Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB External HDD Review
By Rafael Coelho on June 25, 2013
The Backup Plus 1 TB is an external hard disk drive from Seagate. It comes with a USB 3.0 interface, which can be replaced by Thunderbolt or FireWire interfaces. Let´s test it!
The Backup Plus is available in 1 TB, 750 GB, and 500 GB capacities. It also can be found in black, red, silver, and blue colors. We tested the red 1 TB model.
The box of the product is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 2 reveals the content of the box: the external disk drive, USB 3.0 cable, and product manual.
The product comes with a pre-loaded backup software named Seagate Dashboard.
Let’s take a closer look at the product.
Figure 3 shows the rear side of the drive, where you can see the USB 3.0 port and a white LED. The case of the product is made of white plastic, while the top is a plate of red brushed aluminum.
A very interesting feature of the Seagate Backup Plus is the changeable interface. Just pull the rear of the case and the interface disconnects from the actual hard disk drive, as shown in Figure 4. You can replace the USB 3.0 interface by a Thunderbolt or FireWire interface, sold separately.
This feature can also be interesting for other purposes. For example, you can connect the interface to a common 2.5” hard disk drive (laptop HDD) in order to access the drive through the USB 3.0 interface.
The presence of a common SATA connector was a clue that there was a common internal hard disk drive inside the Backup Plus. We opened the case and found a Seagate Momentus 2.5” drive (Model ST1000LM024, 5,400 rpm, SATA-300, 16 MB buffer). Figure 5 shows the drive.
We tested the Seagate Backup Plus using DiskSpeed32 and CrystalDiskMark programs. We also ran the tests on a Toshiba Canvio 3.0 1 TB external hard disk drive (USB 3.0), on a Western Digital WD10EARS 3.5” 1 TB internal hard disk drive (Caviar Green, SATA-300, 5,400 rpm), and on a Seagate Momentus ST1000LM024 2.5” 1 TB internal hard disk drive (SATA-300, 5,400 rpm), identical to the drive we found inside the Backup Plus.
The external drives were connected to a USB 3.0 port, and the internal ones were connected to a SATA-600 port. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the hard drive being tested.
Operating System Configuration
We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% can’t be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.
DiskSpeed32 is a hard disk drive benchmarking program that makes a read test of the entire drive, thus taking a long time.
The graph below shows the burst read speed for each tested hard disk drive, in kB/s.
It seems like the speed around 193 MB/s is a limit for the USB 3.0 interface we used, since both the external drives achieved this value. Internal drives achieved higher burst speeds.
The next graph shows the maximum sequential read speed for each tested drive, in kB/s.
In this test, the Seagate Backup Plus achieved a result about 12% higher than the Toshiba Canvio 3.0. The maximum sustained transfer rate was between 5% and 10% below the values we saw with the internal drives.
The following graph shows the average transfer speed in kB/s.
In this test, the Seagate Backup Plus performed nicely, achieving an average transfer rate 12% higher than the Toshiba Canvio 3.0 and between 4% and 7% higher than the numbers achieved by the internal drives we tested.
CrystalDiskMark is a hard disk drive benchmarking program that measures sequential and random write and read speeds. We compared the results in sequential read and write, and in random read and write using 512 kiB blocks. We configured it for five repetitions of each test of 1 GB of random data.
The graph below shows the sequential read speed for each drive, in MB/s.
In sequential read, the Seagate Backup Plus was 27% faster than the Toshiba Canvio 3.0. It was 26% faster than the Western Digital WD10EARS, and reached the same performance of the Seagate ST1000LM024, that is the same hard drive used internally by the Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB.
The next graph shows the write speed of sequential data, in MB/s.
In sequential write tests, the Seagate Backup Plus was also 27% faster than the Toshiba Canvio 3.0, and between 18% faster than the Western Digital WD10EARS. It was 6% faster than the Seagate ST1000LM024, the same hard drive used internally by the Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB.
The following graph presents the random read speed using 512 kiB blocks, in MB/s.
In the random read test using 512 kiB blocks, the Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB was 14% faster than the Toshiba Canvio 3.0 1 TB. It was 21% faster than the Western Digital WSD10EARS internal drive, and performed as well as the Seagate ST1000LM024 (which is the same drive used internally by the Backup Plus).
The following graph presents the random write speed using 512 kiB blocks, in MB/s.
In the random write test using 512 kiB blocks, the Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB, the Toshiba Canvio 3.0 1 TB, and the Seagate ST1000LM024 achieved the same performance level. The Western Digital WSD10EARS internal drive was 39% faster than the reviewed hard drive.
The main specifications for the Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB External Drive include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB external disk drive is compact, very well-finished, and flexible.
Most compact external hard drives are hard drives with a USB interface added to their printed circuit boards, i.e., they are not standard laptop hard drives. But the Backup Plus is actually a 2.5” typical laptop hard disk drive, enclosed in a case and connected to a detachable interface. This is a plus, since if the hard drive fails, you can replace it and get a “new” external drive. You can also use the interface to connect a SATA drive to a USB 3.0 port of your computer, for backup purposes, for example.
The performance of the Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB was excellent, outperforming its main competitor, the Toshiba Canvio 3.0 1 TB. Compared to internal hard drives with the same capacity and same rotational speed (5,400 rpm), it was faster in almost all tests.
The Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB is an excellent option if you are looking for a fast, small, compact hard disk drive for backing up your data. It receives our Golden Award.