touro fails (BSOD) in Windows 8.
So... Theoretically USB 3.0 is faster than eSata, but in practice eSata is still the way to go?Reply
ubercakeSo... Theoretically USB 3.0 is faster than eSata, but in practice eSata is still the way to go?Yes.Reply
shahroozI get like 70~140 MB/s (copying from WD my passport 1TB to my WD HDD (7200rpm black))and I get 30~40 MB/s copying from USB 2 WD my book 2TB to ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Reply
that 1tb is in a better case than the 2tb
what i have noticed with usb 3 is that, yes while its theoretical max is higher than current hdd and ssds should achieve, the fact of the matter is they never hit that peak.
thats why im wondering, with an ssd, what is the best we can get usb3 to.
you proved that current normal hdds in a good case do not have a problem in usb 3, and for that i thank you.