Portable hard drive recommendation

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Portable hard drive recommendation

Postby DANSPEED » Aug 11th, 2020, 4:31 pm

I'm looking at buying a portable hard drive, 4TB or larger, USB3.2, backwards-compatible, thunderbolt 3 would be nice. Main brands seem to be WD, Seagate, LaCie and Silicon Power. Reviews I read showed LaCie have the best speeds but the company got poor scores for customer support and ease of warranty claims. WD and Seagate as expected have similar specs and speed tests. Silicon Power's Armor series look interesting, shock and water resistant, 3 year warranty. Portable hard drives are really cheap compared to buying a quality internal drive and dock or enclosure so I'm wondering if the drives they put inside are any good.

What brand(s) and model do you recommend?
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Re: Portable hard drive recommendation

Postby DANSPEED » Aug 25th, 2020, 5:35 pm

After doing some research on portable drives I went with a StarTech USB 3.1 (10Gbps) enclosure (S351BU313) and a WD 6TB Gold hdd (5 year warranty). Apart from the somewhat pricey WD 4TB G-DRIVE Mobile (3 year warranty) which uses a WD Red NAS hdd all other portable drives I looked at use cheap slow drives and most likely refurbished ones given their low price per gigabyte and short warranty period. I've bought StarTech products before and found them to be very well made. StarTech is based in Canada so for me any issues under warranty is an easy process. Tech support is great. For a mechanical drive the WD Gold is fast. I measured almost 3x faster than my WD Black drives. I get ~280MB/s sequential R/W via USB 3.0. I can't test gen 2 because my PC and NAS only support gen 1. Nowhere near theoretical speeds but way faster than any portable drive I looked at. Even the G-DRIVE Mobile tops out at an advertised 130MB/s. The enclosure and drive was twice as much as the cheapest 6TB or 8TB portable drive but I get decent speeds and a good warranty.
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Re: Portable hard drive recommendation

Postby JagXKR » Aug 26th, 2020, 6:27 pm

For your needs that is a good combination. It would've been hard for me to recommend anything as I don't require the speed. My 8TB Seagate Expansion gives over 150MB/s for large files (which is the majority of what I'm backing up) but maybe half that when transferring smaller files. It is 3.1 G1 but the price was low and it suits my needs fine.
I may need faster in the future but for now I just needed size. 8TB has done the job.
Why use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.
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