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Group test: what's the best storage device?

The best digital storage device you can buy

PC Advisor reviews the best storage devices you can buy in the UK today.

5. Western Digital My Passport Studio 1TB

We’re almost inclined to excuse the 2011 WD My Passport Studio’s continuing omission of Thunderbolt. This sturdy example of high-tech engineering may stretch the pocket in more way than one, but it’s worth every pound and gramme of it. Formidable FireWire performance and finally some worthy software all underline the whole tidy package. The WD My Passport Studio sets a new high benchmark for such pocket drives.

4. WD Red 3TB

In the WD Red, Western Digital has pulled off a great balance of features for this specialist network-storage hard disk. It runs as quietly as the low-power Caviar Green yet with performance more like a fast 7200rpm desktop PC hard drive. Currently selling for around £100 for the 2TB version and £140 for 3TB, it’s also accessibly priced.

3. iStorage diskAshur 500GB

The iStorage benefits from a USB 3.0 interface to give transfer speeds around twice that of its USB 2.0 predecessor. The bottleneck to moving data in and out is only the internal disk itself.

2. G-Technology G-RAID with Thunderbolt 8TB

The more time we spent testing this unit, the more respect we had for its incredible performance. Relatively quiet in use, the G-Technology G-RAID with Thunderbolt nevertheless proved to be a powerhouse in both capacity and performance. With that huge 8TB of storage on offer, accessible at real-world speeds consistently exceeding 300 MBps, the G-RAID offers size and speed that should satisfy any media professional or Mac power user.

1. Crucial M4

From the lab tests, the Crucial M4 displays clear improvements over the Crucial C300 – in most key respects. The headline-grabbing speeds are indisputably superior, up to 438MB/s read speeds in our tests and 281MB/s when writing. Small file transfer characteristics are less eye-catching but absolutely key to smooth PC operation. And here we saw improved write speeds, but slightly reduced reads. In the context of either of the Crucials’ great small file performance though, we haven’t seen any SSD with the Crucial M4’s terrific sequential speeds, tempered with such consummate small-file transfer juggling and high IOPS. This Crucial M4 SSD easily takes the crown as best SSD we’ve seen and comes highly recommended – especially given its price drop from the C300 of last year.

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