WD to add USB 3.0 support, adds 3TB drive

Western Digital has been hard at work upgrading their well established series of portable and external hard drives to the newest technologies available. The hard drive company has decided to upgrade three of their lines, My Book Essential, My Passport Essential and My Passport Essential SE to USB 3.0, and they have added a 3 TB version to the My Book Essential line, reports The Register.

The addition of USB 3.0 support is huge for external drive users as the older USB 2.0 drives would struggle to compete with the speed of an internal drive. Now, with transfer rates of 150 MB/sec, using an external drive will be more efficient than before. Previously, My Book Essential's largest capacity was 2 TB, however WD has now bumped that up to 3 TB. My Passport Essential has storage up to 500GB, and the 50% larger My Passport Essential SE holds up to 1TB, with all the power going through the USB cable.

Pricing on these drives has been announced, and surprisingly they aren't too costly compared to what is currently available from Western Digital.

...The USB 2.0 1TB My Passport Essential SE costs £150 direct from WD, but USB 3.0 version's Euro price, €200, converts to £173.

The improved drives, as well as the 3 TB My Book Essential should be available soon from Western Digital's store.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Internet Explorer market share dips below 50%

Next Story

Android is the most popular smartphone OS in U.S. for last six months

18 Comments

Colin-uk said,
damn, i'd love one of those. but then i'd have to upgrade my pc to add usb 3.0 lol.
Or get a PCI-E USB 3.0 card.

carson2255 said,
i wonder if those platters are spinning at 5400 or 7200 rpm
Considering they're USB powered I would imagine 5400 although the USB 3.0 spec does provide more power than 2.0 so I suppose it's possible it could be 7200.

carson2255 said,
i wonder if those platters are spinning at 5400 or 7200 rpm

Given that 7200rpm 2TB drives are almost twice as expensive as their 5400rpm ('green') counterparts, I would say these are 5400 as well.

ThaCrip said,
150MB/s is basically good.

but what's the limit of USB 2.0 in MB/s?

In practice, ~25MB/s, although you may get anywhere between 20-30MB/s.

ThaCrip said,
150MB/s is basically good.

but what's the limit of USB 2.0 in MB/s?

The USB 2.0 standard is rated up to 480Mbps which translates to 60MBps. But as mentioned, you don't realistically get close to that.

Xenosion said,

The USB 2.0 standard is rated up to 480Mbps which translates to 60MBps. But as mentioned, you don't realistically get close to that.

I think cause you can't have data going both ways at the same time, the host/device split the speed 30/30. either that, or above 30MB/s is just overhead/collisions or something.

dr spock said,

In practice, ~25MB/s, although you may get anywhere between 20-30MB/s.

OK thanks.

that is fairly slow especially if you got a large external hard drive and need to transfer large amount of data etc. so that 150MB/s will be night and day and mostly limited by current hard drives speeds which typically don't get more than 150MB/s anyways the last i knew.

This is awesome.Does WD have quieter bearings now? Some of the older HD's were noisy.
I cant wait for USB 3 flash drives. I can't imagine 3 TB of info. An 80G HD will do me fine.

apollos84 said,
This is awesome.Does WD have quieter bearings now? Some of the older HD's were noisy.
I cant wait for USB 3 flash drives. I can't imagine 3 TB of info. An 80G HD will do me fine.

I have 2 books, one from a TB, and the other one a 1.5 TB. Both of them are as quiet as the new Xbox 360 S. You don't hear the disk spin. Also, they put themselves into "sleep mode" each time they are not in use. This must be incredible too.

SkyMoon said,
great !!! what about the computer who doesn't support usb3.0 and the port too? some computer might have usb 3.0 port...the question is do currently have any extension for usb 3.0 to plug into hardware that doesn't have 3.0 port!

usb 3.0 is backwards compatible with 2.0

Commenting is disabled on this article.