Despite the growing popularity of SSDs, conventional hard drives are still relevant – they are an excellent backup or additional storage option. With current USB speeds, the performance differences between internal and external drives erase. Now you can easily install games on external hard drives – and of course, there are models positioned as gaming ones. I will tell you about one of them, Surefire GX3, in this review.
Surefire is a brand of the European division of Verbatim, known to the older generation of gamers for high-quality “blanks” (and to some, even from the days of floppy disks). She did not stay away from industry trends and created a separate brand for gaming peripherals and storage devices, also billed as gaming.
In addition to drives, keyboards, mice, acoustics, even cooling pads and mats produces under this name. Given the company’s history, the storage solutions have generated the most substantial interest, and the GX3 demonstrates that they are well worthy of Verbatim’s reputation.
- Volume: 1 TB, 2 TB
- Read / Write Speed: 140MB / s
- Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 1
- Weight: 115g
- Dimensions: 125 x 80 x 17.5mm (L x W x H)
COMPLETE SET AND DESIGN
In a compact cardboard box in neon green tones, there is a plastic tray with a pleasant velvet finish, in which the hard drive itself, a cable for connecting to a PC or console, the required minimum of documentation and – a nice bonus – an adapter from USB-A to USB-C to case if all “big” ports are busy. Or if you have an “apple” laptop where there are simply no such ports.
The cable is excellent, durable and moderately long – 55 cm. On the one hand, it is the favorite of many external drives that drives Micro-B; on the other, the standard USB Type-A. The design is in a “gaming” style:
- Cut corners
- A beautiful pixel pattern
- Checkmarks lights
- A large X-shape with the brand logo across the entire body
We did not forget about the logo on the adapter.
One color is available – black, the side and bottom edges are solid and matte; at the bottom there are small plastic “legs” molded directly from the body. The plastic is quite pleasant to the touch, even if it doesn’t look the most expensive. Even minimal protection against external influences is absent, and the case seems quite fragile. Therefore, you should treat the disc as carefully as possible.
SPEED AND VOLUME
I got a version of 1 TB (931 MB is available to the user), and a model with twice the capacity is also available. The connection is simple – plug the cable into the USB port. By default, the disk was formatted in FAT32 and contained several folders with documentation and software, mainly for backups. As planned by the manufacturers, it can install from a special menu, but not only does it not work, it also looks rather unsympathetic. Therefore, the first thing I did was reformat it to NTFS, deleting unnecessary data.
The very first launch of CrystalDiskInfo was not without surprises. Despite the company’s long history in the production of data storage devices, the hard drive, locked in the case, was identified as Toshiba. The spindle rotation speed is 5400 rpm, which slightly reduces productivity but allows you to work quieter and with less heating.
In CrystalDiskMark tests, the drive performed pretty well. I didn’t have the opportunity to compare it with other HDDs – SSDs are installed on the laptop and consoles – but in terms of “bare numbers” when working with large blocks, it even surpasses the declared 140 MB / s, leaving behind the similarly priced WD Black P10. Copying a 26GB file took 3 minutes 23 seconds.
At the same time, it is worth noting the almost silent operation, low heating, and very weak vibration – it felt only if you take the disc in your hands and touch the bottom or side edge of the case. If you put your hand on the top panel, nothing felt.
Pretty lovely and backlighting – it cannot configure in any way, but it tries to perform aesthetic and useful functions. Three “ticks” shimmer with all the colors of the rainbow, blinking to the beat of calls to the disc, or quietly “breathing” when it is not used. And after a safe shutdown, they begin to blink pacifying blue.
Even though the disc is called a gaming disc, no specialized optimization for games has reported. But the PC version of Control installed on it worked confidently and without lags. All downloads were within a couple of tens of seconds. The exact models of the supported consoles are not indicated – the instructions say the word “consoles,” but the gadget made friends with the Xbox Series X right away – when I first connected, the system asked how I would use the drive, and when I found out what for games, it offered to format it. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order chose as a test game.
The download speed of the game was limited mainly by the Internet connection and not by the hard drive. And once installed, it worked just fine. The maximum loading time was 19 seconds. Of course, you can’t play a real nextgen from such a slow disc, but it can easily free up valuable SSD space for new games, harboring old hits that you play from time to time.
And the disc is instantly recognized by the TV and plays 4K video without hesitation. But there is one caveat with formatting for Xbox – if later you want to reconnect the drive to the PC, it will need to initialize through the computer management application. Otherwise, it cannot see in Explorer.
Even today, when we confidently step into the era of SSDs, the Surefire GX3 holds up quite well. It’s a great choice for backing up data or storing your library, but if you want, the drive can handle installing games on both PCs and consoles. Of course, SSDs prefers in the current generation of consoles, but they are quite expensive.
The price of this gadget is 5-6 thousand rubles for a terabyte version and 7-9 thousand for a two-terabyte version. Also not superbudgetary, but half the price of an SSD of the same size. And although the GX3 is inferior to them in speed, this will be noticeable only due to longer saves and loads in most games. But the disk will also somewhat reduce this difference due to the rather high operating speed for its class.
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