Freecom 56066 1TB Quattro eSATA/FireWire800/USB 3.0 3.5 Inch External Hard Drive
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- External, no nonsense hard drive for professional and home use
- 4 interfaces in one drive, provides optimal flexibility
- High quality aluminium enclosure
- Optimal internal airflow management
- No cooling fan - no noise!
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The Fast and Flexible Hard Drive for Professionals
The Hard Drive Quattro is Freecom's most versatile hard drive. With four interfaces (USB 3.0, FireWire 800, FireWire400, eSATA) this hard drive connects to any computer or Mac. The FireWire interface makes it the ideal hard drive for Mac users who require a fast and reliable drive for storing and editing large audio, video and or graphical files.
Enjoy the Silence
The Hard Drive Quattro has been designed in such a way that a noisy cooling fan is obsolete. The heat-absorbing aluminium enclosure always ensures a silent operation. Quattro interfaces and Quattro reasons to buy this hard drive: it's silent, cool, robust and recyclable.
One of the most striking aspects of the Hard Drive Quattro is its minimalistic, state of the art design. Made from cool aluminium with a glossy black front finished with the chrome Freecom logo, this drive stands out from the crowd and looks stunning on your desk.
Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 3TB*
Interfaces: USB 3.0, can also be connected to USB 2.0 port**, eSATA, FireWire800 / 400
Hard Drive Type: 3.5” SATA, low noise, low power consumption
Data Transfer Speed: max. 5000 Mbit/s (USB 3.0), max. 3000 Mbit/s (eSATA), max. 800 Mbit/s (FireWire800), max. 400 Mbit/s (FireWire400), theoretical maximum data transfer speeds
Power Requirements: AC adapter 12V / min. 1.5A
Weight: 1400 g
Dimensions: 15.5 x 14.8 x 4.3 cm
MTBF: 50.000 POH
Environmental Specifications: Operating temperature: 10º C - 35º C / Storage temperature: -20º C - 70º C
Minimum System Requirements:
PC: Intel Pentium III / AMD Duron 900 MHz or higher, 256MB RAM (Vista: 512MB RAM) or higher, available USB 3.0, USB 2.0**, FireWire800, FireWire400 or eSATA port, Windows XP* / Vista / 7 / 8
MAC: PowerPC G3/G4/G5, Power Book G3/G4 or Intel Mac, 256MB RAM or higher, available USB 2.0**, FireWire800 or FireWire400 port, Mac OS X v10.4.8 or higher
* The Hard Drive Quattro is pre-formatted in FAT-32, for immediate use on both Windows and Mac computers. Due to limitations of the FAT-32 file format system, the 3TB version is NTFS formatted (Windows). Mac users need to reformat the drive to HFS+ file system (see addendum in retail box). PLEASE NOTE: The 3TB version does not support Windows XP
** When connected to USB 2.0, the data transfer speed will be according to USB 2.0 specification.
Top customer reviews
The 3 TB drive I bought recently seems much noisier, and also gets warm. With my Macbook Pro it doesn't switch off for quite a long while, and the Green Button software supplied does not even recognise the drive, and does not turn it off or suspend it on request. This is rather a shame, as I bought it to work with iMacs with Firewire. The data transfer rates do seem quite good, but the noise is a big distraction. Also, this one comes with instructions allegedly to help install on Macs, but basically it is not very good. It does reformat the drive, though it does not save the Freecom specific files, which is claimed it will do. However, I had already saved those before attempting to install the software. If this worked as described, quiet, cool with no fan, and with good results using Firewire then even at the relatively high price it could be recommendable, though 3 Tbytes of storage can be obtained for a smaller outlay by ordering USB 3 drives from other manufacturers.
Trying to get this one to work did alert me to the software issues, and in fact the software supplied with my 2 Tbyte drive is also ineffective. That drive seems quieter, and does go to sleep after a modest time anyway even though the software supplied doesn't work, I feel happier with that model than this 3 Tbyte version.
I don't know whether the noise problem is specific to my unit. I'd consider buying it again if I could get a quiet one, but if they're all like this I won't bother. I have initiated the refund procedure. I'll have to test it again anyway to remove the test files I put on it, and might just give it a reprieve, though right now I think it's more likely I'll return it.
