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Review: Western Digital My Book 3.0

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We looked at the 500GB USB 3.0 Seagate BlackArmor PS110 a few days back and now the Western Digital My Book 3.0 drive is on the bench. There are some important differences and similarities between the two USB 3.0 options. First, while the PS110 is a portable solution and the My Book 3.0 is a desktop external, both drives spin at 7200 RPM. They also both come with USB 3.0 ports, with the PS110 shipping with a PC card and the My Book 3.0 with a two port PCI-e card. But in the end, they are both super-fast USB 3.0 and that’s all the really matters.

Features

  • USB 3.0 interface (backwards compatible to USB 2.0)
  • 1TB of storage
  • 7200 RPM drive
  • PCI-e card included
  • $199 MSRP

Pros

  • Fast
  • Includes dual-port PCI-e USB 3.0 card
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Produces a low, annoying hum
  • High price-to-storage ratio because of USB 3.0′s premium

Review

Western Digital has been pimping the My Book line for years now. Nothing is really different about this edition besides the matte slate exterior so let’s move on to the drive’s speed. That’s all you really care about anyway, right?

Unfortunately I couldn’t get HD Tune Pro 4.01 to benchmark the drive in the same manner as I tested the Seagate PS110. I spent the better part of the afternoon messing with it. So, in lieu of official benchmarking numbers, I did the old time-a-file transfer test, which actually gives better real-life results anyway.

The chart below shows times of five different transfers. The top three are single files, while the last two are folders containing multiple files. All times should be given a second or two margin of error as my testing method was to start the transfer and then start the stopwatch — not the most consistent method. But anyway, here are the results.

Needless to say, USB 3.0 is fast. It’s not eSATA fast as a post I’m working on will show, but it’s clearly faster than USB 2.0. The Western Digital My Book 3.0 is a great desktop external storage option.

But just like many first-gen devices, it’s a hard sell. You see, eSATA is faster than USB 3.0 drives right now and the eSATA interface can be found on most computers and notebook these days. That doesn’t mean the My Book 3.0 is a bad drive. It’s just that only the performance geeks should opt for it right now. Everyone else should look at eSATA external drives.

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