Storage for gamers on a budget
In today’s world of massive file sizes, there never seems to be enough hard drive space–especially if you’re a gamer. Just Red Dead Redemption 2 is enough to make a standard PlayStation 4 scream, coming in at just over 100 GB in size. Don’t even get us started on Call of Duty: Warzone and its ludicrous storage requirements.
The problem, of course, is that additional storage is expensive. It can cost upwards of $150 or more for a decent-sized external drive. Even if you find one for a bargain, you need to make sure it has sufficient speeds to boot games directly off an external drive.
The Silicon Power Armor A26 Game Drive offers a lower-cost external hard drive marketed towards gamers and designed to withstand the abuse of being thrown into a backpack and carried from place to place. The company sent one to us at Online Tech Tips to review..
A No-Nonsense Look and Feel
The Silicon Power Armor A26 Game Drive comes in two colors: blue and black-green. Silicon Power sent over the blue version. The case is rather plain, but the no-frills aesthetic is part of the charm. Weighing in at just over 12 ounces, the drive feels good in the hand. Not too light, not too heavy.
A cable-strap combination runs around the exterior of the drive and makes it easy to store different cables on top of the drive itself. Other than that, the drive itself is rather plain. The textured exterior gives it a tough look, and the drive is said to be shockproof.
Given that it is a SSD rather than an HDD, it already has some resistance to shock. It also has an IPX4 rating with regard to water resistance; in other words, it will survive splashes of liquids, but not submersion. It might survive being dropped in a puddle, but it’s likely better not to test this claim.
The Silicon Power Game Drive is intended to be carried from place to place. Our testing saw it moved between numerous machines without difficulty. Should something happen to your drive, it comes with a 3-year warranty.
There are four versions of the Silicon Power Armor A26 Game Drive. The first is the base level 1TB model that retails at $50. The next is a 2TB model for $65. From there you can choose a 4TB model for $103, or finally a 5TB option for $138. Silicon Power sent the 5TB version for testing.
Once plugged in and formatted, the drive left 4.6TB available for actual usage. Files were moved on and off the drive with no difficulty, although its PassMark score was on the low end of the scale. It received a mediocre result and a rating of only 47% better than competitors.
The Silicon Power Game Drive is marketed toward gamers first and foremost. In fact, it’s often pitched as a PS4 drive, although its compatibility list includes Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Mac.
When initially connected to a PlayStation 4, the system threw an error that said the drive was not compatible. We tested a separate USB port and received the same result. Even restarting the PlayStation 4 and updating its software (which Silicon Power states must be version 4.5 or higher) had no improvement.
This is not an isolated problem. A quick scan of the Amazon page for the Game Drive reveals multiple users encountered the same problem.
However, after testing the drive on other platforms, one final attempt resulted in the PlayStation 4 recognizing the drive and allowing it to be formatted. After the setup period, the Game Drive worked without issue, although file transfer rates on the PlayStation 4 felt notably slow.
Once games were installed on the Game Drive, we were able to run them directly from the drive to the console itself.
The Silicon Power Game Drive worked flawlessly on the Xbox One and ran even fast-paced games like Burnout Paradise without stuttering. Even large files transferred quickly.
The drive had to be reformatted to work with a PC, but after a quick run through the Disk Utility it appeared as an option. We moved several gigabytes of data to the drive before removing it from the PC. The Macbook recognized the drive instantly and allowed for movement of files between the PC and the Macbook.
The drive works well despite its rocky start. For gamers on a budget, it’s a good investment.
The Silicon Power Armor A26 Game Drive is designed with USB 3.2 in mind, but is backwards compatible with USB 3.1, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0. Of course, you’ll receive the best results using a USB 3.2 port.
If you’re looking for a way to expand your storage capacity and download more games, this is a decent drive to look into. It has a ton of storage capacity at a relatively low price. Of course, don’t purchase it with the intent of bumping the storage capacity of next-gen consoles: it likely isn’t fast enough for that.