How do you keep external spinning-platter hard drives relevant in a world where the price of much-speedier solid-state drives is cratering? You go big or go home – and Western Digital is clearly going big.
The company's latest additions to its "My Book" lineup pack up to two 22TB internal 3.5-inch hard drives. That gives you a cavernous 44TB unformatted capacity with the top-end My Book Duo, which the company's press release states will "help consumers preserve their ever-growing digital world."
At 22TB, WD says the single-drive My Book model is WD's highest-capacity consumer drive to date. But bare 3.5-inch 22TB hard drives have been available from the WD since the middle of last year. There's no doubt that sealed external hard drives serve a different market of USB plug-and-play consumers than people who buy internal drives for PCs or NAS boxes. There will certainly, though, be those interested in shucking these drives to get at the 3.5-inch drive (or drives) inside.
At launch, though, the My Book drives are primarily going to appeal to those who need lots of external storage for local backup and media. Because while internal 22TB hard drives from WD currently sell for around $500, the single-drive WD My Book 22TB model has an MSRP of $599 (£594 in the UK). And the dual-drive 44TB My Book Duo retails for an eye-watering $1,499 (£1,487 in the UK). At least the Duo drive has a pair of USB 3.0 ports on the back, letting it function as a basic connectivity hub. WD says both models are available from today, and of course, there are lesser-capacity My Book models available, all the way down to 3TB for less than $150.
As always, we advise extreme caution about storing vast amounts of irreplaceable data (like family memories and important paperwork) on roomy hard drives like this unless it's also backed up somewhere else. Because hard drives do die, often without any discernible warning. That goes double for the dual-drive 44TB My Book Duo. WD ships the drive in RAID0, which increases performance and lets operating systems see the two internal drives as a single volume. But because RAID0 deposits pieces of your precious data across both drives, if one drive fails, you won't likely be able to get any of your files back – at least without sending the device to an expensive data recovery service.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
After a rough start with the Mattel Aquarius as a child, Matt built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last 15 years covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper, PCMag and Digital Trends.
Intel releases new Arc drivers optimized for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, several DX11 games
Intel Core Ultra 7 155H delivers mixed performance in leaked tests: fast integrated graphics, slow CPU results
HP ad campaign claims its printers are ‘made to be less hated’ following years of anti-consumer behavior