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Nine External Thunderbolt Storage Devices, Rounded Up

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo 6 TB

My Book Thunderbolt Duo4 TB6 TB
Devices2 x 2 TB2 x 3 TB
Market Price$518$590

Like LaCie’s 2big, Western Digital’s My Book Thunderbolt Duo gives you the option to replace internal storage without invalidating its warranty.

We have some seen confusion surrounding Western Digital's cooling design, though. Some users complain about its plastic enclosure, claiming it runs too hot. But company representatives say that's by design. A small fan draws in cool air from the bottom of the unit, and convection serves to cool the internal components before venting out the top. This helps explain why the My Book Thunderbolt Duo's exhaust temperatures are routinely 10-15o F higher than LaCie’s 2big, which also enjoys the benefit of an aluminum enclosure for dissipating heat. Its mechanism explained, the only drawback to Western Digital's design is that you can't stack drives on top of each other (or other components on top of a My Book).

Assurances from Western Digital aside, we stress-tested these drives with more than 100 hours of intensive write operations to try getting them to pop, and didn't see a single failure. Although they don't have the 2big's sexy aluminum enclosure, a plastic housing is less expensive to manufacture, reflected in the My Book Thunderbolt Duo's price tag.

Internally, Western Digital's implementation differs from LaCie's in that it employs ASMedia's ASM1061 SATA controller.

Sequential read and write performance tops out just over 240 MB/s in RAID 0 and 125 MB/s in RAID 1.