Three External (And Fast) USB 3.0 Drives Compared

Western Digital MyBook 3.0 (1 TB)

Our third USB 3.0 drive, WD’s MyBook 3.0, is based on a 3.5” hard drive and the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface. The external hard drive looks somewhat like a book made from black plastic. Since it’s not glossy, you don’t see fingerprints on it as easily as many other drives. With an overall weight of 2.6 lbs., we wouldn’t quite call this portable.

WD’s drive bundle includes a x1 PCI Express add-on controller for USB 3.0. Such cards aren’t available from A-Data, but Buffalo has a similar (optional) product. We like WD’s decision here because it lets users take advantage of the higher transfer speeds immediately.

The MyBook 3.0 is substantially faster than the two other drives in our read/write copy tests with the exception of the small files test, where throughput is slowed down by frequent head repositioning. We measured peak throughput of up to 141 MB/s. This is an excellent result, and just as fast as an internal hard drive would be. The minimum throughput of 69 MB/s is actually faster than Buffalo’s maximum transfer rate. We also found the 14.7 ms access time to be very quick, and even the I/O performance results are impressive.

WD provides a two-year warranty in the U.S. There are 1 TB and 2 TB models available, with or without the PCIe adapter. Keep in mind that the card won’t work in older systems lacking PCI Express slots.

WD has MyBook 3.0 products with or without a bundled USB 3.0 controller for x1 PCI Express 2.0. Watch for a red sticker on the box that indicates a complete bundle.