Seagate releases first 3TB external desktop hard drive

The same drive can transfer files to Windows or Mac OS X machines

Seagate Technologies today announced the first 3TB external desktop hard drive, which is capable of using USB 2.0, 3.0 or FireWire 800 connectivity.

The 3.5-inch 3TB FreeAgent GoFlex Desk external hard drive is compatable with both Windows and Mac OS X systems because it includes a New Technology File System (NTFS) driver for Mac. NTFS allows the drive to store and access files from both Windows and Mac OS X computers without reformatting.

The drive comes with a standard USB 2.0 interface offering a 480Mbit/sec data transfer speed, but with a separate GoFlex desktop adapter it can be upgraded to USB 3.0 or FireWire 800 to increase file transfer performance by up to 10 times. USB 3.0 has data transfer rates of up to 4.8Gbit/sec and FireWire 800 supports transfer rates of up to 800Mbit/sec.

"As the definition quality of digital cameras increases, playback devices such as digital photo frames and MP3 players proliferate and the use of the Internet for downloading music and video continues to grow, more files accumulate in the home," Kurt Scherf, principle analyst for market research firm Parks Associates, said in a statement. "Consumers who are active in digital media creation and consumption will witness their digital media storage needs grow nine-fold by 2014, driving the demand for higher capacity, easy-to-use storage solutions."

The 3TB GoFlex Desk external drive with USB 2.0 adapter lists for $249.99.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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