Pocket drive battle: 10 high speed external hard disks rated
Looking for a portable drive to store your photo and music? Read our verdict and reviews of 10 of the best
External drives are a part of everyday life, and the ubiquitous USB 2 connection is an effortless way to add storage. Sadly, it’s nowhere near fast enough to realise the full performance potential of a typical hard disk.
The read and write speeds you’ll see from a USB 2 external drive are normally only a fraction of what the spinning platters inside the unit are capable of.
The solution? A faster interface. The recent USB 3 standard brings a new SuperSpeed mode that’s ten times as fast as USB 2, allowing hard disks to operate at full speed. If your system doesn’t already have USB 3 ports, you can easily add them: desktop systems can be upgraded with a PCI Express card, while laptops need a USB 3 ExpressCard adapter (these cost around $50). The new standard is backwards compatible, so you can also plug a USB 3 drive into a USB 2 socket should you need to.
This month, we’ve rounded up 10 USB 3 drives to find out which models make the most of the SuperSpeed interface. Some are high-performance desktop drives, designed as a permanent addition to your workspace. Some are stylish portables that you can easily throw in a bag or move between PCs.
For both types of drive we focus on high-capacity models of 500GB or more, because it’s large libraries of data that will benefit most from a faster connection. And we also consider the important issues of design and price. Read on for our verdict on 10 of the biggest, fastest disks in the business.
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This Group Test appeared in the December, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine