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Cavalry 500GB Ext HD

Bigger, quicker, longer, faster, the need for all types of storage seems to keep growing. Not only are the size and number of applications in use today expanding but more people seem to be taking the responsibility of backing up their data more seriously. In addition there are all those pictures, mp3s, and other media files most of us have. Now if you are looking to store a few office documents, transport some family photos, run a portable copy of Firefox, or even backing up the contents of this whole site in fact, almost any modern 1GB+ flash drive will suffice, but for working with large jobs today, usually that still means an external hard drive of some sort. That is where the Cavalry 500GB external HD provided us by Geeks steps in.

Cavalry Box

The Cavalry 500GB external HD arrived is a fairly ordinary looking high gloss blue and white retail box, as you can see from the picture above. Some minor crumpling at the top of the box was evident; fortunately the contents of the box were undamaged. Inside the box was (External power supply, USB 2.0 cable, plastic drive stand, OEM backup software, old fashioned paper user's manual!, and finally the drive itself.) everything you need to get started.

Cavalry Box Open     Cavalry Box Open

Specs/Features:

-Aluminum casing with luminous front panel
-Works with PC and Mac
-Plug and Play compatible
-Hot-Swappable connection
-Compatible with Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista
-Compatible with MAC 9.X above
-34W external power supply
-Dimensions: 198 x 125 x 33 mm (L x W x H)

If you are interested in knowing more about this particular line of drives I invite you to go take a look as there is way too much info there to fit in the scope of this rather sparse review. The drive seems to be a Western Digital AV GP hard drive, AV being Audio Visual, GP being Green Power. One spec conspicuously absent was drive rotational speed. Since Western Digital seems to have gone out of their way to omit this I would imagine that the drive is spinning at something less than 7200 RPM. Will this have a major impact on performance? The answer to that question is coming up soon in a later section.

The Cavalry 500GB external HD comes already NTFS formatted so it was a simple matter of plugging in the USB 2.0 cable, the power supply, and flipping the on/off power switch on the back of the enclosure; the device was auto-detected in Win XP SP2 and was good to go. The Cavalry external HD is the first external HD I have owned with its own on/off switch. This may sound inconsequential, but it is nice to be able to turn off the drive when not in use, saving not only electricity but wear and tear on the drive itself.

Cavalry Rear

The Cavalry 500GB external HD includes OTB (One Touch Backup Software). While the software seems fine for users looking for a basic automated solution, power users who are much more anal retentive about details (such as myself) and want control of more options than just source or destination are likely better off backing up their data manually. Just don't forget to do it.

Cavalry Bundle

Here is where I had planned to open up the Cavalry 500GB external HD and see what was inside. Instead I was stymied by the presence of a “do not remove under penalty of arrest and incarceration (voiding warranty)” sticker. I guess I could have ignored the sticker and continued to disassemble the unit but I really didn't want to void the warranty of the Cavalry 500GB external HD while it was still barely two weeks old and I while I hadn't even finished breaking, ahem, I, err, mean testing it. For the photos here I figured I would show you the snazzy bright blue LED activity light. In the first photo the drive is off and in the second photo the drive is on.

Cavalry Off     Cavalry On

After testing with SiSoft Sandra I was pleasantly surprised with the respectable 35 MB/s read and 34 MB/s write speeds. This goes to show that the Western Digital WD5000AVVS used in the Cavalry 500GB external HD was a good choice whatever its true spindle speed may be. Testing also showed the drive to be totally inaudible less than three feet away while sitting at my desk. If you run a HTPC with little ambient noise your results may vary. The Cavalry was also cool to the touch (Radio Shack IR thermometer reported 98F) even after extended operation.

Cavalry Graph

Conclusion:

The Cavalry 500GB external HD is one of those rare products that I find it difficult to criticize. It is fast, quiet, runs cool, looks good, and unlike some other external hard drives I have used in the past it has an on/off power switch so you can actually turn it off when not in use. In fact the only things I can find to complain about might be considered nit-picking. For instance the USB 2.0 cable included isn't long enough, and the power supply brick is too large to easily fit in my UPS.

Pros:

  • Relatively fast
  • Quiet operation
  • Runs cool
  • LED looks good

Cons:

  • No major cons found

I would like to thank Geeks for providing us with the Cavalry 500GB external HD for review. This model sells for 109 usd. Geeks also has other Cavalry external hard drives for sale--both smaller and larger--than one reviewed today.

Geeks

Added: April 7th 2008
Reviewer: JimAdkins
Score: 9  
Related Link: Cavalry
Hits: 5108
Language: english

  

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