I'm still thinking about this. The drive does shut down after a while, so it goes quiet then. The supplied software just does not work at all - on any of my systems, and that includes some early ones such as Snow Leopard - 10.6.8. I don't know whether the Energy settings in System Preferences actually does have an effect .There is an option to "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" - but I don't know whether it makes any difference. As someone else has mentioned, the device has a power switch, so if the drive is not needed at all during a session, it can be kept powered down, or it can be dismounted and powered off. Compared with the noise from the computers themselves - either iMacs with hard drives, or a MacBook Pro with SSD the Freecom drive is noisier, though I have heard some older computers which were as bad. I mostly prefer SSD now for quietness, but it's still too expensive for large data storage hence the interest in this drive. There aren't many other drives with similar capability, though there is a multi interface La Cie model ( LaCie d2 Quadra 3TB Dual FireWire 800 + eSATA + USB 3.0 Professional Desktop 3.5 inch External Hard Drive for PC and Mac) which looks similar to some USB models I already own. It is possible that the LaCie models are better, and quieter - but unless I decide I need another drive I may not find out.
If I keep the Freecom unit I hope it will work for a few years, otherwise I shall feel very disappointed indeed. Other reviews around here suggest that the Freecom customer service is rather poor, but I've not checked myself.
I am really rather disappointed by this, as the multi interface concept is potentially very powerful, and should improve the performance for earlier iMacs which don't have USB 3 by the use of the Firewire interface.
Postscript to the above:
I decided to keep the drive in the end as it will probably not be on all the time anyway, and I can control that. It is quite fast on machines which only have Firewire and not USB 3 or other interfaces, and definitely faster than any drive connected to a USB 2 interface. It seems that some other drives aren't so quiet either - for example a recently purchased 3Tbyte Seagate drive which is about as noisy and also does not seem to power down, with or without special software - Seagate Expansion 3 TB USB 3.0 Desktop 3.5 inch External Hard Drive for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The Seagate drive doesn't even have an on/off switch, though against that it's nearly half the price of the Freecom one. With OS X El Capitan the best option apart from manually powering such drives off seems to be to go to System Preferences -> Energy Saver and click the box “Put hard drives to sleep when possible”. Note that this doesn't seem to work completely independently from the Computer Sleep option, so it's best to set that low too – maybe 3-5 mins unless you are doing work which requires continuous operation, such as backups. I still haven't figured out what causes some drives to become active again even if they are not being directly accessed, and noisier drives will certainly make their presence felt when drives become active. Some drives may power up at seemingly random intervals, though perhaps sometimes for only one or two seconds. My MBP (MacBook Pro) with SSD is virtually silent most of the time, except when the fans kick in when the processors start to become very loaded. It is worth setting the System Preferences conrols to minimise this disruption.
Most portable drives which typically take power off the USB ports are quieter than the Freecom or Seagate drive models mentioned here, though perhaps not so robust. I have bricked a portable drive accidentally – there is merit in having more solid drives which are more resistant to movement, and which have their own power supplies.
The issue of the software supplied with the Freecom unit to control the powering off of the Freecom unit still remains. It is sad that the company seems to have no interest in updating the software so that it would actually work. The LaCie Quadra drives may still provide the best option for quiet operation with a Firewire interface, but I've not yet tried the Firewire variants of LaCie drivest, hough I do have similar LaCie drives without Firewire which are very quiet.
I haven't increased my rating, and leave it to readers to decide whether the cons of this unit can be managed or lived with, and whether the pros outweigh the problems mentioned.
It's very quiet when operating, but not 'silent', and the supplied rubber feet don't effectively stop the vibrations of a 3TB drive from resonating on a desk. A folded soft cotton cloth does, however, so that's not a great problem. As the drive is in the study, which is some way from the lounge, no noise is heard when watching the videos, anyway.
The drive serves the media files via the wi-fi Apple TV connection and - as far as the user is concerned - it's a seamless interface, with the lists of files simply appearing on any TV with a wi-fi interface. Films play smoothly, with the server's speed being roughly 9x the playing speed, so there's no juddering when viewing.
Obviously, it's too early to tell what the longevity of the drive will be, and it's a lot of work to encode so much material but I will be buying a second one to act as a back up for this one. For the moment, however, very happy with this sort of capacity, speed and performance. For those interested in the entire server archiving process software and hardware is as follows:
Mac Pro Desktop
Freecom 56068 3TB
and a lot of time :-)
I've had one Freecom harddrive die on me, and it was my own fault, I dropped it down some stairs.
My point is, that even if Freecom harddrives in general seem a bit more expensive than some of their competitors, the quality of product is well worth that price.
As for this specific harddrive, the multiple options for connection are invaluable to me. I have all of them on my Desktop, so if I ever lose a cable I can always find another way to connect them, and for my other computers the good ol' (yet updated to 3.0) USB connection serves me well.
It has withstood the occasional, accidental drop and bump, as well as some rigorous read/write activities.
I have seen no since of fault as of yet, and I have full trust that I won't for years to come.
I fully recommend this harddrive, save up if you have to, because it's worth it in the long run.
Most recent customer reviews
I required this item as my video rendering files were filling up my iMac, in...Read more