Silicon Power Armor A30 2TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive - Armor and FInal Thoughts

Article Index
Silicon Power Armor A30 2TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive
Featues and Inside Look
Performance Testing
Armor and FInal Thoughts

Testing the Armor:

At BCCHardware we always try to test products and push them to their limits. Our job is to see if products live up to their claims or fall short. We often do just do this in terms of performance, but when a product claims to be tough or have "armor", we take this as a personal challenge.
To be fair, we don't expect unrealistic results from dropping a mechanical drive or running over it. Anything that is abused will break eventually. Silicon Power claims that this drive has "Military-grade Shockproof Protection" and cites US Military MIL-STD-810G as their reference. Exploring this shows that the drop is a 4-foot drop onto 2-inch thick plywood laid over concrete and I can say from experience that this drive would survive that drop distance all day long.

In reality, that is the specification they claim to adhere to and for that I have to give them full points. It does what the actual specification claims. With that in mind though, there are a few instances on the Silicon Power page where they claim 300cm drop tests that have passed. Challenge accepted.

To set up own drop tests we skipped the plywood and dropped the drive right onto concrete. Right there the impact shock is magnified as plywood does have a lot less coefficient of collision than concrete.  In our effort to find the breaking point we started at 5-feet and went up from there. The results are below.

Final Thoughts:

It's been over a year since I tested an external USB 3.0 hard drive and back then it was a 1TB unit. The performance was pretty good, and things have only gotten better. The Silicon Power Armor A30 drive has great performance, an attractive design and is very rugged. The non-standard USB 3.0 arrangement could be a cause for concern, but I think the connector idea works very well and I won't discount any points for that design.

I was surprised that such a small enclosure could house a 2TB drive and with the dense platters make it perform really well. I was very impressed with the ~125MB/s average transfer for the entire drive. That sure beats my 2x200GB Maxtor RAID 0 array. It's impressive how transfer rates have improved and that with USB 3.0 we don’t have to take a performance hit when we move the drive outside of our system.

In terms of ruggedness and reliability, Silicon Power does in fact meet and pass the US Military MIL-STD-810G impact tests. Their claim to survive a drop of 300cm hasn't been validated here at BCCHardware, but Silicon Power doesn't tell us what they are dropping the drive onto. If they drop it onto a stack of pillows, 70's shag carpet or a batch of kittens, the drive will probably survive the near 10-foot drop. Even if the drive was dropped on the same surface that the MIL-STD-810G requires, it just might - but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Even though this drive didn't survive our torture, we did push it beyond the actual rated specifications. With that in mind I can easily recommend it to anyone that needs a lot of external storage. With your data on this drive, you won't have to worry about every little bump and if it falls off your desk and hit the floor, it will survive just fine.

Pros:

  • Very fast
  • 2TB in a small package
  • "Armor" can survive bumps, bangs and drops
  • Great price
Cons:
  • Non-standard USB cable connector could make finding replacement cable difficult
I'd like to thank Silicon Power for sending this drive our way for a review. If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please feel free to post at the link below.