External Storage: Terabyte Drives Compared

Western Digital My Book Home Edition 1 TB

Western Digital’s My Book series has been around for several years. The latest model for enthusiasts is the My Book Home Edition, which is available in capacities of 320 GB, 500 GB, 750 GB and 1 TB. The flagship 1 TB model starts at around $195.


All 3.5” My Books share the same design, which looks a lot like a hardcover book. They’re intended to stand vertically—the vents, which are well-integrated into the design, are on the top. The exterior is well-finished black plastic with the Western Digital logo imprinted on one side; the activity LED is centrally located on the front.

Features and Performance

Like most other external hard drives we tested for this review, the My Book Home is equipped with three interfaces: USB 2.0, FireWire 1394a and eSATA. Its access times range from 15 ms to 15.8 ms depending on the interface choice. Throughput, however, could be better. This unit’s 77 MB/s reads and 76 MB/s writes are left in the dust by LaCie, Seagate and SimpleTech. FireWire 1394a and USB 2.0 performance are within the expected range—up to 40 MB/s for 1394a reads and up to 32 MB/s for USB 2.0 reads. Write performance is a bit slower.

We like Western Digital’s capacity gauge. Blue segments on the front of the device indicate how much data you’ve stored on the drive. The longer the bar, the more data you’ve storage space you’ve used.

Power Consumption

The My Book Home’s activity power consumption of 10.2 W is about average. LaCie and SimpleTech’s activity power consumption is lower, Seagate’s higher. The My Book Home’s 8 W idle power is average as well. We’re disappointed in the high standby power of 7 W; the LaCie requires 2 W and the Seagate 5.5 W. In addition, this is the only drive that still requires 0.4 W once the host system is shut down. Even when the drive is shut off using the power switch, it still consumes 0.3 W. This isn’t the case with the competitors.