WD’s My Passport SSD is the company’s latest portable SSD to hit the market, and it aims to bring a new level of performance to the lineup with peak performance of 1,050/1,000 MBps of read/write throughput.
Last year we took a look at WD’s My Passport, a portable HDD that’s well suited for backup tasks, but we wouldn’t quite recommend it for a production workflow. But if you’re looking to speed up your workflow, portable SSDs are all the rage. Of course, the tradeoff for a fancy new portable SSD is that it comes at a higher price-per-GB, but the experience just can’t be beaten.
Like Samsung’s T7, WD’s My Passport SSD is a DRAM-less portable NVMe SSD and comes in various color options, including gold, silver, grey, blue, and red. With a USB 3.2 Gen2 controller and the company’s Blue SN550E NVMe SSD under the hood, this portable SSD is built to deliver blistering performance that leaves portable HDDs in the dust. Additionally, the drive comes with hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption for the security conscious.
|Product||My Passport SSD 500GB||My Passport SSD 1TB||My Passport SSD 2TB||My Passport SSD 4TB|
|Capacity (User / Raw)||500GB / 512GB||1000GB / 1024GB||2000GB / 2048GB||4000GB / 4096GB|
|Interface / Protocol||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2|
|Included||USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Adapter||USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Adapter||USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Adapter||USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A Adapter|
|Sequential Read||1,050 MBps||1,050 MBps||1,050 MBps||1,050 MBps|
|Sequential Write||1,000 MBps||1,000 MBps||1,000 MBps||1,000 MBps|
|Interface Controller||ASMedia ASM2362||ASMedia ASM2362||ASMedia ASM2362||ASMedia ASM2362|
|NAND Controller||WD Architecture||WD Architecture||WD Architecture||WD Architecture|
|Storage Media||WD 96L TLC||WD 96L TLC||WD 96L TLC||WD 96L TLC|
|Default File System||exFAT||exFAT||exFAT||exFAT|
|Endurance||Drop resistant up to 6.5ft (1.98m)||Drop resistant up to 6.5ft (1.98m)||Drop resistant up to 6.5ft (1.98m)||Drop resistant up to 6.5ft (1.98m)|
|Security||AES 256-bit hardware encryption||AES 256-bit hardware encryption||AES 256-bit hardware encryption||AES 256-bit hardware encryption|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||100 x 55 x 9 mm||100 x 55 x 9 mm||100 x 55 x 9 mm||100 x 55 x 9 mm|
|Weight||54 g||54 g||54 g||54 g|
Ranging from 500GB up to a beefy 4TB, WD’s My Passport SSD comes in a variety of capacities, and all are rated to deliver up to 1,050/1,000 MBps of read/write performance under sequential workloads. Pricing is a bit higher than your standard SATA or M.2 SSD, though. However, at roughly $0.14-$018 per gigabyte, the My Passport SSD falls in line with competitors such as Samsung’s T7, Crucial’s X8, and the SanDisk Extreme v2.
As per the norm for most portable SSDs, the My Passport lacks an endurance rating, but it’s rational to expect that it should have a similar life expectancy to the WD Blue SN550 that powers the device (300 and 600TB for the 500GB and 2TB models, respectively). Oddly, the lack of an official endurance rating is actually a plus, though – WD backs the drive with a five-year warranty, so if you have problems, you can RMA the drive during the duration of the warranty regardless of the amount of data you’ve written.
WD rates the My Passport SSD to handle falls up to 6.5ft, but unlike SanDisk’s or LaCie’s portables, it lacks a formal Ingress Protection rating against the elements. The device comes formatted as exFAT for compatibility with both macOS and Windows-based computers and supports S.M.A.R.T. data reporting. When formatted as NTFS, the device supports TRIM.
Software & Accessories
WD includes a relatively short six-inch USB Type-C cable and a one-inch Type-C to Type-A adaptor with the drive. WD provides the company’s Discovery software to manage the device and enables downloading a few other apps. WD Security and WD Backup software manage the device’s password protection and configure backup tasks on both macOS and Windows-based computers.
A Closer Look
Measuring 100 x 55 x 9 mm and weighing in at under 54 grams, WD’s My Passport SSD is sleek, slim, and easily slips into a pocket. However, the build quality isn't as solid as the company’s WD Black P50 or SanDisk’s Extreme Pro. With a little pressure, the casing flexes to your will, and the case doesn’t have an activity light.
WD My Passport SSD is constructed out of both plastic and metal: the topside is metal while the bottom is plastic. Prying the casing open reveals the company took thermals well into consideration as there are multiple thermal pads and points of contact for the chips to dissipate heat into the top metal cover to function as a heat spreader.
An ASMedia ASM2362 USB 3.2-to-PCIe 3.0 x2 NVMe SSD chip bridges the link between the internal NVMe SSD and the host. It interfaces with WD’s Blue SN550E over a PCIe 3.0 x2 connection. It translates the NVMe protocol (1.3c) into USB Attached SCSI Protocol for faster than transitional bulk-only transport performance, though it supports both for compatibility. The drive manages power consumption via USB and PCI Express link power management along with chip power management.
WD’s Blue SN550E is a DRAM-less M.2 2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD that leverages a quad-channel controller and WD’s 512Gb 96-Layer TLC flash.
Sixteen flash dies are stuffed within our 1TB sample, each featuring a dual-plane design that doubles interleaving performance compared to single-plane flash. The controller features hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption support, enabling secure password protection. It also has a multi-gear ECC scheme and other flash management routines to ensure data reliability.
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Does this mean that one must have USB 3.2 available on one's system?