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Customer Review

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wicked fast but a bit eccentric, March 27, 2012
This review is from: Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter (STAE121) (Personal Computers)
The Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter (STAE121) is the most cost-effective product on the market for adding an external drive to your Mac via Thunderbolt. It works well (and fast!) with a few issues. You DO need Apple's Thunderbolt cable which is another $50. I have tried this adapter with a 1TB Seagate GoFlex 2 1/2" drive and a Crucial m4 SSD 2.5 drive. One nice feature is that you can physically attach a "bare" 2.5" drive to the SATA connector that is "exposed" on the Seagate adapter

One issue I had was attaching the thunderbolt cable to the adapter. It *seems* to connect snugly with a solid "click" BUT sometimes just moving the drive or touching the cable causes the drive to disconnect - with an OS error :( If you disconnect and connect several times and are very careful with alignment, eventually the cable is well mated and the adapter & drive work fine - even when bumped or moved.

Another issue I had was the drive not waking from sleep on occasion. I use Time Machine to backup to the drive and found the drive unresponsive on several occasions after the drive had spun-down. I changed my System Preferences to never let the drive sleep and have had no problems since.

The speed of the adapter & external drive is fantastic - especially with an SSD drive! I ran some benchmarks with the Seagate GoFlex 1TB 2.5" drive and a Crucial m4 SSD 2.5 drive (64GB).

Performance results with both Black Magic drive test and XBench test:

Seagate GoFlex 1TB
BM: 77 MB/s -- 78 MB/s
XB: 73 MB/s -- 67 MB/s

Crucial m4 SSD 2.5
BM: 377 MB/s -- 105 MB/s
XB: 259 MB/s -- 98 MB/s

So, I give this product 4 stars as it is wicked fast but took a while to determine the right system configuration and best cable connection method.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 23, 2012 1:20:41 PM PDT
W. E. says:
those benchmark speeds are pathetically slow

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 2:57:30 PM PDT
gotscience? says:
Warren, any idea why Blackmagic shows much much higher speeds? I get very similar readings checking the internal drives (5400 in a Macbook Pro) and 386 in a new Macbook Air. Didn't test with XBench

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 3:08:27 PM PDT
Erik Syring says:
* STAE121 units produced since late April appear to work fine with HDDs.
* STAE121 does not work with SSDs (this is the experience of many, and is Seagate's position).
* With Macs hereafter supporting USB 3.0 there is of course no reason to get the STAE121 for the use of GoFlex drives with new Macs, and external USB 3.0 chassis fit HDDs better and support SSDs.

Posted on Jul 28, 2012 4:29:42 AM PDT
Thanks for the posting, Andy. Warren's comment is actually spot on; that is slow for what I would expect of Thunderbolt. I have a Late 2011 MacBook Pro and have done extensive drive testing with LaCie Rugged portable drive enclosures with bus-powered FW800 and USB3 connections (although the Late 2011 only has USB 2 ports). With a 1TB 5400 drive the LaCie achieved 83MB/sec read and write using FW800. That is faster than Andy's speeds of 77/78MB/sec over Thunderbolt.

I was thinking of getting one of these adapters, but for ~ $150 for the adapter and Thunderbolt cable, it offers no speed advantage over the LaCie FW800 case that cost me $25, cable included (price after I sold the internal 500GB drive -- I put in my own 1TB drive in). Plus only one TB port on the adapter is a negative because that means I cannot use my external monitor and this Thunderbolt adapter at the same time. With the LaCie drives I can daisy chain two drives at once over FW800 and still use an external display.

BTW - Cruicial M4 512GB SSD on the internal SATA III port of the MBP achieved 513MB/sec read and 261MB/sec write.

Posted on Aug 4, 2012 4:38:20 AM PDT
Many others have reported similar "sleep" or timeout problems with Seagate. I finally downloaded a seagate patch posted on the Amazon comments by a seagate rep that worked for my desktop Goflex for my mac book, but wasn't able to duplicate the success on my Imac at work. I'd like to get another Seagate drive for backup but I never have any problems with WD external drives so.. may go that route. Txs for the post.

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 2:20:23 PM PST
B. Humphrey says:
Any reason other than an awkward lie, that a 3.5" drive couldn't connect to this adapter ? I'd love a Thunderbolt Toaster but baring that, I know the STAE129 desktop version of this will let you attach a 3.5" bare drive but it 2x the price. Sata plugs are all the same right so it's whether or not a 3.5" drive could physically plug in (and stay there without extreme awkwardness).

Posted on Jul 25, 2013 8:46:21 AM PDT
Sam Provald says:
I just plugged in a 512GB Crucial M4 and it doesn't work at all, is not recognized on my mac. Drat!

Posted on Dec 15, 2013 11:49:57 AM PST
I bought the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter, i thought it was DOA, but i am running 10.6.8 on my imac, so I had never run the Thunderbolt 1.0 Firmware updater! After I ran the updater, (I also turned on trim with Trim Enabler) voila! I connected my 840 EVO SSD through the Thunderbolt adapter and Blam! Unheard of speed! I used XBench to test the data throughput, and some read/write speeds were up to 2x the speed of USB 3.0! I am now using the Thunderbolt adapter SSD as my boot drive, and all apps instantaneously launch! Apple system info recognizes the drive, and reboot times are incredibly fast!
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