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Friday, 23 October 2015

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ADATA HD720 1TB External Hard Disk Review and Specifications


We've been receiving quite a lot of hardware from ADATA guys these days ranging from really fast SSDs like the Premier Pro SP920SS to the edgy XPG 2400Mhz DDR4 RAM kit. But today we have the successor to the more familiar and much appreciated external hard drive HD710A, we have with us the ADATA HD720 1TB External Hard Drive for review .
Pretty much like the HD710A the newer HD720 is rugged and build to last, the various standards that it meets will be covered later on n this review but for now lets take a quick peek into the specification sheet.

Two things from here are quite clear, firstly, the HD720 looks different from its predecessor and the change is surely a welcome one. Secondly, the performance of the drive will be the decisive factor for those looking for an upgrade from the HD710A to the HD720 since rest of the things seems just identical.

Packing and Closer Look

The Pack

The ADATA HD720 1TB External Hard Disk comes in a simple white packing which is now customary to all the ADATA products, the front is accentuated by the ADATA Logo on the top left and the product name and form factor details on the right. The Hard Disk can be clearly seen resting inside the box via the see through panel in the middle which occupies most of the front and hence is a good thing.

There isn't much fuss involved and ADATA has listed all the specifications and awards that the HD720 meets right in the front so as to keep it all straight forward for the customer. More companies should follow such practices and I give an extra point to ADATA for their packing!

Inside you get the HD720 itself resting safely in a molded plastic frame with the connector cable wrapped onto it like an accessory. The cable is quite short for connecting it to a desktop and only laptop users will find it fitting, topping it up you can't use your own cable with this drive so you are stuck for good! A nifty little manual also comes along which I feel is quite a prehistoric practice at this moment of time. All in all everything is simple and sophisticated.

Closer Look


The HD720 complies with strict IEC/EN 60529 IP68 specifications and requirements. This means the unit offers complete dust tight protection for stable and long-lasting operation in particulate-infused environments. Its because of all this that I may quote, its a drive for those who literally want to throw their disk in a puddle of mud!
Certification also means the HD720 is rated for up to 120 minutes of submersion in water at a depth of up to 2m. Hence even a drop into a body of water will not disrupt a cherished trip or a vital work task. ADATA has also designed the HD720 to surpass the already-tough MIL-STD-810G 516.6 drop test: the drive can easily survive sudden and violent crashes and drops from as high as 1.8m, whereas the standard sets a 1.2m drop height.

ADATA says that the HD720 comes in three layer protection which is quite evident from the looks themselves. The first custom-weaved flexible silicone layer is actually dust proof so not even a single spec of dust will pass through that, through the hexagonal shapes we can see the second plastic layer oozing out which is responsible for making this unit waterproof. I'm a big fan of rusty, rugged stuff so I'm game for this particular drive!

At the bottom you find the connection port for the drive tucked in nicely behind a silicon flap and if dug deep you'll find a meshed LED light just above it. The HD720 comes equipped with a G Shock Sensor. So in case the drive suffers a severe shock from being struck, G Shock Sensor Protection automatically starts up and displays a flashing red light. When the shock has passed, a solid or flashing blue light displays indicating normal operation has resumed.

Test Setup and Benchmarks

Before I get on with the benchmarking I would once again like to point out that the USB 3.0 cable provided along with the product is atrociously short! I couldn't plug in the drive to the front USB ports on the PC case and let it rest on the table so in the end kept it on top of the case itself. Laptop users might not find the cable length awkward though, maybe ADATA thinks only laptop users roam around much and need durable drives *wink*


Note: Since its not just another drive so I tested the HD720 by submerging it under water for around 30 mins and then letting it go from a height of 1m. The drive worked flawlessly and the results of the test can be found below!

The test bench was as follows:
CPU: Intel Core i7 5960X (OC at 4.5 GHz)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE X99 Gaming 5P
RAMs: Corsair Vengeance LPX 2800Mhz 16GB DDR4 (4x4)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H110 CPU Liquid Cooler
Graphics card: Asus STRIX Radeon R9 390X 8GB DDR5
Storage Drive: Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
Driver: AMD Catalyst v15.7.1

ATTO Disk Benchmark

Starting up we have the very famous and very easy to use benchmarking tool, the ATTO Disk Benchmark. In our traditional way we have selected the transfer size to range from 0.5KB to 8192KB, and have set the total length of the test to be 256MB.

In the test we can see that the ADATA HD720 scores a maximum read speed of 115MB/sec and 113MB/sec as the maximum write speed.

Crystal Disk Mark v 5.0.2 x64

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software that analyses different types of hard drive and determines the read and write speed of the disk based on compressible data and random data that mainly consists of incompressible files.

The scores are nearly identical to that obtained in ATTO with 116MB/sec and 113MB/sec as read and write speeds respectively.

AS SSD

Though the name suggests its only for SSDs but it works equally well for HDD and since it uses incompressible data for its measures so in our case where we are using a HDD lower speeds will be expected. Also I've included the IOPS (Input / Output Operations Per Second) in the second image.

The test hammers a drive and he ADATA HD720 passes with flying colors at 110MB/sec and 109MB/sec read and write speed respectively.

Anvil Storage Utilities Professional

Anvil Storage Utilities is essentially an all-in-one tool for all of your SSD benchmarking needs. Anvil can be used for basic consumer testing, as well as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests. It displays data regarding the SSD, and even about your system

Alright so the same story is repeating over and over again, the ADATA HD720 is producing the same results in almost all the tests which projects its consistent and durable behavior. The speed measured here are 111MB/sec both in read and write processes.

HD Tune Pro 5.60 (Trial Version)

HD Tune Pro is my last test for the HD720 since I'm seeing consistent results on the drive one after another, its a great utility not only for benchmarking purpose but also helps to check the drive health which is very important at the end of conducting tests of any kind.

As we can see that the drive is in perfect condition and functioning properly  with a read speed of 114.5MB/sec and an average of 90.7MB/sec which is yet another fantastic score!

My Verdict

ADATA has always been famous for delivering what they promise and many a times its more than what they promise. The HD720 is no exception, it is a great product that passed all the synthetic and even physical benchmarks with flying colors and never did it once let me feel disappointed.

The ADATA HD720 is head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to durability and performs equally in terms of data read/write speeds. Be it a professional outdoor photographer or a businessman who loves his vital data or even a simple guy who doesn't want to lose upon his precious movie collection at the hands of an over excited kid at home -- the HD720 is the drive you need to have. Priced at just $69 or Rs 5000 in India the ADATA HD720 is the drive to go and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone out there who cares for his precious data & doesn't want to compromise upon added features or transfer speeds.
I give it 9/10

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