Several vendors now offer quad-port drives in identical enclosures, and Edge Tech has joined the group with its DiskGo Quad Interface . Don’t expect anything exceptional from this device, but it covers the basics at an OK price.
The drive lies flat on a desktop. After plugging the single-pin cable into the light, seven-ounce AC adapter, you can connect the drive to your Mac via any of the available ports: mini USB 2.0, one of two FireWire 800 ports, or eSATA. A FireWire 400 to FireWire 800 cable is provided for users who need to hook it up to FireWire 400 ports. Although the eSATA port is faster than the FireWire 800, to use eSATA you must shell out for an expansion card. Edge Tech neither includes an eSATA card nor sells one separately.
The enclosure’s fanless design contributes to quiet operation. Internally, rubber antishock mounts protect the hard disk mechanism when you’re carrying the device around, although one feature it’s missing is an antitheft cable to prevent the drive from walking away.
The DiskGo didn’t stand out on any of our tests save one: try as we might, we were unable to coax the drive to boot from our standard G5 tower test platform—behavior we chalked up to lingering incompatibilities between eSATA drives and controller cards. Thankfully, this booting hiccup was limited to the eSATA port, and the drive booted normally using the FireWire 800 port.
|Copy 1GB File to FireWire 800 ||0:33 |
|Copy 1GB File to eSATA ||0:31 |
|Duplicate 1GB File via FireWire 800 ||0:49 |
|Duplicate 1GB File via eSATA ||0:45 |
|Low-Memory Photoshop: FireWire 800 ||1:18 |
|Low-Memory Photoshop: eSATA ||1:18 |
Scale = Minutes: Seconds
How We Tested: We ran all tests with the drive connected to a dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with Mac OS X 10.4.8 installed and 1GB of RAM. We tested the drive using FireWire 800 and eSATA. We copied a folder containing 1GB of data from our Mac’s hard drive to the external hard drive to test the drive’s write speed. We then duplicated that file on the external drive to test both read and write speeds. We also used the drive as a scratch disk when running our low-memory Adobe Photoshop CS test. This test is a set of four tasks performed on a 150MB file, with Photoshop’s memory set to 25 percent.—Macworld Lab testing by James Galbraith and Jerry Jung
|Price per Gigabyte ||$0.57 |
|Connectors ||eSATA, FireWire 800 (two), USB 2.0 |
|Rotational Speed ||7,200 rpm |
|Other Capacities ||160GB ($165); 250GB ($179); 400GB ($240) |
Macworld’s buying advice
From its basic enclosure to its lackluster performance, there’s nothing particularly exceptional about the DiskGo Quad Interface drive. It functions as well as any other triple-port drive we’ve seen. It’s suitable for backups and all-around storage needs.
[ Jeffy Milstead is a Macworld Lab alumnus and a writer living in San Francisco. ]
DiskGo Quad Interface 500GB