Western Digital My Book 3.0 (1TB) external hard drive
Western Digital's first USB 3.0 hard drive is lightning fast
- Extremely fast transfer speeds, backwards compatible with USB 2.0
- Lacks bundled software, no eInk display or capacity gauge
If you're after speed, the My Book 3.0 external hard drive will certainly deliver. However, you'll pay a premium for the USB 3.0 interface, and there's no backup software or eInk display for labelling.
Price$ 249.99 (AUD)
Western Digital's My Book 3.0 is its first external hard drive with a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, making it one of the fastest direct-attached storage devices around. The benefits of the interface are certainly noticeable, though the premium price will deter early adopters.
The My Book 3.0 has the same sleek, book-like casing as Western Digital's other current My Book external hard drives. Unfortunately, it has neither the My Book Elite's eInk display nor the Essential's capacity gauge. Instead, the My Book 3.0 has a simple white indicator light. Although attractive, it's rather useless.
The casing is passively cooled through the top, which makes for quiet operation; the drive is audible when it operates over the USB 3.0 interface, however.
The My Book 3.0 has a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface
The main drawcard of the My Book 3.0 is its SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, which promises transfer speeds of up to five gigabits per second (Gbps), or 10 times USB 2.0's theoretical speed limit. Since the hard drive itself is limited to a maximum speed of 3Gbps, the My Book 3.0 won't quite reach those speeds. In real world operation, Western Digital claims you should see speed increases of four to five times those of USB 2.0 drives.
There aren't many PCs that currently have USB 3.0 connections, but the interface is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 (the My Book 3.0 will simply operate slower). For an extra $30, you can pick up a bundle that includes the external hard drive and a PCI Express 2.0 adapter card that provides two USB 3.0 ports for your desktop PC.
At $249.99, the Western Digital My Book 3.0 is $70 more than its USB 2.0-equipped counterpart, or $100 more if you buy the bundle kit. Once formatted, you'll get 931GB of usable space, making for a cost per formatted gigabyte of 26.8c; pricier even than Seagate's BlackArmor WS 110.
Disappointingly, you won't get any bundled software with the My Book 3.0; just USB 3.0 drivers and electronic manuals.
In order to see how the Western Digital My Book 3.0 external hard drive would fare under a variety of circumstances, we used two testbed PCs. For tests with vanilla USB 2.0 transfers and using the USB 3.0 expansion card, we used a PC equipped with a Core i7-965 CPU, 6GB of DDR3 memory and 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor hard drive, running Windows Vista 64-bit. For our primary USB 3.0 file transfer benchmarks, we used the same Velociraptor system drive but swapped out the motherboard for an ASUS P7P55-DE Premium motherboard, which boasts both SATA 6Gbps ports and an integrated USB 3.0 controller. The second PC was equipped with a Core i5-750 processor, clocked at 2.66GHz.
Our test files include a 3GB batch of 1MB files as well as a 20GB folder of 3-4GB files.
|Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Western Digital My Book 3.0||$249.99||1TB||USB 3.0
|Seagate BlackArmor WS 110||$399||2TB||USB 2.0||25.8||14.8||9.5|
|Western Digital My Book Elite||$399.99||2TB||USB 2.0||24.6||15.2||10.2|
|LaCie Starck Desktop Hard Drive||$199||1TB||USB 2.0||28.8||17.1||10.5|
|Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II||$999||4TB||USB 2.0||23.4||15||10.7|
|Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Western Digital My Book 3.0||$249.99||1TB||USB 3.0
|Seagate BlackArmor WS 110||$399||2TB||USB 2.0||28.1||25.5||12.1|
|Western Digital My Book Elite||$399.99||2TB||USB 2.0||27.7||24.1||11.3|
|LaCie Starck Desktop Hard Drive||$199||1TB||USB 2.0||30.3||25.7||12.7|
|Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II||$999||4TB||USB 2.0||26.7||25.1||12.7|
In initial tests, the My Book 3.0 increased file transfer speeds by roughly three times when connected to a USB 3.0 port. Our in-depth benchmarks show similar results; a My Book 3.0 external hard drive directly connected to a USB 3.0 port will easily surpasses USB 2.0 by three to four times, and compete with other fast interfaces such as eSATA, which has a theoretical speed ceiling of 3Gbps.
The external hard drive was much faster when connected directly to the USB 3.0-capable motherboard than when using the bundled expansion card. Since PCI Express 2.0 cards have a speed limit of 4Gbps, the speed differences are likely due to the host controllers used. Still, when using the bundled expansion card, you are likely to see a significant speed boost over vanilla USB 2.0 and, in many cases, over eSATA, too.
There's no doubt USB 3.0 is the future: it's capable of greater speeds than eSATA and has other benefits like being hot pluggable and delivering power to portable hard drives. The My Book 3.0 external hard drive is an excellent example of the interface's capabilities, though lacks some of the features of Western Digital's more stylish storage options.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the newsletter!
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Toys for Boys
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
In multicultural Australia, the opportunity for home cooks to expand their culinary horizons is too tempting to resist.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 3 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- 4 Huawei Nova 3i review: All Sell, No Soul
- 5 Oppo A5X review: A winning blend of long battery, solid performance and low-price
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
- The Best Australian Black Friday Tech Deals That Aren't On Amazon
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?