Seagate this week formally introduced its Backup Plus Plus Portable Drive external HDD with a 5 TB capacity that is based on the recently launched top-of-the-range BarraCuda 2.5” drive. The new DAS offers the industry’s highest capacity in its class and also uses Seagate’s latest 2.5” platters featuring shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology as well as multi-tier caching (MTC).

The Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive 5 TB (STDR5000100) and its lower capacity sibling with a 4 TB capacity (STDR4000100) come in an anodized aluminum enclosure (78 × 114.5 × 20.5 mm) and use USB 3.0 ports for both for power and data (backward compatibility with USB 2.0 is naturally maintained). The drive is listed as consuming no more than 2.1 W of power, and can be used with PCs and compatible mobile devices as well. To simplify the process of using the DAS, Seagate bundles its Dashboard software for Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems with the product. Moreover, with the purchase of the DAS, Seagate also offers 200 GB of storage space in its cloud for two years to store important files.

The storage part of the Backup Plus Portable Drive 4/5 TB is the BarraCuda 2.5” 4/5 TB HDD introduced last month. (It is logical to assume that Seagate solely uses drives with 1 TB platters for the DAS products, but the company has not confirmed this) Those drives use 1 TB SMR platters at a 5400 RPM spindle speed, with 128 MB of cache as well as the company’s proprietary MTC that ensures predictable write performance of SMR-based HDDs. While the new DAS is not the first external HDD from Seagate to use SMR, it is the first drive to use the multi-tier caching. It remains to be seen whether the MTC improves real-world performance of a DAS, but at least it offers a promise of performance improvements over previous-gen solutions.

The Seagate Backup Plus Portable 5TB hard drive will hit the market this month in black, silver, red and blue color options. At present, the Backup Plus Portable 5TB drive is the world’s highest-capacity miniature external HDD, which is why Seagate charges a premium for it: the product costs $190, which is considerably higher than some of its predecessors.

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Source: Seagate

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  • MBobb827 - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - link

    The largest external hdd?? Nope, here's one for $215:

    Unless the author meant the largest 2.5 inch external drive, which may be true
  • MBobb827 - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - link

    Oops, that's an 8TB drive by the way
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - link

    I suspect portable here means bus powered as opposed to explicitly 2.5" form factor. OTOH as long as the high power USB-C modes are optional a bus powered 3.5" model isn't a plausible option.
  • wumpus - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - link

    I think this is where the real grognards tell you about hard drives delivered by forklift (my first drive was 5.25"). But bus power does make a difference.
  • JMC2000 - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - link

    Hey now, youngster. Back in my day, we needed a forklift and a flatbed truck to move our hard drives.

    In fact, before then, we had to go to where the "hard drive" was located, and spend days recording data. Sadly, some of the sectors corrupted, and it's hard to recover the information.
  • eiskafee - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - link

    Seagates just die a lot. Can't imagine losing 5TB of data, they should focus on RAID config inside these external HDDs so if they do fail, there's still some hope left.
  • cerberusss - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - link

    I think a USB-C variant would've been nice.
  • takur - Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - link

    I guess you have to update your info about hard drives.
  • Samus - Thursday, November 17, 2016 - link

    Keep in mind Backblaze stats are only relevant to people who plan to run a data center focusing on cold storage reliability.

    Drives perform considerably different (more reliably) in a desktop environment where they are not shared with 72 hard drives in a cage subject to enormous harmonic vibrations. Most of Backblaze "pods" are filled with desktop-class drives that lack firmware and sensors designed in enterprise grade drives that permit them to be reliable in large disk enclosures.

    They make this very clear in their data. Please don't link to their data when trying to compare the Seagate reliability they collect to the reliability of a single 5TB external USB disk. We have enough misinformation on the internet and Backblaze stats could be considered the Breitbart of news if people don't understand how data is collected and what it means.
  • abhaxus - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    Too tired to Google but didn't Backblaze comment on the 'Enterprise' drives not having significantly better reliability than the desktop drives?

    I have 12 seagate 4TB NAS drives in a freenas box, norco 20 drive 4U enclosure. In less than 2 years, 7 have failed (either serious pending sector counts or a reallocated sector). At this point I am almost break even if I had bought HGST drives and had no failures, at 12-15 bucks per RMA that I have paid so far.

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