External drives have become more of a necessity for people wanting data backup and transfer on-the-go. Also, with the competitive prices at which most manufacturers offer these, consumers are spoilt for choice. Seagate have recently launched their new FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 3TB external drive. It's upgradeable to USB 3.0 and comes with 3TB of storage. But is it worth your money? Read on to find out.

Seagate's large GoFlex FreeAgent Desk 3TB

Seagate's large GoFlex FreeAgent Desk 3TB

Design and Features
The FreeAgent GoFlex Desk has a sleek looking, black exterior and is shaped like a rectangular case. The body is glossy and may attract a lot of fingerprints, but it does look stylish. The drive is made for external desktop use, but you can carry it every now and then if you need to. The GoFlex Desk external drive has a usable space of 2.72TB and runs at a speed of 7200 rpm. The front of the drive consists of status LEDs and the back consists of the power supply slot and the microUSB connectivity slot. As mentioned above, this drive requires an external power supply. The external drive also comes in-built with security and backup software that has become a standard with most hard drives.

A simple looking drive with the dock as the base

A simple looking drive with the dock as the base

Test rig configuration:
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40 GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte P67A-UD3R
Memory: Corsair Dominator GT 6 GB DDR3 (3 x 2 GB)
Hard drive: WD Velociraptor 300 GB
GPU:  AMD Radeon HD6970
PSU: Cooler Master 1000W

Performance
We put the Seagate through a few synthetic and real world tests. In SiSoft Sandra the drive got a drive index of 33.11 MB/s and a random access time of 17ms. HDTach showed a CPU utilization of one percent and an average read speed of 33 MB/s with a burst speed of 34.3 MB/s. CrystalDiskMark scores gave a random 4K read speed of 0.573 MB/s, and a write speed of 1.443 MB/s. The random 4K QD32 read speed was 0.664 MB/s, while the write speed was 1.518 MB/s.

The back of the drive

The back of the drive

The synthetic tests portray only one side of the drive’s performance and it’s the real world tests that really gauge the performance of a hard drive. We took a 4GB single and random file, which is roughly about the size of an HD movie and following are the read, write and inter-partition, copy results we obtained.

Performance Chart

Performance Chart

Verdict
The Seagate GoFlex FreeAgent Desk costs Rs. 8,800. It does give a decent performance. Users wanting to buy this drive should more or less use it as a desk-based external drive with partial portability. Overall, we’d love to see a price drop for the 3TB drive – who wouldn’t – but the drive is definitely a good buy.

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