WD My Passport Essential SE 1TB USB 3.0 External HDD

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Test Platform:

Testing tools:

File Transfer Suite:

  • Small Files: 1,250 small HTML, JPEG, and MP3 files totaling 871MB.
  • Large Files: Four large AVI files totaling 4194MB.
  • Huge File: One MKV file, 3799MB in size (not really "huge" but generates similar MB/s results as single 10GB+ sized files)


HD Tune

HD Tune Benchmark: USB 3.0.

HD Tune results were similar to those for the Seagate GoFlex 1.5TB. The My Passport has a maximum read speed of about 100 MB/s, while at the slowest portion of the drive it's about half the speed.

HD Tune Benchmark: USB 2.0.

USB 3.0 devices are backwards compatible with USB 2.0, but for hard drives the drop in speed is dramatic. The slower interface is severely bottlenecked resulting in a flat line result in HD Tune at 32~33 MB/s.

File Transfer Performance

As external hard drives are mainly used for backing up and transferring data from one machine to another, we gauged the real world performance of the drive by conducting a series of file transfers from and to an internally-connected 600GB VelociRaptor, arguably the fastest hard drive currently in production.

The overall write performance for the My Passport exceeded that of Seagate's FreeAgent GoFlex 1.5TB. The two drives performed similarly with huge and large files, but in the small file test, the WD had a 69% lead. In fact the GoFlex's USB 3.0 small file result was only slightly faster than the My Passport connected through USB 2.0. When both drives were using the slower interface, the GoFlex was beaten by about 34% in the small file test.

For reads the drives were more closely matched. The My Passport edged out the GoFlex in the large file test, but lagged behind in the small file test.

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