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My Book Premium Edition External HDD Review - Page 1 of 1

INTRODUCTION

As the amount of data residing on our home network continues to increase, I began to take a serious look at our backup strategy. Although our network consists of four Windows-based personal computers, regular backups are only taken of my PC, which doubles as the primary test system during graphics card reviews.

Sturdy Packaging
Please click to enlarge.

During a recent visit to Costco, I noticed that Western Digital's My Book Premium Edition External Hard Drive was on sale. Hundreds of the 500GB models were lined along the aisles. I picked one up and placed it in the shopping cart.

Internal Packaging
Please click to enlarge.

SPECIFICATIONS

A 500GB hard drive sits inside a nice looking book-shaped enclosure. The drive has 16MB of cache, rotates at 7,200RPM and a data access time of 8.9ms. The maximum data transfer rate is 480Mbps.

Accessories include USB and FireWire cables, an AC adapter with power cord and an installation guide.

My Book External Hard Drive
Please click to enlarge.

Relevant software is pre-loaded on the hard drive, which was formatted to use the FAT32 file system. The included software can be downloaded from Western Digital's web site, but the My Book Premium Edition Software, which includes WD Backup (pictured below), requires that the product be registered first.

WD Backup
Please click to enlarge.

Although an on/off button is present on the front of the unit, the device is programmed to turn itself on and off with the PC. Western Digital's Safe Shutdown technology prevents the drive from powering down until all data has been written.

Multi-Purpose Switch

The on/off switch serves multiple purposes as the inner ring indicates the amount of available space. Both rings are active when the drive spins, which produce a variety of eye-catching lighting effects.

TEST SYSTEM

Hardware and Operating System

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 - 3.0GHz Conroe - 4MB L2 Cache - 1333MHz FSB
  • BFG nForce 680i SLI Motherboard
  • 4GB Corsair XMS PC8500 DDR2 SDRAM 5-5-5-18-2T @ 400MHz
  • Western Digital Raptor X 150GB HDD - 10,000RPM, 8MB Cache, SATA
  • Western Digital Raptor 74GB HDD - 10,000RPM, 8MB Cache, SATA
  • Seagate Barracuda 300GB HDD - 7,200RPM, 16MB Cache, SATA2
  • My Book 500GB External Hard Drive - 7,200RPM, 16MB Cache, USB 2.0
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 / DirectX 9.0c

PERFORMANCE TESTING

File Copy

The first test consisted of copying the Crysis demo (1.8GB) to the My Book and other internal hard drives. Although it took twice as long to copy the Crysis demo to the My Book, its performance was impressive for an external hard drive. The My Book performs well when data is saved as one large file.

File Copy Performance

Directory Copy

A second test consisted of copying the Temporary Internet Files directory, which consisted of 28 folders and 9,498 files. In this test, the performance of the My Book was well behind the internal hard drives.

Directory Copy Performance

HD Tach Results

Next up are results from HD Tach, which measures hard drive performance. Results for access time, CPU utilization, average read, and burst speed are shown below.

HD Tach - Access Time

HD Tach - CPU Utilization

HD Tach - Average Read

HD Tach - Burst Speed

BACKUP SOFTWARE

WD Backup offers basic backup features, but others may want to use a full-featured backup package like Acronis True Image Home.

With version 10 of True Image Home, the 8.14GB worth of data on my C: drive was compressed to 3.3GB. The file was then copied to the My Book as a backup.

CONCLUSION

Western Digital's My Book External Hard Drive is a great implementation of existing hardware. Combined with a USB 2.0 connection, the drive achieves an average read of 36MB/sec. under HD Tach. The unit is easy to install, quiet, and doubles as an attractive furniture piece.

Please use the following feedback thread for comments or questions about this review.

Back to nV News

Last Updated on December 22, 2007


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