My Book Premium Edition External HDD Review - Page 1 of 1
Article By Mike Chambers - December 22, 2007
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
My Book 500GB External Hard Drive - 7,200RPM, 16MB Cache, USB 2.0
Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 / DirectX 9.0c
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
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
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.
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.
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