Quiet, cool running hard drive storage. (September 10th, 2008)
Product Manufacturer: Hammer Storage, a div. of Bell Microproducts
Price: $129.99 to $269.99, as reviewed
- Reasonable price. Variety of sizes. Compact. Great design. Quiet. Runs cool. Works on Mac or PC. Can be plugged into a DVR or router for network storage. Compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0.
- None, except no FireWire version available.
Many of us remember when a 20 MB external hard drive, hooked up to a Mac Plus, was a luxury. These days, you donít want that little amount of memory in a Compact Flash card in your digital camera, let alone attached to a computer. The iMac comes with a 250 to 500 GB internal hard drive. For many that may be adequate storage at first, but if you save a lot of music, photo or movie files, it is not nearly enough. If you use backup software or Appleís TimeMachine, a small external hard drive dedicated to this function makes sense, whether itís for home or small business use. In addition, if you live on the East or Gulf Coast or within Tornado Alley, a drive that can easily be tucked into your emergency bag is a plus and delivers peace of mind. You may not think you need a terabyte of storage but a 500 GB drive is a useful backup tool.
The morespace 3.5Ē hard drive, from Bell Microís Hammer Storage division, ships in a six sizes, ranging from 250 GB to 1.5 TB. In this review Rick used the affordable $129.99 500 GB drive and Ilene used the $269.99 one-terabyte drive.
Of course, the drive doesnít give you all of those gigabytes. After reformatting the 500 GB, I have 465.61 GB available. The morespace 500 GB drive can hold about 125,000 songs while the 1.5 TB drive could hold nearly 375,000 songs. That is a lot of storage for these 2.2 lb drives that measure 4.9 x 7.5 x 2.4 inches.
What comes in the boxThe securely packed hard drive ships with a reasonably sized power cable which covers two outlets on my power strip, USB cable, an instruction sheet, and rubber feet. Hammer Storage morespace indicates that the drive is plug and play for the Mac and PC. Just plug it in and turn it on.
For best performance, they recommend you reformat the hard drive from the installed FAT 32 format to Macís HFS format. The instructions on the enclosed sheet are simple to follow and the task doesnít take more than a few minutes.
The Drive in ActionI donít have all of those fancy machines and bundles of software to compare hard drives, but can tell you how the drive handles the tasks I do daily. I copied a number of large files (50 GB or greater) in the Finder in one test and used a back up program in another test without any problems. It took a little over one minute per gigabyte. A 1.5 GB folder copied over to the drive in 1 minute 13 seconds. Inside the folder were a number of files and folders with a variety of file formats. I use a desktop Mac Pro with two 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors and 2 GB of RAM, using Mac OS X 10.5.3. I also attached the morespace drive to my G4 using OSX 10.4.11 and had no problems.
Ilene ran a number of hard drive speed tests using QuickBench X, kindly provided by Intech Software Corp. I expected the drive to run more slowly than my other much smaller drives, just because of its single terabyte size, but was pleasantly surprised. I have a 320 GB IBM drive I put in an external CompUSA case and the morespace consistently showed faster read and write times.
The fanless morespace also runs quieter and cooler than other drives tested, including the previously reviewed Iomega Ego. There are plenty of air holes for circulation on the front and back, so overheating isnít an option. I accidentally left it on for four days and it was still cool to the touch.