The Iomega eGo portable hard drive is also available in a Mac edition, with both FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 ports for faster data transfer
Housed in a smart aluminium case in coloured shiny lacquer, the Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive Mac Edition is a compact portable hard drive with up to 500GB of storage. We’ve reviewed various versions of the popular drive before (here, here and here), but this edition has extra FireWire connection ports for faster data transfer.
Two capacities are available, either 320GB or 500GB, and two colour finishes – silver or ruby red.
With its choice of two FireWire ports – one each of FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 – the Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive Mac Edition is well suited for use with Apple Mac computers, as most Macs feature the faster connectivity standard.
A mini-USB 2.0 port is also included, useful for Windows PCs and the few Macs that lack FireWire. In our lab tests, though, we discovered that the Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive Mac Edition drive is probably best used only with Macs...
There’s no additional power socket, but in use we didn’t find any need for one. The drive was easily powered using current from any of its three data buses. A bright white LED alongside the ports lets you know when the unit is connected and ready for use.
While the case is metal it’s not totally robust. Carrying the drive in a laptop bag we noticed the thin casing could crease from pressure from other hard objects.
In speed tests, we saw read speeds up to 42MBps using FireWire 800 and around 34MBps with FireWire 400. These speeds are easonably quick but only around half of what FireWire is capable of providing.
And strangely, benchmarking in Windows showed dismal write speeds with either FireWire port. Write speeds over FireWire were around 5MBps - considerably down on even USB 2.
We checked write performance in OS X, where it performed better, with write speeds around 35MBps.
Reverting to Windows 7, instead of using HD Tach or HD Tune Pro benchmark tools, we tried a stopwatch test of copying 120GB of files to the drive. We gave up after seeing that transfer speed was down around 4MBps, which meant a transfer time that would have stretched to around 10 hours.
In USB 2.0 tests, the Iomega eGo performed within expectation, with read speeds of 31MBps and writes at 16MBps.
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