Published in Reviews

Western Digital My Book stores loads of books

by on06 March 2007


Review:  Elegant 500GB "book"


External hard drives became very affordable and practical. It follows you around and it is there when you need to store, transfer or backup your data. External drives became faster, larger in capacity and price friendly. Not too long ago there was a time when it was cheaper to get 20 DVD's and make a backup or transfer 94GB's, then to buy a 80GB external drive, even as an long term investment. External storage got really cheap these days. 


Western Digital, one of the leading companies in this part of the industry, was founded in 1970 and began designing and manufacturing hard drives in 1988.


My Book desktop series is one of their latest creations and it comes in four different versions depending on how you want to connect it to your computer. Base Essential version has USB 2.0 interface which became a standard for connecting peripheral devices. Premium type comes USB and Firewire 400, while top Pro version has faster Firewire 800 interface on top of that. There is also Premium eSATA version. You can also choose between several capacities depending on version of desired HDD.





Today we have My Book Premium version, the largest one available with massive 500GB.


Case of "My Book" external drive , as it name implies resembles a book. Dimensions of My Book external drive are 172.2mm x 143 mm x 56.7 mm, and it weights 1.32kg. Casing is made out of plastic, but despite that, it is elegant, sturdy and shows a quality that we would expect. On the front side of the drive there is a button with two LED rings which shows HD activity. LED rings are not too bright, so they don't irritate even when working in the dark. Inner LED ring is used as a capacity gauge. This is only available if you install drivers for it.




My Book doesn't have active cooling, so it is very quiet. In normal conditions we were not able to hear it. My Book has a lot of holes on its back, top and bottom side. Those are in charge of cooling the drive and they are not simply dots and lines, but rather Morse code. At least thats what Western Digital claims. Passive cooling does a good job, so the case wasn't getting hot during testing and normal work.  After long and thorough testing test software showed temperature of 30 Degrees Celsius.




Hearth of My Book is WD's 500GB hard drive that is spinning on 7.200RPM with 16MB of cache. Premium version has USB 2.0 and a FireWire 400 interface. USB 2.0 has a maximal throughput of 480Mbps, and it should theoretically be faster then Firewire with maximal throughput of 400Mbps. This isn't true in most cases. The architecture of interfaces is simply different and have a huge impact on the sustained throughput.


Our tests have proven that fact. Firewire was about 10MB/s faster then USB 2.0. Flat line shows that hard drive speed is limited by interface.




My Book is elegant and can be easily used as an aesthetic add on to any table. As we look at the whole picture, My Book is yet another quality product from Western Digital. It can get 200 hours of DVD quality video, and it cost around €180.

This is a device for someone that needs to do a backup, or just needs a lot of hard drive room that can easily be moved from one PC to another. It is also good for media laptops which are limited by the capacity of their hard drives. All u need is a USB or a Firewire interface. We can recomend it to anyone who needs an external drive. 
Last modified on 06 March 2007
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