With so much media available today the need to either backup or store it creates the need for external storage. Samsung’s D3 Station line is out to provide storage at a good price point while not having much extra “fluff” in the package. It has some simple functions via software that is for both OSX and Windows like automated backups and password protected partitions. In testing we hope to see just how fast this thing can be for a 4TB hard disk with USB 3.0.
Samsung D3 Station STSHX-D401TDB 4TB specifications
• Windows 8/7/Vista/XP SP2, Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
• SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (Max): 5.0Gb/s
• Temperature (operating): 5° to 40°C (41° to 104°F)
• Temperature (nonoperating): –20° to 65°C (–4° to 149°F)
• AutoBackup personal backup solution
• Secure Drive for worry-free data security
• SecretZone™ can encrypt data on a virtual drive
• 7.11″ x 5.09″ x 1.85″
• Length: 180.6mm
• 3-year limited warranty
• D3 Station External Hard Drive
• USB cable
• Power adapter
• Quick Install Guide
• Software preloaded on the drive
• Electronic User Documentation (PDF)
The enclosure is very simple but looks very nice for something that will be sitting on most peoples desks. The drive is in a simple external enclosure with just USB 3.0 and port ports, and an indicator light on the front. The actual 4TB hard disk at the heart of the unit is made by Seagate, a version of their ST4000DM000. The D3 Station comes with a 3 year warranty, which is a year more than the hard drive were to have if you bought it to put inside your system. The bare drive can be found at a price higher than this external solution, though demand for bare drives is most definitely the reason for that higher price.
The drive comes with a power adapter that will work in many different countries, which is likely a way to easier package one drive for sales in various locations. This also means that it will be nice to have in case you are visiting another country and want to take the drive along with you. The USB 3.0 cable that comes with it is a little short and makes positioning the drive a bit harder, so it would be advisable to get a longer cable.
The D3 Station comes with a couple folders on the drive with installs for the included Samsung Drive Manager software. The software comes with a few useful features such as automatic backup scheduler, SecretZone, disk diagnostics, and disk management. The SecretZone is a utility that allows you to create a partition that is password protected and it has the ability to make multiple password protected partitions. The utility allows you to select either a normal set size partition or one that is dynamic and will expand automatically if needed.
With the proliferation and adoption of USB 3.0 into devices slow transfer speeds are no longer an issue with many external drives having taken to the standard. USB 3.0 has a maximum speed of 5Gb/s as opposed to the older 2.0’s 480 Mb/s, which is a huge improvement. This means that the SATA 2 hard disk drives that you find in most every external drive will not be limited by the connection anymore since SATA 2’s max speed is 3Gb/s (which hard disks will never come close to saturating any time soon).
The D3 Station’s read and write are very fast and are on par with speeds of an internal hard drive. This is a great solution since you can add a full speed storage solution to your computer and not have to worry about it being slower.
The drive is showing that it is getting 160MB/s read and write in ATTO as well, which means that this will make quick work of your file transfers to the drive and off of it.
The drive can be found at Newegg on sale for $119.99 on sale and is normally at $139.99 . If you have only plans for just one drive for your storage needs this is by far a better value than installing a bare drive. You will still have the speed with USB 3.0 and you will have a year more warranty on the drive. With the drive being from Samsung you can rest assured that if you ever need to use the warranty service that the company will stand by it.
Is it worth it?
The drive is definitely worth the money you will spend, especially if you get it on sale. The downside of the external drives over internal drives is that they will take up extra space and ports on your computer while requiring another power outlet to be used. All in all the drive is a standard external hard drive without any extras, but at a great price and with good speeds. I am personally very satisfied with the drive and can see myself buying another if I need one down the line after I consolidate my media onto this drive from my others.