Customer Review

178 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New generation, 3 Dec. 2010
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Midnight Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
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I'm giving this little beauty top marks not for speed of transfer, but for it's neat small size and huge capacity. It has a proffesional 'quality,' feel about it and is around 75% the size of my WD250 gig USB portable hard drive.

Okay, speed and differences between USB2 and USB3. First noticeable thing is the port on the side of the drive. It's not the same as a USB2. It consists of two small flat ports joined, one of which appears to be similar to the one found on an HTC phone. This means you won't have a cable lying around to fit it. It does come with the correct cable of which the computer end is a standard USB type A fitting. It is short though at 45cm so that may mean you need a longer cable in some situations. Speed will only be faster that USB2 if you fit a new PCI Express expansion port to your computer. This isn't a problem if you have a spare expansion slot on your computer, are happy to furtle around inside (not difficult but some people don't enjoy it) and of course you have bought a card. I bought a card from a well known on line retailer for about 15 quid. They can range from £10 to £50 so do your on line checks first.

Speed is of course the same on USB2 - which is fine for small files but it is relatively painful when transferring large amounts of data such as films or a music library. Using my newly fitted USB3 card and the drive I probably doubled my speed of transfer. I have read that 10x faster is the standard, but you can expect in practice around 3x the speed on average. As per usual you have to take a lot of the manufacturers claims with a sceptical eye as they no doubt use absolutely optimised set ups, however I think that the 2 to 3X extra transfer speed I'm getting is a good increase.

My advice would be that if you are looking to buy a 500gb portable drive then given the reasonable price I'd go for USB3. It is faster and one way or another over the next few years it will start to become prevalent on computers and you may as well have the ability to use the increased speed.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 May 2011 14:32:08 BDT
haydoni says:
Does it connect via a micro-USB port i.e. precisely the same as on an HTC phone or Amazon's Kindle?
That would be incredibly convenient (for those of us who carry around both!).

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2011 09:48:09 BDT
James Abell says:
I see you mention you need a PCI Card to achieve the benefits of USB3.0, however this is not always right, with newer computer cases having USB3.0 built in to the front panel of the case and also newer laptops you will not need a PCI Expansion Card. :)

Posted on 8 Jul 2011 13:21:33 BDT
haydoni says:
To answer my earlier question: if you have an HTC phone, Amazon Kindle, or anything with a micro-USB connector you can use their cables to connect the device to your computer at USB2 speeds.
(the second part of the port provides the additional power required for USB3 speeds)

@James you are right, and of course in the near future you will not be able to buy computers without USB3, however many people will want to upgrade their computer (e.g. via a PCI-e USB3 expansion) to make use of the USB3.

Posted on 26 Dec 2011 05:19:34 GMT
Chun Lai says:
I can buy this WD My Passport 1TB for under £70 in Costco, are you over price??????????
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