We haven’t seen a terabyte-sized portable drive before, and it looks like Seagate has struggled to squeeze the capacity into this package, as the 1TB GoFlex, sitting 22mm high on the desk, is distinctly chubbier than the 500GB model.
That larger size also means the detachable USB connector at the rear doesn’t hook up quite so neatly – it goes into a recess, rather than simply snapping onto the end of the drive – but overall it’s still an attractive drive. And the GoFlex system lets you swap the supplied USB 2 controller for a USB 3 cable (as we did for this test) or for powered eSATA.
Does higher capacity bring higher performance? When we first tested the 1TB drive we saw very inconsistent performance, but on switching to a different unit we saw strong results. In our large file tests the 1TB GoFlex averaged read and write speeds of 84MB/sec and 75MB/sec that put it a good 10% ahead of the typical portable USB 3 drive.
It fared even better in the small file read test, reading 15,000 files totalling 1.5GB of data at an average rate of 56MB/sec, faster than any other USB 3 drive we’ve tried.
The only let-down was write performance: here, a score of 16MB/sec was slower than we’d expected (the Buffalo MiniStation Cobalt managed 39MB/sec), and not much ahead of regular USB 2 speeds, which are normally around 12MB/sec.
Still, it’s a decent deal for a high-speed portable drive, and of course the GoFlex system adds versatility. The simple fact of having this much storage in a pocket-sized drive has its own geeky appeal too. Though it’s hardly a looker, for those who need to transport large amounts of data, the 1TB GoFlex is a solid option.