For our benchmarks we installed the Seagate Freeagent Desk 500GB to our test PC through the included USB2.0 cable. Our PC featured an Asus Striker II motherboard, with an Intel Q9300 processor, 2GB of DDR3 memory and Windows VISTA 32bit SP1.
The Everest Ultimate Edition gave a linear read of 33.1 MB/sec and an average access time of 13.15ms. Random read gave a 33.0 MB/sec while buffered read was slightly faster.
Sisoft Sandra gave almost the same reading performance in the sequential read and slower random and buffered read. The software also reports a 32.56 MB/s for random write while the access time is reported to be 8ms.
Getting FutureMark PC Vantage to work, we get more scores:
While HD Tune v3.00 software reports an average read of 32.5 MB/s and an access time of 13 ms.
Summing up the previous results, we can see that the Seagate FreeAgent Desk 500GB can go up to 33MB/sec in the reading test, while its average access time is around 13ms. To be honest, we had greater expectations here but it seems that the USB2.0 interface is a bottleneck, since the HDD can sustain up to 70MB/sec. So if you are a speed junkie, the USB2.0 interface is not a good call, you'd better go for eSATA solution.