Seagate Backup Plus Portable HDD (1TB) - A Social Spin on Portable External HDDs

Launch SRP: S$169



To further evaluate the new Backup Plus portable drive, we are going to evaluate its performance across the three different interfaces - USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Thanks to its unique USM adapter, we can easily turn the Backup Plus into a Thunderbolt-enabled external storage device.

The Thunderbolt adapter was designed for older GoFlex drives, which explains why it looks out of place when attached to the new Backup Plus drive.

To find out if the Backup Plus is able to take advantage of the high-speed data transfer speeds of Thunderbolt (which is superior to USB 3.0), we’ll be using an ASUS P8Z77-V Pro Thunderbolt motherboard which supports all three interfaces. With it, we will measure the drive’s performance across the three interfaces using AS SSD, CrystalDiskMark as well as a simple file transfer test to measure how long it takes to transfer a 1.72GB movie file.

Expectedly, tests done through USB 2.0 yielded the poorest results, but this was mostly only on the sequential read and write tests. When it came to smaller data blocks, there’s actually not much difference between the three interfaces. When pitting it against previously tested USB 3.0 portable drives, the new Seagate Backup Plus portable drive certainly held very respectable results beating almost every drive and rivaling Buffalo's Turbo mode with special drivers.

Interestingly, despite the superiority of Thunderbolt, both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connections recorded very comparable results on CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD. There's only so much a 5400RPM mechanical hard drive can eek out despite the evolving interfaces. The only significant difference between the USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interface was in the timed file transfer, where using the Thunderbolt adapter gave us a quicker timing of 11.7 seconds as opposed to 17.3 seconds when using the default USB 3.0. One reason why this could be so is because Thunderbolt was designed to handle larger file transfers more efficiently and as such the protocol has less overheads as compared to USB 3.0.


CrystalDiskMark Results


AS SSD Results


File Transfer Timing

Time taken to transfer a 1.72GB movie file
Interface Time Taken (seconds)
USB 2.0 57.6
USB 3.0 17.3
Thunderbolt 11.7


The Good
Compact and handy
Interchangeable interface adapter
Good performance
Easy to use Seagate Dashboard application
The Bad
Additional adapters are expensive and doesn't offer much more performance

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