If we look back to late 2012; August to be more precise, you may remember a press release from ADATA where they announced or rather launched the DashDrive HV610. Sporting a unique puzzle piece design, this new drive was set up with USB 3.0 connectivity with a slide-out "smart cover". This smart cover as ADATA calls it would snap into place on the external drive giving you an easy and convenient option for storing the USB cable.
At launch these drives were available in 500GB and 1TB capacities and promised 3x the speed of USB 2.0. Now that may not seem like much, but if you have ever transferred a large batch of files to an external drive, then you will most certainly understand the frustration that comes with waiting for an operation such as this.
Today I will be looking over the ADATA DashDrive HV610 in the 500GB capacity. This drive is compatible with the most recent versions of the Windows operating system including XP, Vista, 7 and 8 along with Linux Kernel 2.6+ and Mac OS X 10.6+.
Looking at the HV610 the first thing you will notice is its colourful appearance. The puzzle piece smart cover securely holds the USB 3.0 cable in place. At the bottom of the enclosure there is a blue LED to denote drive activity.
The backside of the enclosure further supports the unique design, with the puzzle design.
The side of the drive has a simple clean surface sporting the USB 3.0 connection in the center.
Pulling the HV610 apart, which proved to be rather simple, we had a chance to look at the actual drive chosen for this model. Our sample had a Hitachi 5K750-500 5400RPM drive installed.
The PCB for this drive was rather simple to the left we have the SATA to USB 3.0 host controller with the USB 3.0 connection in the center.
A closer look at the controller shows that it is a VIA VL701-T4. This controller sports a SATAII PHY to USB 3.0 and does support UASP.
The ADATA HV610 has access to HDDtoGo software available on ADATA's website. This software includes 128-bit encryption for your drive, and allows you to sync your PC automatically and even browse the web without being traced.
Running the software you have the option to setup Internet options to your preference. The software supports Internet Explorer and Firefox.
File synchronization is as simple as checking a few boxes and clicking go.
PC Lock allows you to secure your PC after the HV610 is unplugged. You can customize the lock screen with the photo of your choosing. The PC will only unlock if you plug the HV610 back in or optionally setting a desired time.
The security settings allow you to set a password of your choice. This will encrypt the drive with 128-bit AES.
In the unfortunate event you lose your drive there is also the option of filling out this page. When someone finds the drive and tried to access it they will be greeted with information to insure a safe return.
Located in the about section there is a built in update function, saving you a slight bit of time to keep your device software up to date.
Benchmarking external hard drives will consist of three pieces of software. The first is ATTO for marketing performance followed up by CrystalDiskMark to test NCQ at QD32 keeping in mind that for an external storage device to support NCQ it must also have UASP support. The last is DiskBench for the real world aspect of things.
ATTO numbers were pretty decent being that this drive is platter based and spins at a paltry 5400RPM. We managed 89MB/s write and 94MB/s read.
CrystalDiskMark presented us with numbers close to what we expected, 92MB/s sequential read and 90MB/s sequential write. Queue Depth 32 showed no love for NCQ as hard drives tend to be a bit slow in this field.
DiskBench did open a slight weakness for the HV610. We ended the benchmark with an average transfer rate of 69.2MB/s, this does conform to ADATAs marketing of 3x the speed of USB 2.0, but I was expecting just a little more performance.
First I will start off saying that I do indeed like this drive. It certainly has the looks if you're one of those people with tons of charisma and just love color in your life. The unique puzzle design brings in elements of fun like the drive has a life outside storing your data. The enclosure of the drive is made of plastic, but at no time did I personally feel it was cheap or made by cutting corners.
As far as performance is concerned, I would enjoy more of it, but really who wouldn't? In the day and age where everyone is moving a mile a minute we just want our data and want it now. Seeing that the controller in this unit does support UASP and the fact that it's really easy to open, it does leave options available for the future if you deem the drive to slow for your needs. However, the drive as configured does reach 90MB/s, which in the real world should leave you pleased.
I always enjoy getting drives that offer more than just a square box with a drive in it, there are just a massive amount of companies that can do this and ADATA has set themselves apart by adding in software to allow security options, which in my book is a big plus.
To get yourself into the 500GB HV610 you're going to be spending around $65 USD. This price point puts this drive in perfect position against rival products from the likes of Seagate and Western Digital.
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