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This review is from: Seagate 3TB 3.5 USB 3.0 Desktop Drive Backup Plus for Mac & PC Model STCB3000901
Pros: - Attractive enclosure
- LEDs not overly bright
- Enclosure not hot to touch
Cons: - Drive is noisy (see other thoughts)
- Large power connector, takes up bulk connector slot on my UPS (or two of the standard sized slots)
Other Thoughts: TL;DR version: it's loud enough to be annoying
The product documentation clearly states that there is a 2 year warranty; newegg product page lists a 3 year warranty.
The drive is loud. The noise is comprised of two components: the drive itself and the vibration generated from the 7200 drive it contains. It seems that the drive itself causes excess vibration that the tiny rubber feet on the enclosure cannot compensate for. Additionally, it sounds like there is a fan inside somewhere, but once I opened up the enclosure there is no fan to be found. My conclusion is that the noise is from the high spindle speed of the drive. When this item placed next to my homebuilt NAS with 3 HDDs, 2x 120mm fans and PSU fan; this unit is louder than my NAS. For my living room/HTPC setup, this is unacceptable; I can hear it whining from across the room.
Since I got this for a decent price, I decided to open up the enclosure and check out the internal HDD to see if it can be salvaged. Basically you just need to pull off the bottom and then use a screwdriver to carefully separate the two halves of the top enclosure. Inside I found a 7200rpm ST3000DM001 drive, originally manufactured over a year ago (Sept 12). Once I popped the drive into my NAS and sealed up the case, the noise was muffled to an acceptable level; in fact it was as quiet as my other old barracudas.
As a bonus, I was able to drop in an old 1.5TB barracuda LP SATA HDD into the enclosure I just ripped open. Once I plugged it in, Win 7 recognized my old HDD (including data) instantly. So I guess I gained a fanless external USB 3 enclosure out of the deal. The loud noise and vibration disappeared with my old HDD in there, which is a 5900 rpm drive. Since I'm pretty sure I just voided my warranty, only time will tell if this was a good idea.
I bought two of these; both successfully passed Seatools long generic test on the first attempt.
-1 egg due to the noisy drive, which is a design flaw IMO
Pros: - Dirt cheap after rebate
- Includes LP brackets
- Works great with XBMC on Win 7 x64
- UVD 2.2, HD Audio Bitstreaming
Cons: None at this price
Other Thoughts: Converted my Sempron 140 NAS box to NAS/HTPC combo, and wanted HDMI output. Chose this card over a passive 6450 (~$20 more), since I won't need any of the UVD 3 features anytime soon (3D, 4K, etc.). Shell shocker + rebate sealed the deal.
HD audio bitstreaming to my AVR was frustrating to set up; turns out the ATI HDMI audio drivers didn't replace the default Windows ones after the Catalyst install. Rather than troubleshooting the ATI drivers, I went ahead and installed the ATI HDMI audio drivers from the Realtek site, which allowed me to bitstream HD audio from MPC-HC/ffdshow and XBMC 12 to my AVR.
The card runs hot; after a 2 hour HD 720p x264/DTS movie using hardware DXVA2 decoding, the temps hovered around 70C. I didn't have any playback issues or any other display anomalies; the card ran fine for me. However, I have two undervolted 120mm fans in my case plus the PSU fan; I might have some concerns with putting this card into a case with little/no airflow.