Seagate Expansion Desktop 2 TB – review

This post is about my new external hard drive from Seagate. I’m not a big fan of hard disk drives and prefer solid state solutions, but I can’t ignore HDD advantages. That devices are much cheaper and offer more storage than SSD. Storage was built very important for me because I was looking for something for backup in Time Machine and archive rarely used data. For that needs, external drives are great.

You can ask me, why not use NAS, for example Synology? I had such NAS and I think it’s too much and to complicated for me. Attached storage offers a lot of great functions like media sharing, integration with many clouds, build in Web server or notes but… It isn’t secure, because we can have only RAID, not redundant copy in other locations. Also, it’s expensive, not only device, but two or more drives. And I don’t need all these advanced features, I don’t have time to use it and prefer external services from several companies. Mails, tasks or cloud drive – it will never be so good as on dedicated solutions.

So, I was looking for an external drive, only for backup. Initial purchase was 2,5” 1 TB drive. It’s ok, but I had a lot of issues with connection. I can connect drive to docking station for my Mac, or to external monitor (it has few USB ports). Unfortunately, I decided to put drive in my desk to make it quiet in daily usage and avoid vibration. About 1,8 m length USB 3.0 “noname” cable wasn’t great solution – drive has problems with power supply, disconnected sometimes and broke Time Machines copies. I read about USB 3.0 hubs, other, high-quality cables and I know, that it doesn’t have to help at all, so I decided to buy new drive with external power supply (3,5”).

Seagate Expansion Desktop was nice because of capacity (2 TB) and price. It had also good reviews from other consumers. The set has nothing special – disk, manuals, short USB 3.0 cable and of course, power supply with exchangeable connector. Setup was simple: just connect to power, connect to Mac and everything works… and works fine, because there was no issues and I still don’t have them. External power supply makes drive much less depended on USB 3.0 cable – yes, it’s still important for data transfer speed, but not for provide power. And I can use disk in desk. Quiet? Not exactly, but first some words about performance.

I tested Seagate using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test from App Store. It’s very simple bechmark tool, that tests sequetial write and read speeds. It’s isn’t perfect, but we can compare results. That drive isn’t slow – 120-150 MB/s on read and write is good, not as SSD of course, but faster than most of 2,5” external drives. It’s also good on daily usage with Time Machine. Mac creates and transfer copies every hour, without problems. Power consumption? It’s about 7-8 W during work and 0 W (yes zero) on idle. Why? Because drive automatically turns off then we don’t use it and when it isn’t connected to computer. Simple, but very nice, I don’t need drive which works all day and 90% of that time only wastes energy.

Any drawbacks? Yes. Drive isn’t as quiet as 2,5” external drives. Especially during startup – then we can clearly hear rotating and some squeaks. That drive is not so mobile as smaller: it’s bigger, heavier and needs… external power supply. But I think is isn’t problem if we use it for copies, as standalone home/office storage or move only few times in a year. So far I am satisfied, have a lot of free space to copies and rarely used data (two partitions, about 1 TB each) and all issues with connections gone. If you have any questions, just ask!