USB 2.0, FireWire, Or eSATA: Which Interface Should You Use?

USB 2.0: Hitachi SimpleDrive III 2TB

SimpleDrive is a legacy name from Hitachi’s acquisition of the storage company SimpleTech. The SimpleDrive Rev. 3 is the latest version, available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. The device we used for this article is the 2TB flagship. All versions have a three-year warranty, a USB 2.0 interface, and the same tower design with a solid plastic stand foot and a brushed aluminum case.

Hitachi e

mphasizes that this product is easy-to-use, which means that it turns on and off with your computer. The box included plug adapters for the United States, the UK, Europe, and Australia, which at least makes it ubiquitous. A Kensington lock is available as well. The device weighs one kilogram (2.2 lbs.), plus another 300g for the cables and power supply unit. Backup software called Hitachi Backup is included.

Read performance was between 23 and 27 MB/s depending on the file size you transfer. The lowest performance was reached with small files: MP3s and photos (between 1 and 4MB in size each). Throughput was higher with larger files, such as DVD videos (.vob), reaching 27 MB/s.

Write operation was faster by a few megabytes per second. The throughput diagram confirms that the drive stays above 30 MB/s during the entire time 2,000 GB of data is transferred. A 13.1 ms average access time is a nice result as well. Overall, this product delivers ample storage space at the performance we’d expect for USB 2.0. Its price of roughly $200 isn’t a bargain, but acceptable for a maximum-capacity premium product. Now, let's turn our attention toward the multi-interface option.