USB drives have become extremely common to use because of their portability and ease of use. All modern operating systems offer the functionality of USB plug’n’play devices making it easy for you to carry your data without worrying whether it would work or not. Although thumb drives are catching up in capacity with 64GB and [...]
USB drives have become extremely common to use because of their portability and ease of use. All modern operating systems offer the functionality of USB plug’n’play devices making it easy for you to carry your data without worrying whether it would work or not. Although thumb drives are catching up in capacity with 64GB and 128GB models, Hard drives still offer the best bang for your buck and today we’re looking at two 500GB drives- the Western Digital My Passport Studio and the Seagate FreeAgent Go.
Both these drives are fairly portable although Seagate tends to win as far as size and weight is concerned- measuring 130mm x 80mm x 12.5mm and weighing 0.16kg. The WD on the other hand is 127mm x 81mm x 18mm and weighs 0.18kg. I must say that you’d be hard pressed to notice the difference between the two and because of the slightly shorter length might even think that the WD is a smaller drive but specification prove otherwise.
Personally, I prefer the look of the Seagate Free Agent Go which looks a bit sleeker and is available in multiple colors. Also the lights on the Seagate look nicer which are arranged in a dotted format. The WD MyBook Studio on the other hand has a string of lights on the back that also act as capacity gauge.
Both these enclosures feature a 5400RPM 2.5” SATA hard drive and a USB 2.0 interface, however, Western Digital goes a step above by offering a Firewire 400/800 Interface as well. Firewire 800 offers a theoretical transfer rate of 800Mb/s over USB 2.0’s 480Mb/s which allows you to transfer data faster on the drive. The Free Agent Go on the other hand, offers an optional dock that allows to simply plug the drive vertically without messing with any cables.
Lets take a look at how these drives performed starting with HDTach- first with Seagate and then WD in USB and Firewire modes.
WD certainly proves to be faster than Seagate when they’re connected through a USB interface. The Firewire interface helps WD further by boosting the throughput by about 20%. We also tested these drives with PCMark Vantage’s HD test where Seagate scored 2003 while WD scored 2118 under USB and 2233 under Firewire. Last but certainly not the least, SiSoft Sandra benched the Seagate at 12381 ops/minute while the WD benched at 13266 ops/min and 19788 ops/min for USB and Firewire respectively.
Clearly, Firewire 800 is faster than USB in all tests. Not only that, the WD proves to be a faster drive than the Seagate in USB mode as well making it the choice of someone looking for best performance between these two drives. Unfortunately, performance usually costs a penalty and the WD MyBook Passport Studio with a price tag of US$200 (AED 735) is quite a bit more expensive than the Seagate Freeagent Go selling for US$120 (AED 440) at the moment. At such a big price difference, it definitely makes more sense to pick the Seagate.