Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Pro - Small, Powerful, Fast
Jul 20, 2011
Review by Andrew Hamilton
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Upgradeable to USB 3.0 and eSata, relatively rugged yet small and portable and reliable.
Cons:Comes with 1 port-type: USB 2.0 or 3.0 any other input costs extra $$$.
The Bottom Line: An excellent little hard drive that fits in your pocket. It is reliable, fast, and rugged enough for transferring HD Video files and shipping across the country.
In A Nutshell
Recommend this product?
This drive can be purchased for about $70 and contains a 7200 rpm platter speed with transfers at USB 2.0 and upgradeable all the way up to SATA transfer speeds. It is relatively rugged and compact and has been reliable in reading, writing, and storing large valuable HD Video files for me so I give it 2 thumbs up!
Why I Bought This Drive
I am a Video Producer in Las Vegas and shoot HD in tapeless format. Because of this I needed a fast, reliable, and small portable external hard drive to ship raw footage to clients. I bought the Seagate Freeagent Goflex PRO 500GB USB 2.0 Hard Drive at Costco for right about $100 and took it to the studio and got to work. The same drive comes in capacities of 750GB and 1.5TB which are essentially the same as this 500GB but with bigger or more storage platters.
Whats In The Box
You get the drive itself which has a beveled extender "cap" on the end that is removable and plugs into the drive itself as a SATA port. The external port can be either USB 2.0 , 3.0, Firewire800, or even eSata. All of the various "caps" are available on the Seagate website and are interchangeable with this drive.
The drive I received has the USB 3.0 port which, sadly, doesn't help me much as my Mac system isn't currently equipped with the architecture to take advantage of 3.0, but maybe yours is? No worries if it isn't, the drive comes with a cable that connects 3.0 to the drive and regular USB to your system and will just revert to USB 2.0 like it does for mine. Or, you can go to the Seagate site and buy a USB 3.0 PC Express Card that allows you to take advantage of the 3.0 speeds if that is the version of this drive you purchased.
Unfortunately, here is where we find a slight negative. The port on the drive is only a USB 3.0 port so if you're like me, you have a ton of USB 2.0 and 1.1 cables lying around that will not work with this drive as the connector for USB 3.0 has changed. So, hold on to that Seagate-provided cable or you will be making a trip to Fry's or Best Buy and praying all the way that the sales kids even know what USB 1.1 is, let alone 3.0!
If you are a PC user, you will also receive pre-loaded backup, encryption, and sync software on the drive itself which appear to accomplish the same function as "Time Machine" on the Mac. Which, if you would choose to use this drive as your 'backup' on a Mac then its as simple as going into your system preferences, and selecting this drive as your "Time Machine". However, the best feature of this Hard Drive is its speed and portability - neither of which are necessary for a "backup". Nevertheless, far be it from me to tell you what to do, just know that if you are a PC user, you have some preloaded backup software goodies on this thing.
Reformatting Procedures and Results
I edit on a Mac so the first thing I do with ANY drive internal or external is I completely erase and reformat it to my liking. I typically format it Mac OS Extended Journaled - even though I know I will never use it as a 'boot' drive. Basically, it seems to cooperate better with my HD Video transfers. In this case the Seagate Freeagent Goflex PRO 500GB USB 2.0 Hard Drive formatted and accepted HUGE HD Video transfers like a champ. No errors or restarts.
Read and Write Speed
The speed of the Seagate Freeagent Goflex PRO 500GB USB 2.0 Hard Drive is listed at 7200rpm which is rare for external hard drives but this line of externals from Seagate appears to be targeting slightly over the standard consumer market with this "Pro" line.
Also, the transfer protocol is listed on this page as usb 2.0 but the model I have and that I now see for sale everywhere has upgraded to USB 3.0 capabilities.
If transfer speed is important to you or you just want to know if it is important to you, here is a comparison so you can have a good idea of a general speed comparison (estimates created by benchmarking data transfer tests):
Transfer Speed Comparison: (mbs = megabits per second)
USB (1.1) ---------1.5mbs
Firewire (400) ----49.13mbs
USB (2.0) ------ 60mbs
Firewire (800) --- 98.25mbs
USB (3.0) ------ 400mbs
eSata ------------ 300mbs
SATA 3 ----------- 600mbs
I have found that the Seagate Freeagent Goflex PRO 500GB USB 2.0 Hard Drive is sufficient in the USB 2 protocol transfers my files relatively quickly and pain free.
Physical Hard Drive Size
This is truly the best feature of this drive. It is contained in firm thick plastic and overall is about 1" thick which makes it cable of fitting in a coat, pants, or laptop bag pocket to go wherever you go.
Because I would be loading this hard drive up with HD Video files, packaging it up and sending it to my production clients all over the U.S. and Canada, I needed a tough yet little enough drive that I wouldn't be paying a fortune each time I shipped it. TheSeagate Freeagent Goflex PRO 500GB USB 2.0 Hard Drive is about 1" thick (perfect!) and about the size of a 3 x 5 card. It tucks into a small USPS flat rate box so for about $6 I can send this little thing to the Alaskan or Hawaiian outskirts and not have to worry about gouge-city shipping rates. (not that I endorse the USPS for shipping - that is a different review!).
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