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Pros: > Great drive for the money
This is the fourth Seagate Barracuda 1TB drive of this model I have purchased for myself, and I have used it in a number of builds for friends. It's a great drive and I have never experienced a single failure.
While some have experienced DOAs and failures (as can be expected with any mechanical device, irrespective of brand), Seagate says that a large percentage of the drives returned to them test fine when they inspect them. So far, my experience with this particular drive has been great.
I would even consider purchasing a refurbished version of this drive but there is only a few dollars difference in the price and the new ones come with a three year warranty verses a one year warranty for the refurbs.
One reason I keep coming back to this particular drive is its performance which, while not approaching SSD performance, is excellent for a hard drive.
Using ATTO benchmarking software I measured Sequential Read speeds of 194.830 MB/s and Sequential Write speeds of 191.484 MB/s.
Using CrystalDiskMark benchmarking software I measured Sequential Read speeds of 208.7 MB/s and Sequential Write speeds of 189.1. 4K Random Read speed was 0.747 MB/s and Random Write speed was 1.308 MB/s.
This is outstanding performance for a hard drive and I have measured similar speeds on all of the Seagate 1TB Barracudas I have tested.
Other Thoughts: The drive arrived in a box packed inside of a very heavy/thick bubble sleeve/pocket and had additional standard bubble wrap around the sleeve. Packing was very good.
A note to those who might use this drive for System Image backups: Because this drive is 7200 RPM, and has very high storage density, it can create a System Image ~35% faster than the Western Digital 1TB My Passport Ultra drives (and also the equivalent Seagate external drives). In my own situation, the WD 1TB Ultra external drive takes 14:30 minutes to create a System Image of my desktop, while the Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" drive does it in just 9:41 minutes using a USB 3.0 connection (of course, you do have to supply 12V power to the Barracuda as USB supplies only 5V).
I ordered a Rosewill RX-358 U3C powered enclosure to house the Barracuda and it includes a 12V power supply as well as USB 3.0 and eSATA cables. Connecting the Barracuda directly to a SATA connection (rather than USB 3.0) results the System Image being created about 25 seconds faster. It's not particularly portable, but it's fassst.
For $54.99 (on sale) you would be hard-pressed to find a better drive for the money.
Pros: I have purchased several powered SATA to USB 3.0 transfer cables in the past year and have not had good luck with any of them. One operated fine with a 2.5" drive, but the power supply didn't have enough "juice" to power up a 3.5" drive.
This Vantec NexStar appears to be an exception. I have had it about a month now and have used it a number of times with both 2.5" and 3.5" drives and SSDs and have experienced no issues whatsoever.
I first used it to create a system image (74.4GB) of a Samsung Pro 256GB SSD on a 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM SATA 6GB drive, and it made the image in 7 minutes and 31 seconds. As a test, I connected the same Seagate drive directly to a SATA 6GB connector on my computer and it made the same system image in 7 minutes an 2 seconds.
Cons: Fairly minor.
The power switch is located almost directly in the center of the power cable which I find a bit odd (why not locate it closer to the SATA connector?) but it's not enough of an issue to dock it an egg (if you need the power switch closer to you, simply plug the wall wart into an extension cord).
Other Thoughts: The (wall wart) power supply cable is 62" long and the USB cable (attached to the SATA adapter) is 48" long. It's a heavy duty cable, but it is long enough so as not to be inflexible (it's 0.19" -- or 4.5mm thick -- or about 2/3 the thickness of most modern SSDs).
There is a red LED that lights up when you turn power on. The SATA connector "case" is about 2/3 the size of a deck of cards and about 80 percent as thick.
It's a fairly simply unit but the construction appears to be sturdy and it has worked fine so far. If you are looking for a powered SATA to USB 3.0 transfer cable, this one is decent for the money.
I would recommend it to friends.
Pros: Over the years OCZ has made some superb SSDs, performance wise -- but they had persistent reliability issues which finally culminated (essentially) in bankruptcy. I avoided the OCZ brand (in favor of Samsung) because of the many negative comments regarding poor reliability (somewhat emblematic of the problem: Newegg frequently offered "refurbished" OCZ SSDs).
But all of that has changed with the new owner and the introduction of the new Vertex 460 series.
OCZ is now wholly owned by Toshiba and the Vertex 460 series is a totally new product. The Vertex 460 series was introduced **after** Toshiba bought OCZ; it was their first new product brought to market after the Toshiba purchase. Now, with that giant (and highly respected) flash fabricator at the helm, OCZ must be evaluated under a completely new light (re: reliability) -- and given a second chance.
All references/complaints about "poor reliability" now refer back to older pre Vertex 460 series products (and pre Toshiba ownership). As a harbinger of things to come, OCZ's current top-of-the-line Vector 150 240 GB SSD hit the market in late 2013 (just before the old OCZ went under), but it does use Toshiba NAND flash and currently all Newegg reviews but one are rating it 5 eggs. Essentially, OCZ is now a brand new company with a great new lease on life (and access to tons of cash and high performance flash).
Someone might well ask: Why not just buy a Toshiba SSD? The answer is, OCZ has one of the best controllers on the market: the Barefoot 3 M10 (which I believe is one of the reasons Toshiba purchased them).
My interest in OCZ was piqued on January 22, 2014 when the Senior Storage Editor for a major online technical publication (TT) tested the new Vertex 460 240 GB version and gave it a rave review. After which he stated: "This is OCZ's first product after the Toshiba purchase and OCZ did a great job with the project. In this price range, this is the drive I would buy today."
When Newegg recently ran the Vertex 460 240 GB on sale for an amazing (!) $99.99 (after a $20.00 mail in rebate), I decided the time was right to score one and check it out.
I benchmarked the Vertex 240 GB drive using ATTO Disc Benchmark and CyrstalDiscMark.
Sequential Read: 551.579 MB/s; Sequential Write: 531.555 MB/s
Sequential Read: 515.6 MB/s Sequential Write: 501.4 MB/s. 4K Random Read: 37.45 MB/s. 4K Random Write: 75.11 MB/s
Cons: I have experienced none so far. I loaded a fresh copy of Window 7 and all of my software and the Vertex 460 has been humming along happily.
Other Thoughts: I currently own four Samsung Pro series SSDs -- and I like them -- and one (250 GB) EVO. I would take the Samsung Pro series SSDs (256 GB capacity and up) over the Vertex 460 (it must be pointed out, however, that OCZ'a higher performance Vector 150 series competes more with the Samsung Pro series -- price wise).
But having lived with the Vertex 460 for a little while now, I would take it over the Samsung EVO series. For two reasons:
1. Unlike the EVOs, the OCZ Vertex 460 series utilizes the much higher (Write) endurance (longer lasting) MLC flash (the EVOs use TLC flash).
2. MLC flash is capable of substantially higher Write speeds as compared to TLC flash (yes, I know that Samsung incorporates their Turbo Write and RAPID technologies in the EVO series but these are primarily attempts to "makeup" for the inherent slowness of the TLC flash). Since the Vertex 460 series incorporates MLC flash, it does not need these novel work arounds.
The Vertex 460 series also comes standard with a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter for those who need it. This series also comes with a download key for Acronis True Image cloning software, currently going for $39.99 on Newegg. A SATA to USB cable is not included. The packaging is very high quality. The warranty is three years.
Bottom line: Highly recommended. I would recommend OCZ's Vertex 460 series to friends.