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WD Announces New 3 TB External HDD

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

Following Seagate's lead, Western Digital reveals a 3 TB external hard drive.

Monday brought rumors that Western Digital (WD) was gearing up to introduce a 3 TB hard drive, however the company made it official on Tuesday. The announcement trails behind Seagate's own 3 TB GoFlex Desk external hard drive released back in July, the first of its size to hit the market.

According to WD, the new 3 TB drive will be part of the company's My Book Essential line of external drives consisting of both dual USB 3.0/2.0 and cheaper USB 2.0-only models. The dual-interface 3.0/2.0 models will offer a choice of 3 TB, 2 TB and 1 TB capacities, whereas the USB 2.0-only models will offer capacities of 2 TB, 1.5 TB, 1 TB, 750 GB, 640 GB, and 500 GB.

Tuesday Western Digital also said it added a 500 GB USB 3.0 model to its My Passport Essential line of portable drives. Consumers can choose between five “fun” colors-- Midnight Black, Cool Silver, Real Red, Pacific Blue and Arctic White.

The company also added two USB 3.0 drives to its My Passport Essential SE line offering 750 GB and 1 TB capacities. The drives will be offered in stylish black, silver, metallic blue and metallic red colors.

WD said that all drives are formatted NTFS for Windows XP/Vista/7, and require reformatting for Mac OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard.

Pricing for the 500 GB My Passport Essential portable drive will be $99.99 USD. The My Passport Essential SE drives ranges from $129.99 USD to $169.99 USD, and the My Book Essential drives ranges from $129.99 USD to $249.99 USD. They are available now at select US retailers and through WD's online store.

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  • -4 Hide
    hellwig , October 5, 2010 5:53 PM
    Sorry, but its not dual-interface when its USB 3.0/2.0, is it? My understanding is that USB 3.0 is backwards-compatible. Therefore, if you connect a USB 3.0 slot to a device via a USB 2.0 cable, it will revert to the USB 2.0 signaling (same if you connect a USB 3.0 device to a USB 2.0 slot). That's not dual-interface.

    We really need more people to adopt open filesystems like ext or XFS or something. As far as I know, MacOS can't write to NTFS, and some Linux distros (Ubuntu in particular) won't write to it by default either. Makes it real fun to transport files back and forth between computers if they aren't all running Windows.
  • -8 Hide
    tburns1 , October 5, 2010 5:54 PM
    I guess I'm one now (and not a very good one at that). ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    drwho1 , October 5, 2010 6:07 PM
    so when will the 3TB Internal drives be available?
    and what is their size after formatted?

    I know that 2TB only has 1.81TB after formatted so I'm guessing around 2.6TB after formatted, does anybody knows?
  • -1 Hide
    theoutbound , October 5, 2010 6:09 PM
    More storage is great, but I hope they have solved the heating issues that Seagates's 3TB drive had.
  • -6 Hide
    blink180heights , October 5, 2010 6:16 PM
    i can't even fill up half of my 1TB HDD if i tried, now they come out with 3TB wtf
  • 7 Hide
    lasaldude , October 5, 2010 6:23 PM
    blink180heightsi can't even fill up half of my 1TB HDD if i tried, now they come out with 3TB wtf


    You need to Pirate Games and Video, Then you fill up a TB in a month or two easily. More if so if it is in HD.
  • 0 Hide
    techguy378 , October 5, 2010 6:28 PM
    hellwigSorry, but its not dual-interface when its USB 3.0/2.0, is it? My understanding is that USB 3.0 is backwards-compatible. Therefore, if you connect a USB 3.0 slot to a device via a USB 2.0 cable, it will revert to the USB 2.0 signaling (same if you connect a USB 3.0 device to a USB 2.0 slot). That's not dual-interface.We really need more people to adopt open filesystems like ext or XFS or something. As far as I know, MacOS can't write to NTFS, and some Linux distros (Ubuntu in particular) won't write to it by default either. Makes it real fun to transport files back and forth between computers if they aren't all running Windows.

    I have an early 2009 Mac Mini with Snow Leopard and it can read AND write to Windows Vista/7 NTFS file systems without a problem. I was able to do this with Mac OS X 10.5 as well.
  • 5 Hide
    aevm , October 5, 2010 7:07 PM
    drwho1so when will the 3TB Internal drives be available?and what is their size after formatted?I know that 2TB only has 1.81TB after formatted so I'm guessing around 2.6TB after formatted, does anybody knows?


