Best Seagate Expansion Black Friday + Cyber Monday Deals 2020

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Literally occasions when i bought the Toshiba Canvio Basics drive reviewed in the last post, Seagate fired back by matching the purchase price on the Seagate Expansion Portable 4TB USB 3.0 External HARD DISK DRIVE. Deciding to hedge my bets, I found among these from Officeworks for AU$139 which arrived following day in the same small box without void fill. You will get discounted products in black friday sales.

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Unboxing

The Seagate Expansion drive will come in an easily recognisable orange and white box colour pallette, with the faceted-design drive shell featuring prominently.

The box itself is constructed of a thin but rigid corrugated cardboard, sealed with holographic seals for tamper protection. It claims to be “increase storage for your personal computer”.

The medial side of the drive says that it’s appropriate for Windows, USB2.0/3.0 and for use with computers. It technically could possibly be used in combination with other devices, especially after being reformatted to the right format, however I suspect this may not make their other “specialised game drives” sell aswell.

The most notable of the box includes a plastic hanger tag and information on warranties – in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, the warrantee is three years. This specific drive appears to be area of the August 2019 batch.

Inside are leaflets and a bespoke plastic clamshell.

Inside may be the USB cable with the classic Seagate “rounded” moulding and the hard disk drive in the protective resealable plastic bag.

Much like the Toshiba, the drive comes with an indicator LED and the branding in relief on the case. Unlike the Toshiba, however, the case is more ornate, being decorated top and bottom by a faceted design. It’s rather cool. The trade-off however, is that the case feels as though it’s manufactured from thinner material, sounding hollow when tapped.

The underside gets the label with product details. Unlike the Maxtor M3 reviewed earlier, there are no rubber feet upon this drive.

The sides are mostly featureless, aside from the USB 3.0 micro-B port for data and power. The sides of the drive are straight, giving the drive a “boxy” feel regardless of the subtly rounded corners.

As noted in the package, the drive comes pre-formatted in NTFS. In addition, it comes pre-loaded with information, icons and utilities.

I did not work with these because they are not essential for the procedure of the drive.

The drive identifies with a VID of 0BC2 and a PID of 231A with a REV of 0710. On top of that, it supports UASP, enabling command pipelining and improved performance over drives designed to use Bulk-Only Transport (BOT) modes.

Performance Testing
Testing was performed on my current workstation predicated on an overclocked AMD Ryzen 1700 @ 3.8GHz on an Asus PRIME X370-PRO with the most recent version of Windows 10.

HDTune Pro

The Seagate Expansion Portable drive proved a fairly smooth transfer rate curve, only steeply bottoming from the innermost tracks. The read speed averaged 107.2MB/s which appears to become a slight improvement over the Maxtor M3.

Write speeds followed an identical characteristic, with the average write speed of 104.5MB/s. Both sequential speeds best that of the Toshiba Canvio Basics, but only by a few MB/s.

Extra tests were performed, but didn’t show anything noteworthy.

Read I/O performance was similar compared to that of the Canvio Basics – perhaps that is constrained by the mechanics of a 2.5″ 5400-rpm class drive itself.

On the other hand, write IOPS were improved noticeably, probably because of UASP working with the inner DRAM cache on the drive.

The file benchmark was completed successfully, although the I/O graph for various block sizes will not display the expected characteristic, instead being rather lumpy and random.

CrystalDiskMark

Testing with CrystalDiskMark produced great results, with sequential read of 136.5MB/s and sequential write of 122.8MB/s. The good thing about UASP sometimes appears in the 4kB transfer tests with greater queue depths and threading taking good thing about this to improve small-block performance.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

Testing with ATTO showed some inconsistencies in I/O speed behaviour. The drive didn’t appear to attain maximum I/O performance until large blocks (2/4MB) and even then, performance decreased as the accesses became larger. Not surprisingly, the drive completed the benchmark successfully and in a great time – which isn’t something that could be said about the Toshiba Canvio Basics.

H2testW

Testing with H2testW went smoothly, reporting the average read speed of 100MB/s and the average write speed of 92.1MB/s without data integrity errors.

CrystalDiskInfo

At first, being truly a Seagate product, I thought it could be identical internally to the Maxtor M3 4TB drive reviewed earlier, nonetheless it appears with an updated drive which identifies as an ST4000LM024-2AN17V. This drive reports a rotation rate of 5526RPM which might describe the slight performance increase when compared to previous. Straight from the box, it reports three power-on counts with zero hours. It reported 11 Command Timeout events – it appears that the UASP-based chipset isn’t too pleased with my front USB 3.0 ports and was triggering a connectivity issue. Testing with the trunk ports fixed this. The G-sense error rate also reports 1, although the drive had only been handled carefully.

Post-testing, the SMART indicators didn’t degrade any more, suggesting the drive is healthy and survived the commissioning tests.

Conclusion
The Seagate Expansion Portable 4TB USB 3.0 External HARD DISK DRIVE is pretty much everything you can get from a no-frills external drive. It basically may be the Seagate-branded updated version of the Maxtor M3 reviewed prior. It appears to perform constantly enough with none of the quirkiness of the Toshiba Canvio Basics and comes with an arguably more interesting visual design regardless if the casing feels just a little flimsier. It includes a UASP-capable bridge chip with a three year warrantee for Australia, now at the same price as the Toshiba. Had I known that, I probably wouldn’t have obtained the Toshiba.

That said, it doesn’t seem to be to tolerate my front-panel USB 3.0 port, possibly because of longer cable length and poor signal quality. If the drive is locking up or dropping out, there’s an excellent chance that using the rear-panel port would fix this. The stringent signal quality requirements of USB 3.0 aren’t always met, especially by older machines or cases, as evidenced by my testing {of v

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