I have a question. Two questions, actually.
Do you need an external hard drive thatâ€™s fast? Really fast? As in, possibly up to four to five times faster than the hard disk youâ€™re using now?
Hey that looked like three questions, didnâ€™t it. But no, that was only the first question.
The second question is: Would you be willing to pay a lot of money for it? As in, a LOT of money? As in, possibly four to five times more than most other hard drives out there on the market?
If you answered YES to the above (and to an even more important question, which is â€śDo you own a Mac with a Thunderbolt port?â€ť), then you might want to check out the Western Digital MyBook Thunderbolt Duo, which retails for the whopping price of P26,190 for the 4TB and P30,500 for the 6TB version (which we are reviewing here). It will allow you to copy files so fast that you will enjoy the benefit of newfound time in your day! Which will then enable you to go out and look for a part time job to be able to pay off that hard drive on your credit card bill.
Donâ€™t forget, you need to also save up for the added expense of a Thunderbolt cable (around $50), since the WD doesnâ€™t come with one in the box. Yes, that made me raise an eyebrow too.
How fast is fast? Letâ€™s do a comparison test.
I took my MacBook Air and copied my â€śvicicasasâ€ť user folder (around 59GB) to a relatively ordinary USB 2.0 Western Digital MyBook Essential 1TB external drive, the kind that retails for less than P4,000 out there in the real world. I used a stopwatch app to time the transfer and it came in at an absolutely snooze-inducing 58 minutes and 37 seconds, or roughly a minute for every gigabyte transferred. Iâ€™d like to impress you by saying that I watched the entire thing from start to finish, but to be honest, I checked out the first thirty seconds and then went to have lunch.
With the Thunderbolt Duo, I took the same folder and followed the same procedure, and my jaw slowly dropped as the progress bar started flying across the window. Total elapsed time for the same 59GB transfer: a little under 14 minutes. Wow. That’s roughly 4.21 GB a minute. With smaller files of less than a gigabyte, transfer speeds were even faster.
I began to stand up from my office chair with the intention of doing that Hollywood slow clap that speeds up into rapturous ovation. But then I remembered the price tag and I quickly sat back down.
Let’s also be realistic: a MacBook Air is equipped with an SSD, so that will definitely influence the quality of any speed test we run. I would’ve wanted to test the WD out on another more machine with a more conventional drive but unfortunately none of the other Macs I had access to had a Thunderbolt port.
You can set the MyBook Duo’s internal drives up in one of three ways: RAID 0 (default) which uses both drives in a striped configuration that gives maximum speed and performance, RAID 1 for maximum safety, which uses only the first drive and mirrors its contents on the second, Â or JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) which simply treats the two drives as individual units for the maximum amount of storage but with no added speed or safety benefits.
Oh, and don’t go looking for a USB, Firewire, eSATA or any other kind of port on the back panel of the MyBook – there’s a pair of Thunderbolt ports and that’s it, folks. But since Thunderbolt and MiniDisplay ports are compatible, I was able to daisy chain the drive and an external LCD monitor via a Mini Display to VGA adapter.
In summary: the Western Digital MyBook Thunderbolt Duo is the largest, priciest, fastest hard disk I’ve ever tested (though reviews from other sites note that among the new crop of Thunderbolt drives, it’s actually one of the slower models). Â If my work Mac had a Thunderbolt port, I’d seriously consider buying one for use in the studio – it’s just that fast, and the speed gains would pay off after a bunch of projects. Graphics and video professionals should definitely check this out.
As for everyone else: wait til prices go down. For casual, personal use, 30 thousand pesos is just waaay too pricey for an external drive, no matter how fast it is.
You must be logged in to post a comment.