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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  • AstroGuardian - Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - link

    Is it me? Or is it that people care less and less. I would never consider buying such a huge disk drive. I would gladly pay more for 3 x 1Tb disks instead of a single 3Tb disk. What is the drive dies? What happens to my data? People say "never carry all of the eggs in a single basket".
    Unless manufacturers offer some simple PLAN B solution when a drive fails i would say NO THANKS. A single 3Tb disk is too much risk!
    Reply
  • azmodean - Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - link

    Right, you definitely shouldn't have all of your important data just on one of these disks. If you're shopping for a reliable place to store your data for around $300, this doesn't fit the bill, but then again, what does?

    I see this product as targeting either users that just want all of their storage handled in one place, or users that will use it as one piece of their more robust data storage.
    Reply
  • talozin - Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - link

    I wouldn't consider buying "a" 3tb disk, but I would consider buying two (or more) and using them in a RAID-1. But then, I wouldn't considering buying one of just about any disk to store anything truly important on. Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - link

    Repeat after me: RAID 1 is a solution for uptime, not backups.

    Corrupted data will be happily mirrored from 1 drive to the other. Keep all your important data in 2 or more places at all times!
    Reply
  • talozin - Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - link

    Yes, and? If you're worried about losing data, having a second mirrored drive is not as good as having a reliable backup system, but it's way better than having neither a second mirrored drive <i>or</i> a reliable backup system, and most home users lack the resources and the ability to set up a reliable backup system for a volume holding 3tb of data. (Setting cron to rsync your data from one drive to another is not a "reliable backup system" either.)

    I also wouldn't keep 3tb of data on 3 1tb disks, for reasons that should be obvious. This is a far, far worse idea than keeping 3tb of data on 1 3tb disk (unless the 3tb disk has truly horrific reliability), and should be discouraged at every opportunity.
    Reply
  • wolrah - Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - link

    Let's back the bus up a few years....

    "Is it me? Or is it that people care less and less. I would never consider buying such a huge disk drive. I would gladly pay more for 3 x 320Gb disks instead of a single 1Tb disk. What is the drive dies? What happens to my data? People say "never carry all of the eggs in a single basket".
    Unless manufacturers offer some simple PLAN B solution when a drive fails i would say NO THANKS. A single 1Tb disk is too much risk!"

    I agree with the point that putting all your data on one drive is stupid, but the size of the drive has nothing to do with that.
    Reply
  • MrBrownSound - Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - link

    My words exactly. I have two WD 1TB's for robust backup of large, not very important video's and scrap. Although it has given me expected performance and reliability, I wouldn't trust anything important on it. Protected raid array's are the way to go. Instead of backing up and buying extra HDD's for mirroring and what not, I would pay to have my TB's of storage put up in the cloud. For a reasonable price of course. Let them worry about maintenance of their server's and backup's, I'm tired of it. Reply
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  • Voo - Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - link

    Let's see:
    - If I have one 3tb drive I need to backup 3TB of data.
    - If I have three 1tb drives I need to backup 3TB of data.

    Umn, yeah the difference is.. not existing? Sounds like you prefer to not backup your data, which is a bad idea in either case, unimportant if you use 1, 3 or 50 drives. The only risk is NOT backing up your data, which is what you're doing at the moment.. if you value your data stop doing that right now :p

    Larger drives are great, space is limited, but I usually go with the cheapest on a gb/€ basis (starting from a reasonable minimum size).. so usually one or two sizes smaller than the largest.
    Reply
  • taltamir - Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - link

    You should not think to replace a 3TB drive with 3x1TB drives... you should actually use neither configuration
    get 2 x 3TB drives to store 3TB and backup 3TB.
    or get 6x 1TB to store 3TB and backup 3TB.
    using only 2 instead of 6 drives to store the data and its backup is more convenient... which is where the market is at. I currently cannot fit all my fileserver data on a mere 2TB drive.
    Reply

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