    I expect the real size will be close to 3,000,000,000,000 bytes, which is a bit under 2796 GB or 2.728 TB. You can do the math yourself for any size by taking the number of bytes and dividing by 1024 a few times.
  • 0 Hide
    big_BDS , October 5, 2010 7:07 PM
    would like to see the actually drive betting that it is 2 1.5T drive mashed together just like seagates
  • 3 Hide
    rooket , October 5, 2010 7:09 PM
    lasaldudeYou need to Pirate Games and Video, Then you fill up a TB in a month or two easily. More if so if it is in HD.


    exactly and the pirates seem to be oblivious to the fact that when they release more storage, pirates run out to buy more and hence put the same money back into the economy that they would have if they would not have pirated things. lol. interesting how things work.
  • 0 Hide
    agnickolov , October 5, 2010 7:38 PM
    drwho1so when will the 3TB Internal drives be available?and what is their size after formatted?I know that 2TB only has 1.81TB after formatted so I'm guessing around 2.6TB after formatted, does anybody knows?

    Well, for pure decimal to binary conversion, 2TB decimal is 1.86TB binary. So for 3TB decimal you get 2.79TB binary. Or to be scientific, 3TB = 2.79TiB. You'll need to subtract some file system overhead off of that of course.
  • 0 Hide
    agnickolov , October 5, 2010 7:43 PM
    agnickolovWell, for pure decimal to binary conversion, 2TB decimal is 1.86TB binary. So for 3TB decimal you get 2.79TB binary. Or to be scientific, 3TB = 2.79TiB. You'll need to subtract some file system overhead off of that of course.

    I have to correct myself, I accidentally made my computations in GiB instead of TiB. Here are the real values:
    2TB = 1.82TiB
    3TB = 2.73TiB
    Note I had to round up both numbers. Subtract 1 from the last digit if you want them rounded down instead.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 5, 2010 8:21 PM
    Somewhat horrifying to think that every hard disk in my house combined still will not produce anything remotely cloes to 3TB.
  • 0 Hide
    puscifer919 , October 5, 2010 8:54 PM
    drwho1I know that 2TB only has 1.81TB after formatted so I'm guessing around 2.6TB after formatted, does anybody knows?

    This has nothing to do with the drive being formatted, and everything to do with the drive manufacturers using simple math. Hard drives are measured in a world where a gigabyte is equal to exactly one billion bytes, as opposed to 1,073,741,824 (yes, I used a calculator lol).
  • 0 Hide
    Giraffemonster , October 5, 2010 9:33 PM
    It's great to see technology advance like this. I don't think ANY casual user would need it as of right now. The USB 3.0 is also a nice addition though.
  • 1 Hide
    jadeite , October 6, 2010 12:58 AM
    It's always been like this; disk drives appear gigantic when announced but will be a tiny spec in the rear view mirror in time. I remember when users could not dream of filling a 30MB hard drive and a whopping gigabyte was a ridiculous amount of data no one could envision ever needing for the rest of their life.
  • 1 Hide
    tpi2007 , October 6, 2010 2:34 AM
    drwho1so when will the 3TB Internal drives be available?and what is their size after formatted?I know that 2TB only has 1.81TB after formatted so I'm guessing around 2.6TB after formatted, does anybody knows?


    Some readers have already answered your second question, as to your first, I'd say only next year.

    And for a simple reason: customer satisfaction. In case you don't know, the overwhelmingly majority of PC's out there still use the BIOS to boot up, and, although you can certainly use a 3 TB HDD inside your computer, it better not be the primary HDD because the BIOS has a 2TB limit on that.

    Next year the "new BIOS" called Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) will start to be common among motherboards, and then yes, it will be less confusing for the user. If they were to be sold today, a large sticker would have to be added.

    Well, it still will have to next year, becasue of all the existing PC's based on the old BIOS, but at least there will be a market to put a single 3TB drive. Today, if a PC vendor was to sell a new computer, it would have to sell a PC with two HDD's inside: a smaller one (primary), and this 3TB one.
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , October 6, 2010 3:17 AM
    Reliability is the main issue here.
  • 1 Hide
    tleavit , October 6, 2010 3:28 AM
    I switched my entire VMWARE cloud from tape backups to backups using WD 2 TB drives. So instead of buying a $5,000 tape drive and then 10 tapes a year at $75 each, I buy 5ish WD 2 TB USB3 drives and back them all up every night (such as Veeam snap shots). These things run non-stop for a good year... massive amounts of data and they just work. Every quarter I simply buy a new one and permanently store the old ones off site. It really doesn't get any better and the 3TB drives will just make it even more so!
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