Verbatim 500GB FireWire USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Review


A complete, out-of-the-box, ready-to-go Hard Drive Enclosure is a beautiful thing. Especially when it comes preloaded with software for backing up those files you don’t want to lose. That’s just what the Verbatim 500GB External Hard Drive has to offer. It also boasts the ability to connect to your PC via USB or FireWire. This is a nice choice, especially if your USB ports are so crowded they look like they might be the reason your lights flicker sporadically. Let’s take a closer look at this product and all that it has to offer.

Provided By: Verbatim

Closer Look:

The packaging for the Verbatim 500GB FireWire/USB 2.0 External Hard Drive is very user-friendly. It features a picture of the product on the front, along with some of its more notable features. The specifications and content information is located on the side, in easy to read print.

On the back of the package, there is another view of the enclosure as well as a brief blurb about the product. This information is printed in three different languages, each with its own separate box. Also featured are small logos stating that this enclosure will work for both Macs and PCs.

The contents of the package are pretty much what you would expect. The Hard Drive itself is shipped in small foam supports. Along with an instruction manual, there is also an adapter for powering the drive. There are two cords, one USB and the other FireWire, both of which can be used to connect the device.

A nice feature of the Hard Drive is the underside of the enclosure. A grid of holes serves as an intake for cool air, as the heated air finds its way out the rear of the enclosure. This little extra goes a long way in extending the life of your drive.

This close-up shot of the rear of the enclosure shows us its various options. A power button is a nice change from the standard toggle switch. Next to the power port, we find the USB port. And then we have two FireWire ports, giving you the option of connecting more than one FireWire device.

Let’s take a look at the Specifications.

Specifications:

 

  • External Power – +12 VDC input
  • Interface – Two 6-pin FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports, One USB 1.1 or 2.0 Port
  • Data Transfer Rate – FireWire: 400 Mb/s (max), USB 2.0 High Speed: 480 Mb/s (max), USB 1.1 Full Speed: 12 Mb/s (max)
  • Unit Dimensions – 4.44 in. X 7.93 in. X 1.56 in. (113 mm X 201 mm X 40 mm)
  • Unit Weight – 1.93 lbs (0.87Kg)

 

Product Number: 96638

 

Capacity/Speed: 500GB/7200 RPM

 

 

  • FireWire / USB combination drive
  • Easy-to-use backup software included
  • Store thousands of photos, videos, and MP3s
  • 3-Year Limited Warranty

Let’s move onto testing.

Testing Setup:

  • Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9450
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6
  • Memory: OCZ SLI Ready 2 x 2GB
  • Video Card: Nvidia 260 GTX
  • Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
  • Hard Drive: Seagate 750GB SATA
  • Optical Drive: LG DVD-RW
  • OS: Windows Vista Ultimate

Testing:

For the testing I will be using the popular benchmarking software HDTune. I will run the benchmark as well as time a series of file transfers of 10MB, 100MB, and 500MB respectively. I will compare the USB results to the Kingwin EZ-Dock and the Thermaltake Vion. As this is the first FireWire capable enclosure we’ve reviewed I will display its results in a separate chart.

 HD Tune USB
 

Test

Kingwin EZ-Dock

Thermaltake Vi-on

Verbatim 500GB

Average Transfer Rate in MBs

28.8

28.9

26.7

Access Times in MBs

13.6

13.6

14.5

Burst Rate in MBs

27.6

27.6

24.4

CPU Usage

3.9%

4.2%

4.1%

 
File Transfer (Measured in Seconds)

Test

Kingwin EZ-Dock

Thermaltake Vi-on

Verbatim 500GB

10MB

.3

.5

.3

 100MB

6.3

6.5

7

500MB

31

28

22

 

 HDTune FireWire

 
 

Test

Kingwin EZ-Dock

Thermaltake Vi-on

Verbatim 500GB

Average Transfer Rate in MBs

N/A

N/A

36.6

Access Times in MBs

N/A

N/A

14.3

Burst Rate in MBs

N/A

N/A

34.1

CPU Usage

N/A

N/A

1.1%

 

 

File Transfer (Measured in Seconds)

Test

Kingwin EZ-Dock

Thermaltake Vi-on

Verbatim 500GB

10MB

N/A

N/A

.3

 100MB

N/A

N/A

4

500MB

N/A

N/A

16

 

Well, we can see that the USB portion of the test did not favor the Verbatim. This doesn’t really surprise me though, as the 500GB is a larger drive than our standard 320GB tester. It didn’t do poorly; it just came in below the other enclosures in everything except the 500MB file transfer. As to the FireWire, I thought it performed very well. Anyone who is able will no doubt use this feature, as it is roughly 30% faster than USB when moving large amounts of data.

Let’s move onto the conclusion.

Conclusion:

I really think the Verbatim 500 GB Enclosure is a solid product. Anyone shopping for an easy-to-use backup will appreciate this enclosure. With just the click of a few virtual buttons, all the data you want to backup can be selected and stored. Also, it looks good on a desk with its matte black finish and single green indicator light. This seems to reflect a less is more approach to the design of this enclosure. I like how little space it takes up as well. I’ve had some enclosures that look more like a mini-tower then a peripheral device

In the end, I recommend this product to anyone who needs an external drive. It has lots of space, is affordable, and performs well.  It doesn’t take up too much room and is nice to look at. And to top it all off, it’s easy to use the software that comes with it. All in all, a very solid drive and a good bang for your buck.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Performs Well
  • Two Different Connection Formats
  • Looks Good On Desk

Cons:

  • None

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