The FreeAgent Xtreme also works with Macs, but you will need to reformat it. However, Mac users might want to check out the FreeAgent Deck, which Seagate makes especially for Mac by replacing the eSATA port with FireWire 800 ports.
Cost per GB
The FreeAgent Xtreme can be found on the Internet for around $220, which translates into about 22 cents per gigabyte--about the same as the SimpleTech (re)drive . However, though not as eco-friendly as the re-drive, the FreeAgent Xtremes comes with more connection and capacity options.
|Model||Capacity||Est. street price||Cost per GB|
|Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus||250GB||$90||$0.36|
The Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme's USB 2.0 performance met our expectation, though it was still a little slower than that of the SimpleTech (re)drive or the WD My Book Mirror. The drive performed significantly faster with FireWire 400, and especially with eSATa--where the writing speed got up to 440Mbps.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
(Throughput in Megabits per second)
The drive also performed very smoothly and quietly; it stayed relatively cool during the testing process, too.
We did notice, however, that the FreeAgent Xtreme's eSATA connections would appear disconnected after an hour or so of idling, and we had to repower the drive for eSATA to be recognized by the system again. While this doesn't affect the data stored on the drive, it's a nuisance--especially since eSATA says this is the connection that shows the best throughput performance on the drive.
Service and support
We believe you won't need much support for the FreeAgent Xtreme beyond the duration of the warranty. And Seagate delivers! It backs the FreeAgent Xtreme with a very generous 5-year warranty. Toll-free phone service is available weekdays, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. (PT), or you can e-mail technical support via a Web form. Seagate's support site offers installation and troubleshooting assistance, a download library, a knowledgebase, and a drive troubleshooter.