Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive

Western Digital's latest external hard drive offers a massive 4TB of storage

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (4TB)
  • Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (4TB)
  • Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (4TB)
  • Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (4TB)
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • 4TB of storage, fast, cool and quiet operation

Cons

  • Hard drives are difficult to extract, software can be cumbersome to use

Bottom Line

Western Digital's latest external hard drive provides extensive storage capacity and delivered good results in our speed tests.

Would you buy this?

Western Digital has increased the capacity of its My Book Studio Edition II external hard drive to 4TB. Designed to be used with both Macs and PCs, it lets you choose from plenty of different connections and it can be configured for speed or data redundancy.

Coated in a silver finish, the My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) has the same sleek, book-like enclosure that will be familiar to users of any of Western Digital's My Book range of external hard drives. The rounded LED on the front of the enclosure doubles as a capacity and operation indicator. At the back there are two FireWire 800 ports, as well as an eSATA port and a mini-USB 2.0 port. The retail package comes with a FireWire 800 cable, a FireWire 800 to FireWire 400 adapter and a mini-USB to USB cable; an eSATA cable is unfortunately omitted.

The WD My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive employs two 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration, which improves read and write speeds. The internal hard drives are cool and quiet, so the My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) itself is silent during operation. The enclosure is passively cooled through perforations along the top and back of the casing and rarely gets warm.

Out of the box the My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive is formatted with the HFS file system, so it can be used with Mac computers; Windows users will have to format it to NTFS or use an application like MacDrive to get it working. The My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) is Time Machine–friendly, so it's dead easy to set up automatic backups for your Mac computer through Mac OS X.

For PC users, Western Digital has provided its Anywhere Backup and Memeo AutoSync applications to automatically back up and sync information and folders. A Mac version of Anywhere Backup is available but it isn't as useful or intuitive to use as Time Machine.

There is also a 30-day, PC-only trial for MioNet, Western Digital's remote access interface for its hard drives.

Using Western Digital's Drive Manager on either a PC or a Mac you can alter the drive configuration to a RAID 1 array, which decreases overall performance and halves capacity but provides increased data security; data is mirrored on the MyBook's two drives.

Should one of the internal hard drives fail, replacing it is fairly simple. The case's top opens and after unscrewing the metal bracket you can use plastic handles to extract the hard drives. The My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive will support any Western Digital internal hard drive; other brands aren't compatible.

We tested the external hard drive by transferring data between it and a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor. Over eSATA, the external hard drive wrote 20GB worth of 3-4GB files at a rate of 77.3 megabytes per second (MBps), read them at 89.4MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write operation at 41.9MBps. It wrote 3GB of 1MB files at 51.7MBps, read them at 54.5MBps, and performed a simultaneous copy transfer operation at 41MBps. FireWire 800 speeds were much the same, though the 3GB small file test was marginally faster.

USB 2.0 speeds were understandably much slower: the My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive wrote 20GB of large files at 25.1MBps, read them at 26.7MBps and transferred the same data to another portion of the drive at 12.7MBps. In the small file test, the external hard drive had a write speed of 15MBps, a read speed of 23.4MBps and a simultaneous read/write speed of 10.7MBps. Both the USB 2.0 and eSATA file speeds are much faster than this external hard drive's closest counterpart, the LaCie 4Big Quadra (4TB).

Though the LaCie 4Big Quadra has extensive RAID configuration options and four drive bays, the Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) is cheaper and faster.

Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?