SSDs packed in 2.5-inch USB 3.0 casings are the fastest portable storage devices. But that’s only for a handful of those who prefer speed over capacity. To the rest, size matters most! Here, hard drives come into the picture because they offer a strikingly low price-per-GB. Thanks to high areal densities, the latest high capacity drives sport an unbelievable diminutive form – for example a 2.5-inch hard drive with a whopping 2TB of storage space.
The highest capacity variant of Western Digital’s My Passport series uses one such drive.
Western Digital My Passport is available in four capacities and five colours. As per the company’s website, the 500GB, 750GB and 1TB models are available in silver, red, blue and black colours. Only the 500GB model is available in a white shell and the 2TB model is available only in black. Measuring 111 x 82 mm, My Passport is about as big as a wallet and can easily slide into your pocket. The thickness of the drive varies with the capacity because higher capacity drives use more platters. 500GB drives (single platter) are slimmest at 15 mm, 750GB and 1TB drives (both using two platters) are 19 mm thick, and the thickest of the lot is the 2TB drive because it uses four 500GB platters.
The all-black shell sports a matte finish – thankfully, there are no glossy surfaces, which get stained too easily. The top surface has a dotted texture which lends an elegant look. On the side above the WD My Passport branding lies a USB 3.0 port and a tiny white LED that shows drive activity.
The package doesn’t include anything apart from the USB 3.0 cable that measures a little more than a foot in length. The software bundle (for Windows and Mac OS) comes loaded on the drive. You get the following:
- WD Security: A utility to password-protect the access to the drive.
- WD Drive Utilities: This utility has diagnostic tools (SMART status and quick self-test), Sleep Timer and Drive Erase.
- WD Smartware: This is the most useful utility. It allows you to backup the data on your computer onto the attached My Passport drive, and restore it on another PC or a fresh Windows installation.
You can choose from Category backup (Picture, Music, Movies, Documents etc) or File backup where you can select the files and folders you wish to backup. You can specify the number of versions you wish to keep for each file and even tell the software to run backup when the PC is idle.
2TB of space, that's plenty
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600k
Memory: 8GB G.Skill DDR3-1866
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H
Graphics card: AMD Radeon HD 6870
SSD: Plextor PX-256M2S
Power supply: Corsair Silent Pro Gold 800W
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit
We hooked up the 2TB My Passport to a USB 3.0 port and ran a battery of tests to assess the read and write speeds. In CrystalDiskMark and ATTO Disk Benchmark, My Passport logged sequential read and write speeds of 114MB/s and 112MB/s respectively. This was quite close to what Buffalo MiniStation Extreme logged (110 MB/s read and write). SiSoft Sandra 2012 reported sequential speed of 105 Mb/s, whereas random read and write speeds were 55MB/s and 63MB/s respectively. As per IOMeter, My Passport is speedy even with smaller file sizes. With 2MB chunks of data, sequential read and write speeds were 106MB/s and 105Mb/s respectively. So, whether you transfer small files such as photos and MP3s or large files such as videos, you’ll get speeds greater than 100MB/s.
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