Buffalo Technology DriveStation Duo Review : Buffalo Technology

Buffalo Technology DriveStation Duo Review

The DriveStation Duo 2 TB is a rather imposing external storage solution. It should, however, have pretty decent performances since it comes loaded with a pair of speedy hard drives. Plus, these drives can be used in RAID 0 or RAID 1 so you can prioritise performance or safe back-up as required.

Changing between the two RAID modes isn't all that straight-forward, however, as you have to install the manufacturer's software in order to chose which mode you want to two drives to work in. RAID 0 simultaneously writes two different parts of a file onto each drive to optimise performance, while RAID 1 copies the whole file to both drives for an extra back-up in case one drive fails. The DriveStation features two Seagate 7200.12 hard drives, which spin at 7200 rpm, have 32 MB of cache memory and an internal 3 Gbps SATA-2 interface. For the best performances, you're therefore better off using the external eSATA port on the DriveStation Duo and only using the USB 2.0 connection as a back-up. Plus, it's nice to see that Buffalo supplies an eSATA bracket so you can install an eSATA port on a PC that doesn't have internal SATA connections.

The first tests with CrystalDiskMark show just what the eSATA connection is capable of in RAID 0:


The sequential transfer of large files in particular gets the best out of RAID 0. For other file transfers the difference in performance is much less marked.

The more practical PCMark Vantage tests show the drive to be 6% more effective in RAID 0:

Only those of you who don't have time to lose or who regularly work with very big files should really be using the RAID 0 set-up, though. Most of you will no doubt prefer RAID 1, which offers much safer back-up, even though it reduces the overall available storage capacity from 2 TB to 1 TB.

Access times are nothing special but, apart from in a certain few cases, that isn't all that relevant for an external storage solution:

We decided to quickly test performance over the USB 2.0 connection with CrystalDiskMark. As expected, the results weren't as good:


Finally, it's important to note that the DriveStation Duo 2 TB can be very noisy during intense sessions of reading or writing data. The fan spins very quickly and isn't particularly discreet, which can be annoying at times. A larger, slower fan could have been a better choice here.

The size and weight of the system means it'll probably be staying put once you've installed it since it's not really designed for taking out and about. Plus, it requires an external transformer (supplied) for connection to the mains. It's a shame this wasn't integrated directly into the drive casing itself.

BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY - HDD / ODD DriveStation DDR 3TB
Home Theater (BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY - HDD / ODD)
  • 126.83
  • 253.66
BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY - DAS BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY HD-GD2.0U3 2TB DRIVESTATION DDR ULTRA FAST USB 3.0 HD W/ DDR3 RAM CACHE
PC Accessory (BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY - DAS)
  • New
  • BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY - DAS HD-GD2.0U3
  • BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY HD-GD2.0U3 2TB DRIVESTATION DDR ULTRA FAST USB 3.0 HD W/ DDR3 RAM CACHE

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