Review: Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter

“Finally Thunderbolt gets some consumer love–some pricey, pricey consumer love,” Roberto Baldwin reports for Mac|Life.

“The Seagate GoFlex series of portable hard drives has been around for a few years. One drive can attach to numerous interface adapters so you can use it with USB and FireWire. So for Seagate it was a no-brainer to add a Thunderbolt adapter, too,” Baldwin reports. “Using a Seagate GoFlex over Thunderbolt certainly is fast. We copied the same 1.13GB folder to a 7200-rpm FreeAgent GoFlex drive using the Thunderbolt adapter on a MacBook Air, and then again using USB 2.0. The USB transfer took 45 seconds while the Thunderbolt adapter finished the same task in 17 seconds. The only thing slowing Thunderbolt down is the drive itself. But that speed comes at a price.”

Baldwin reports, “Thunderbolt is expensive. The cable–which isn’t included–will set you back $49. The GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter is $99. That’s a $150 investment and you haven’t even bought the drive yet.”

Read more in the full review here.


  1. This drive makes no sense. If you’re connecting to a RAID, you get a huge advantage from Thunderbolt. Otherwise, it’s pretty much a waste of money when compared with FireWire 800.

    Plus, you should think twice (or check Seagate’s forums) before purchasing a GoFlex drive for your Mac. I have had more trouble with mine than with any other drive … ever. And they charge $10 to replace a DOA drive under warranty.

    1. I think your just unlucky. Every review I have read has said that they are awesome drives, or else you don’t know how to use them. I have 3 seagate drives, one internal, two external, and they all work perfectly. I have never, ever had any problems.

      1. I bought an external one and it started clicking within two weeks and became non-responsive. The warranty replacement did the same thing. I removed the drive from it’s enclosure and put it in a bay in my MacPro and it ran for a year. I never trusted it though and was cautious with it.

    2. I disagree. I connect my MacBook Air to my iMac via Thunderbolt and move files super fast. And I have a pile of 1TB, 1.5TB, etc. drives on my desk that are itching for Thunderbolt connection. I agree they need to be daisy-chainable though.

    3. I agree it makes no sense. What we need are Thunderbolt hubs offering a plethora of connection options (and power to devices that require it), making all Thunderbolt-equipped computers essentially connection- and protocol-agnostic (the LaCie offering is too expensive and inflexible at present).

    4. I’ve had a good experience with the one that I have. It is a 3TB GoFlex with the Firewire 800 adapter. I use it for Time Machine, and have had no problems.

      I’ve probably had it for about a year now.

  2. Another drawback is that this adapter has to be the last in your thunderbolt chain since it only has one connector, no daisy chain.
    With two connectors, it will be great for RAID (Mac OS has native RAID drivers even for booting). Too bad it only has one.
    question: You need one 49 Dlls cable for each device in the chain or just for the one attached directly to the computer?, I mean, is there a cheaper one for the rest of the chain?

  3. As with any new tech, prices will come down and it’s only the early fans who pay the high price of being on the edge. Once Tbolt hits consumer pcs the prices will drop like a rock…

  4. Note that this device is simply a raw SATA interface, which can be connected to any bare SATA laptop drive; I do this all the time with my FreeAgent GoFlex USB and FW upgrade cables.

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