Although Seagate was first to market with an external 3TB drive, it wasn’t without issues. In our testing of the 3TB GoFlex Desk we found that under continuous usage the drive got very hot - we measured temperatures as high as 69C after only a few hours of file copies. Ultimately we concluded that the chassis simply wasn’t suited for the drive Seagate supplied. Today, we have an alternative.

Western Digital is announcing an updated lineup of USB 3.0 enabled external hard drives: the My Passport Essential, My Passport Essential SE and My Book Essential. The specs are below:

Western Digital External USB 3.0 Drive Comparison
Drive Internal Drive Interface Capacities Pricing
My Passport Essential 2.5" USB 3.0 500GB $99.99
My Passport Essential SE 2.5" USB 3.0 750GB, 1TB $129.99, $169.99
My Book Essential 3.5" USB 3.0 1TB - 3TB $129.99 - $249.99

The 3TB My Book Essential is priced identically to Seagate’s 3TB GoFlex Desk, however the Seagate drive having been out in the market for longer is now available at lower prices. The bigger question is whether or not the My Book Essential chassis can keep WD’s 3TB drive running cooler than the GoFlex Desk.

Internally the 3TB My Book Essential uses a WD Caviar Green drive. We'll see a standalone drive available "shortly" according to WD. I'm guessing as a green drive it probably spins at 5400RPM, which should help tremendously with heat. We’ve asked Western Digital for a review sample and we’ll post our findings as soon as we can get our hands on one.

You can check out pics of all three new USB 3.0 drives in our gallery here.

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  • magreen - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    I got a little bit excited when I saw it was USB3.0. I thought we might see a real alternative to eSATA and maybe a discussion of how USB may be developing into the new internal and external components standard, to replace/merge with SATA.

    Then I saw they stuck a 5400 RPM green drive in there. Go figure.
    Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    So what? The performance sacrifice irrelevant. Especially with this kind of setup where top speed is not crucial. Reply
  • MikhailT - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    The 5400RPM hard drives are getting faster every generation, I’m sure this new 5400RPM is faster than 7200RPM drives 2 generations back.

    Beside, the more USB 3.0 devices we have, the faster everybody move forward.

    Even a 4200RPM hard drive would be faster on USB3.0 than USB 2.0.
    Reply
  • GoodBytes - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    But we have a small problem. You see in order for this drive to work, you need a 64-bit OS. As the max number of addresses that one can use in a HDD, is 2TB (32-bit long, or if you prefer 11111111111111111111111111111111 <- 2TB - last data block)

    Which is fine for most of us, but so many people still run a 32-bit Windows, mainly XP. Would be fun to see their face when they'll only see 2TB, and complain where is that missing 1TB.
    Reply
  • Roland00 - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    If they are still using XP they shouldn't be buying a drive greater than 2TB, simple as that.

    Now for the server people that are still using 32 bit windows, their IT guys should know not to buy 3TB drives for they are wasting their money.
    Reply
  • -=Hulk=- - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    "are still using 32 bit windows"

    Vista/7 32bit support GPT partition, in other words they support 3TB drives.
    The only difference is that to be bootable a GPT HDD needs EFI, and only Windows 64bit supports EFI.

    That means that you can use 3TB drives on 32bit systems, but not as an OS drive. I don't think that is a problem.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    Certainly no reason for WD not to build this drive ;)

    MrS
    Reply
  • yuhong - Thursday, October 7, 2010 - link

    Yep, I think the support was introduced in Windows Server 2003 SP1. Reply
  • Pastuch - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    All of you saying "why 3tbs?" need to understand that high def audio/video can eat up 3tb in no time. I have 7 Terabytes right now and it's expanding rapidly. I need three 10tb drives to scale for the next couple of years. 3tb is not nearly enough. A single blu-ray image is 30 to 50GBs. Disks are the past, HTPCs are the future. As much as I enjoy my SSD for my OS I'm afraid that the SSD evolution is pulling important R&D dollars from building 1tb platters. 3 years ago Seagate and WD were promising us 5 and 10TB hard drives by 2010. Reply
  • zwizard666 - Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - link

    You are obviously a stupid fucking douchebag moron that has zero idea about storage or data utility. FUCKING RETARD Reply

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