As recent as 20 years ago, 1 Gigabyte of storage was more than what most people needed or had in their desktop PCs. Fast-forward a decade later, and 80 to 200 Gigabytes were commonplace, with a Terabyte being the holy grail of premium computing.
Today though, 1 Terabyte is nothing special. With growing files sizes and massive high-definition media content being commonplace, the only fact is that you can never have too much storage space. For exactly such a reason, exists the Seagate Backup Plus Hub 8TB.
Design and Package
Packing a regular 3.5-inch hard drive, inside a factory-sealed external enclosure, Seagate markets the massive 8 Terabyte storage solution as a backup product. Meaning, it can be easily hooked up via USB to laptops, and PCs, to backup data. That said, it can also be used as a conventional storage drive.
The package is a slick rectangular black box that sits neatly on the desk. On the rear, it has a USB connector and a power connector. Being a large unit, it cannot be passively powered via USB and does need a DC power hookup.
For this purpose, a DC adapter is included. Being a USB Hub of sorts, on the front, it has two more USB ports that can be used to connect other USB devices.
Once powered-on, the Seagate logo on the top front lights up and remains on until the drive either goes to sleep due to inactivity or when the PC is shut-down. The design is simple and elegant and looks nice on a PC table or office desk. Cooling is passive which means no fans or resulting noise.
Specs and Performance
The drive included inside the enclosure uses Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology. This form of recording allows for higher data density on drives, surpassing the physical limitations of previous Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology.
Unfortunately, SMR comes at a performance handicap, being slow at Random Read and Write; but is perfectly suited for sequential reading and writing, such as data backup, or surveillance recording. Thus, Seagate?s Backup oriented marketing for the device.
The USB connectivity on the rear as well as the two ports on the front are all USB 3 and thus allow for speedy data transfer. That’s almost a must-have in this case, especially when dealing with such massive file sizes. Agreed that you could be backing up tiny word documents from your laptop, but for that, you wouldn’t need an 8 TB drive.
Average transfer speeds when copying large files like ISO?s or MKV Movie files from an internal hard-drive was steadily at around 72 MBps, peaking occasionally to about 110 MBps. When copying several smaller files like Mp3?s, it dipped as low as 40-50 MBps.
To re-iterate how godsend USB 3 is, at USB 2, transfer speed seemed to average at around 8 MBps.
For general use, the device is pretty much plug-n-play. Hook it up to an available USB 3 port and Windows immediately identifies the drive and lists it in My Computer. The drive is pre-formatted and ready to go. So, in essence, no special software or setup is required. I did all of my usage tests on a 64-bit Windows 10 Professional system.
The Seagate Backup Plus Hub is not widely available in the Philippines, and that is likely due to limited market need. Most regular computer retailers do not carry it. Some searching online indicates that it?s available from Villman at P19,499 and Galleon at P12,725.
Though Galleon?s prices are much lower, they are mostly known for importing and selling items from the US domestic market, and the extent of the warranty coverage would need to be checked.
Comparing the 8 TB Backup Plus Hub to smaller sizes, the sweet spot seems to be the 3 TB device, offering a cost of 2.05 peso per GB, versus 2.43 peso per GB on the 8 TB unit. But if capacity is your primary criteria, the 8 TB variant is worth considering.
Other options would include an internal 8 TB drive, especially if the intention was just for added capacity for the PC, and also if it was just for one device. This would afford a cost per GB ratio of 1.75 pesos per GB.
If limited or no local warranty wasn?t an issue, you could try to source the drive from the US or have someone bring it, which would again offer a superb cost per GB ratio.
Undoubted the Seagate Backup Plus Hub 8 TB is not for everyone. For those who have a limited amount of data and are either used to streaming their content or work with small files, 8 TB is absolutely overkill. Such a behemoth is truly for those who have tons of data, and need the added storage capacity.
Add to that, assuming you need something external, and are okay with the need for the auxiliary power connector, the versatility of this unit might be well suited for you. Especially if you want to hook it up to multiple devices or say gain its storage over a home network by hooking it up to a USB capable router.
Better yet, host a media library and make it available to the users of the Wi-Fi network. Or simply have it on your desk, and connect other USB capable device to it, like say a flash drive. The use cases are quite plentiful.
Verdict: For the discerning digital data glutton