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USB 3.0-Based 2.5" Hard Disks From Adata, Hitachi, And WD

Western Digital My Passport (2 TB, WDBY8L0020BBK)

Adata's drive is the toughest one, Hitachi's is the fastest, and Western Digital's submission turned out to be the largest, setting a new capacity record for external 2.5” drives with 2 TB of space.

In order to fit 2 TB on a 2.5” drive, Western Digital's disk consists of four 500 GB platters. This leads to a slightly thicker case (0.83”). But, all things considered, the chassis is still smaller than the ruggedized Adata drive, and only marginally heavier, weighing in at 0.5 lbs. Like its storage capacity, the My Passport's price is hefty at $200. When you divide capacity into cost, though, this model is actually pretty comparable to the competition.

If the 2 TB model is too rich for your blood, Western Digital also sells 500 GB, 750 GB, and 1 TB versions of the My Passport.

Western Digital's drive features a 5400 RPM disk drive able to achieve maximum sequential read rates of 83.5 MB/s and maximum sequential writes as high as 83.3 MB/s. That's slightly faster than Adata's DashDrive Durable HD710, but it can't come close to Hitachi's Touro Mobile Pro.

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The bundled software, SmartWare 1.5.4.5, is an all-around tool for backing up, restoring, and erasing data. It features a timer function that can turn off the drive, along with a diagnostic utility. Each software feature is accessed via a separate tab, aiding ease of use. 

Although auditioning the software didn't reveal any amazing innovations, there is a handful of features we liked. For instance, SmartWare can execute a backup after an idle timer triggers the action, which should minimize the impact on productivity after someone steps away from their machine. The backup tool supports versioning; it keeps a user-configurable number of older file versions.

Another integrated tool, WD Security, allows you to enter a drive password. The My Passport only appears as an accessible drive after the password is entered.

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  • alidan
    how fast is usb3? i mean real world, say you put a ssd in the best enclosure, what would it do?
    Reply
  • thezooloomaster
    alidanhow fast is usb3? i mean real world, say you put a ssd in the best enclosure, what would it do?
    The theoretical bandwidth of USB 3.0 is roughly 625 MB/s, but this speed is rarely achieved -- even with the fastest hardware -- because the bus relies on a protocol for transferring data which is poorly optimized and eats up a chunk of the bandwidth.
    Reply
  • shahrooz
    alidanhow fast is usb3? i mean real world, say you put a ssd in the best enclosure, what would it do?I get like 70~140 MB/s (copying from WD my passport 1TB to my WD HDD (7200rpm black))
    and I get 30~40 MB/s copying from USB 2 WD my book 2TB to ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Reply
  • willyroc
    shahroozI get like 70~140 MB/s (copying from WD my passport 1TB to my WD HDD (7200rpm black))and I get 30~40 MB/s copying from USB 2 WD my book 2TB to ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^USB 3 is more than twice as fast as USB 2.
    Reply
  • tridon
    I'm sitting here, daydreaming about a Velociraptor external drive. Maybe that would be able to use the USB 3's capacity better, or maybe something's slightly wrong in my head for wishing for such a thing.
    Reply
  • ojas
    willyrocUSB 3 is more than twice as fast as USB 2.Yeah but you're still limited to both the source and destination drive's read/write speed. So when copying from a HDD to an HDD, you're unlikely to exceed 140 MBps.

    If you're copying from a SATA 3 SSD to a USB 3.0 SSD, then yes, you could see much faster speeds.
    Reply
  • jaquith
    USB 3.0 + UASP (or) eSATA (or) Internal (SATA 2 or 3) HDD.

    USB 3.0 in most instances isn't ready for prime time for external HDD's, and without UASP the queuing is too slow; UASP solves this problem. Otherwise without UASP IMO use eSATA or a backup internal SATA HDD.

    More info see TH article June 20th, 2012 - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-3-uas-turbo,3215.html

    Note: The Hitachi Touro fails (BSOD) in Windows 8.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    So... Theoretically USB 3.0 is faster than eSata, but in practice eSata is still the way to go?
    Reply
  • LukeCWM
    ubercakeSo... Theoretically USB 3.0 is faster than eSata, but in practice eSata is still the way to go?Yes.
    Reply
  • alidan
    shahroozI get like 70~140 MB/s (copying from WD my passport 1TB to my WD HDD (7200rpm black))and I get 30~40 MB/s copying from USB 2 WD my book 2TB to ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    that 1tb is in a better case than the 2tb
    what i have noticed with usb 3 is that, yes while its theoretical max is higher than current hdd and ssds should achieve, the fact of the matter is they never hit that peak.

    thats why im wondering, with an ssd, what is the best we can get usb3 to.
    you proved that current normal hdds in a good case do not have a problem in usb 3, and for that i thank you.
    Reply