I recently received Western Digital’s new My Book Studio 3TB in a precision metal design! The look and feel of this external hard drive is quality and design. The package of the disk itself was simple but elegant and the included cables (USB/FireWire) was thick and felt like real quality. It certainly is a gem in my home office now – shining bright amongst old grey and black computers. No doubt it would match a new Mac (which intended) like a hand in a glove! But design itself is off course not enough – or well – in some cases it is, but I wanted to test out the performance before giving it the “System-log recommends stamp”!
The drive has two interfaces – USB2.0 – the de facto standard from any PC/Mac and the high speed FireWire 800 interface. I had just got a FireWire 400 interface on my laptop, so I had to order a FireWire 800 express card to see what kind of speed this drive has to offer!
I first formatted the drive into NTFS on my Windows 7 machine. It originally came plug-and-play ready for Mac computer users and was formatted for Mac computers – non readable on my PC.
My first impression of the drive is that it is quiet in use, you can barely hear the read/write operation – and since it is without a fan – it is quiet when not in use. The aluminum housing is also function like a cooler for the drive, and with small holes on top and bottom of the enclosure + a large green WD drive, this is a great office storage solution.
The speed of the interfaces.
The speed of the USB 2.0 interface is not a selling point in its self. It is quite standard, but is off course a very vital interface for us who don’t have a Mac / PC with FireWire interface.
As a practical test I copied a 2,59GB file frome my internal harddrive (7200RPM) to my My Book, and it took 02:02 min to complete. (I don’t know if this is a Windows feature or bug, but when copying any file to any external drive, it stalles 5-15 sec on 99% before completing?)
But what about the FireWire 800 interface? This is a completely new interface to me. I have been using FireWire 400 occasionally before, but not the last 4-5 years I think. Now that Apple is concentrating on the new Thunderbolt interface – how is FireWire hanging on? FireWire is today known as the choice for photographers and video enthusiasts, so I had a real hope for great results on my read/write test!
Here we go :
Copying the same 2.59GB file as I did with USB2.0 took me only 40 sec on FireWire 800! A real fast interface that delivers the speed people within photography/video needs. Well – who doesn’t “need” speed?