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ADATA HV610 external USB 3 hard drive review

ADATA HV610 external USB 3 hard drive review

ADATA HV610 External USB 3 hard drive review

Like most things in the computing world, things are getting smaller, lighter, faster, and cheaper. External hard drives are no exception, and now that large amounts of storage are available for under $100, having an external backup drive is a no-brainer—just ask anyone who has ever lost data to a crashed hard drive.

One of the problems with external storage has always been speed, but now that USB 3 is becoming the standard, we’re seeing a bevy of new devices that take advantage of the upgraded bandwidth that USB 3 offers.

ADATA has sent their newest external hard drive, the HV610, for us to review.

Specifications

  • Device Interface: USB 3.0 (backward compatible with USB 2.0)
  • HDD Interface: 2.5″ SATA II
  • Available colors: black / white
  • Capacity: black – 500GB / 750GB / 1TB, White – 500GB / 1TB
  • Accessory: blue smart cover for cable management
  • Bright cold-blue LED to show transferring status
  • Dimensions: 115 x 90 x 18mm (4.5 x 3.5 x 0.71in)
  • Weight: 165g (0.36 lb)

The focus seems to be on the aesthetic here, as well as the handy plastic cover that doubles as a cable carrier. I’m not sure about external hard drives as fashion statements, but ADATA is convinced that there’s a market that cares about the “Street Fashion” of your peripherals. It is a pretty sexy looking drive, and it’s awfully small for an external if that’s important to you. Very transportable.

Performance

It’s definitely not the USB 3 interface that’s getting stressed here. The max transfer rate was tested on two different PCs with USB 3, and the benchmark results were nearly identical:

ADATA HV610 ATTO test

ADATA HV610 ATTO benchmark

ADATA HV610 CrystalDiskMark

ADATA HV610 CrystalDiskMark

As you can see in both synthetic (ATTO) and more realistic (CDM) benchmarks, the transfer rate is pretty much a steady ~100MB/s, which is more an indication of the 5400RPM SATA II HD that they put inside the shell than the USB 3 interface.

At 100MB/s you can use this drive “live”, even for things like video capture or storing your games on it. However, the best use for many will be as a backup drive. Using something like Acronis, CrashPlan, Windows Backup, or other backup software, you’re going to find that USB 3 makes your backups much faster than they used to be if you plug the drive into a USB 3 port.

Recommendation

The ADATA HV-610 will be available in 500gb and 1tb configurations. 500gb will run you $79.99 while the 1tb model is $20 more at $99.99. A search of every online retailer listed on ADATA’s website reveals that they are not found in the wild yet, but should be soon.

While they’re not packed in the box, a purchase of this drive will also get you two free software packages: HDDtoGO, which might be useful to some, and the much more useful OStoGO, which is a utility to make your USB drive bootable so that you can install Windows from it. The third pack-in is a 60 day trial of Norton Internet Security, but even though the press release calls that “free”, a trial is not free, and besides… it’s Norton.

If you’re looking for features that set this apart from other USB 3 external drives, the focus should be on the size and feather-light weight of this drive as well as the fact that it is bus-powered and comes with a built-in cable carrier. There’s also the compelling OStoGO software and then probably less useful HDDtoGO. These are the things that differentiate the HV-610 from its competitors. Besides, it’s a “Key Piece of Street Fashion!”

Comments

  1. Soda
    Soda I assume you mean 100MB/s, as opposed to 100 millibits per second? That would be very unimpressive speed indeed =P.
  2. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster I have a USB 3.0 external that I use for booting Ubuntu when I'm not in the mood to game. Just plug it in and it performs well enough that it's pretty seamless, you would not know you are working from an external drive. It's a nice little addition if your the type of user that likes toying around with different Linux installs without multiple partitions or dual boot weirdness on your windows drive.
  3. Tim
    Tim It's kind of dumb to advertise its USB3 interface while putting a 5400 rpm drive in it! If they were serious about fast data transfer it'd have a 7200 rpm drive.
  4. Thrax
    Thrax Neither rotational velocity would be capable of saturating a USB 3.0 connection, so it's irrelevant either way.
  5. Tushon
    Tushon As usual, completely uninformed :tim: moment
  6. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster I'm using a Hitachi 7200 RPM external drive for my Ubuntu install. I'm pleased with it, it's much better than my older Seagate USB 2.0 drive.
  7. Soda
    Soda In fact, both rotational speeds are capable of exceeding a USB 2.0 connection, which is 480Mb/s I believe? So 60MB/s, which this clearly exceeds. As a side note, rotational speed doesn't affect sustained transfer rates as much as you'd expect. It has a much bigger impact on seek times, but since all seek times pale in comparison to an SSD, we are seeing a shift towards SSDs for cases where seek time matters, and low rpm drives for media storage and such where it doesn't matter (which external drives are perfectly suited and often used for).
  8. Thrax
    Thrax USB 3 is 5Gbit. 5-10x the fastest 7200 RPM disks. Not sure why you mentioned USB 2.
  9. Soda
    Soda Oh, it was in response to Tim's comment, explaining that they advertise USB 3 because USB 2 is not sufficient.

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