Seagate 4TB GoFlex Desk review: Seagate 4TB GoFlex Desk

The 4TB GoFlex Desk's included USB 3.0 adapter, which is also used as its base, features a storage gauge that has four white LED lights to show the ballpark amount of storage being used. Each light represents 25 percent of the drive's storage. The adapter part is rather light and has a very small footprint. This makes the whole thing topple rather easily when used in the intended vertical position.

Once the drive is installed, the 4TB GoFlex Desk works well with Apple's Time Machine backup software for Macs. For PCs, the drive comes bundled with Memeo Backup software that you can choose to install or not. This software is rather limited in its local backup functionality and comes bloated with many features that tend to coerce users into buying premium services. For this reason, we would recommend using third-party backup software with the drive when using it with a Windows computer.

Performance
The 4TB GoFlex Desk did well in our testing, both with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connections. Though it wasn't the best we've seen, it offered very good thoughput performance in both cases.

In the USB 3.0 tests, the drive scored 86.7MBps in writing, which is about 7MBps faster than the previous model. In reading, it did better with 98.8MBps; again, this is better than its predecessor.

In the USB 2.0 test, the 4TB GoFlex Desk scored 28.5MBps and 32.7MBps for writing and reading, respectively. These numbers were slightly higher than average among USB 2.0-based external hard drives we've reviewed.

CNET Labs external hard drive USB 3.0 performance scores (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
Clickfree C6
103.4 
87.7 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
104.9 
87.7 
LaCie FastKey
115.5 
87.1 
Seagate 4TB GoFlex Desk
98.8 
86.7 
Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro
103.5 
86.2 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
101.9 
82.4 
IoSafe SoloPro
106 
77.1 
Seagate GoFlex Satellite
76.1 
69.3 

CNET Labs USB 2.0 external hard drive performance scores (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
LaCie FastKey
36.6 
28.8 
Seagate GoFlex Satellite
32.7 
28.8 
Clickfree C6
33.1 
28.7 
IoSafe SoloPro
36.6 
28.7 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
36.5 
28.7 
Seagate 4TB GoFlex Desk
32.6 
28.5 
Clickfree C2N
40.1 
28.2 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
37.3 
27.7 

Service and support
As with the original GoFlex Desk, Seagate Technology backs the 4TB GoFlex Desk with a two-year warranty. As the warranty time is the most important aspect in terms of support needed for external hard drives, this is a little disappointing. Seagate often offers longer warranties--up to five years--for other products. Seagate's Web site contains a comprehensive list of forums, knowledge bases, driver downloads, installation help, and FAQs to help you troubleshoot your drive. The company's technical support is also available via live chat, e-mail, and phone from 8 a.m. to 11:30 am CT and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT weekdays.

Conclusion
With top storage space, a superflexible design, and very good performance, the 4TB GoFlex Desk makes an excellent investment for those who need a cross-platform storage solution.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Interface Type SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • Capacity 4 TB