by Rob Williams on May 8, 2013 in Hard Drives
With our ever-increasing need for storage, 4TB models couldn’t be more tempting. On the scale of temptation, though, one drive is placed higher than all the others: Seagate’s Desktop HDD.15. There’s one good reason for that: it costs less than $200. We hear you – it sounds crazy. Let’s dig in and find out if it really is.
One of the most common tasks that someone will tackle with a storage device is transferring data, so to see what our collection of drives are capable of, we take a collection of solid files and folders and transfer them from our super-fast SATA 6Gbit/s SSD to each hard drive. Then for good measure, we copy a file and folder on the same drive. Both our files and folders come in 4GB and 16GB sizes, with the folders holding between ~5,000 (4GB) and ~20,000 (16GB) files.
Our stopwatch starts as soon as we click the “Copy here” button in the context menu, and stops as soon as the transfer dialog disappears.
Compared to the other 4TB drives, the performance of Seagate’s budget drive isn’t too impressive – but it’s moreso when you compare it to the WD Black 2TB. While that drive is crippled by its smaller platters, it is considered a performance drive, and Seagate’s much-larger 4TB keeps right up to it in many cases.
Game Level Loading
One of the biggest benefits of faster storage is quicker load times for games, both with regards to their startup and level-loading. For testing here, we use two of the heaviest games we have on hand; Sid Meier’s Civilization V and Total War: SHOGUN 2. Our test here is simple: we see how long it takes each game to load. Our stopwatch starts as soon as we click the option to load either game..
Seagate’s drive has come head-to-head with WD’s Green and Red 2TB drives many times during the course of this review, and wrapping up, not a thing changes. Again, not the best performance we’ve seen here, but given the tight scaling seen across the board, it’s still quite good.
This is the point in the review where I’d normally talk about our Windows Boot Time test, but unfortunately, our benchmarking machine has for some reason developed a temper. It now boots much slower than before, both with regards to the POST and to the actual Windows load. Drives we benchmarked before suddenly had 20 seconds added to their overall time, and after spending an afternoon trying to remedy the problem, it just never went away. As such, we’ll be looking to replace our test bench in the months ahead – likely in time for our next hard drive review (the market isn’t exactly brimming with model releases at the moment). Apologies to those who like observing this result; we wish we could share one.