Hard drive capacities are reaching epic proportions. Much like in the 1990s, when we moved from 20GB hard drives to what seemed like monster 100GB, then 160GB, then 250GB drives and beyond in the early 2000s, we’re seeing the same sort of crazy jumps in today’s terabyte-mad hard drive world.
Like this 8TB monster backup drive from Seagate. Yes, that’s a full 8 terabytes of storage on offer from Seagate for any kind of backup job you can imagine, beautifully packaged in a sharp-edged plastic enclosure.
Seagate managed this incredible feat through the use of Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology, which layers data on magnetic platters by overlapping the magnetic tracks to some degree. The tracks on conventional drives don’t do this at all – each track is entirely separate from the others that flank it – and the result is the ability to write more data to platters written with SMR, and thus drives that can store more.
Thanks to SMR, Seagate managed to squeeze 1.33 terabytes into each of the Backup Plus 8TB’s six platters. One of the benefits of doing it this way is the exceptional sustained read speeds and burst write speeds this drive is capable of – expect to see around 120MBps sequential read and around 190MBps in sequential write performance over USB 3.0.
On the down side, SMR tech doesn’t perform quite as well with its random reads and writes, making this particular drive better-suited to write once, read many-type applications, like backing up . But since that’s what customers will buy it for, random read and write performance that doesn’t stack up to other drives isn’t a problem.
Included with the drive is Seagate’s own Dashboard software that lets users configure the drive as they want, but it’s not quite as extensive or user-friendly as dedicated backup software, which users are advised to use instead.
Still, overall this is a fantastic drive to set up, configure and forget about. It’s brilliant for backups, and about the only thing that could potentially annoy people is the absence of a power button on its sharp, shiny chassis.
- 8000TB is a huge amount of storage space.
- USB 3.0 transfers to and from the drive are incredibly fast.
- Attractive aethetics
- Random reads and write performance is a little weak.
- Sharp chassis edges could put some off.