Amazon Review by Stephanie Sullivan
391 people found the following review helpful
Sequential Writes/Reads Faster Than 2015 Model, Excellent Drive, New Case Design Not An Improvement
This model is the latest generation of the many My Passport drives I've owned or purchased for clients. They have proven reliable and good performers. They have incrementally improved with each new generation. This model features a new case design which most notably replaced the rounded corners with sharp 90 degree ones. Otherwise it should have little effect on use.
BOTTOM LINE (for the impatient):
The new model is a little bit faster than last year’s and includes the 4TB model added to the previous generation My Passport Ultra early in 2016. This model (I got the 4TB size) is just noticeably faster than the 2015 model on sequential reads and but especially writes using Crystal DiskMark.
This My Passport has a new design that replaces rounded corners with pointy ones and adds some odd (to me) styling to the case. The new case shows fingerprints and scratches much more than the old. It’s a purely aesthetic change. Other than outward appearance it’s functionally almost identical to the 2016 My Passport Ultra model.
If these differences are not important for you or you prefer the old model’s aesthetics, you may want to get last year’s My Passport Ultra or this depending on which is least expensive at the time. You’ll have an excellent drive in either case.
If you want more details, read on…
The My Passport USB 3.0 drives are simple to use and come with reasonable software tools and backup/sync software. The drive includes software: WD Backup, WD Security and WD Drive Utilities. I have my own backup solution and have not explored this software. If these are of interest, be sure to check for newer versions on the WD web site.
- This drive works fine with Windows, Linux or Mac out of the box. With Linux or Mac it performs best when reformatted with a native file system for the respective operating system.
- This generation has 4TB, 3TB, 2TB, and 1TB models. The 500GB sizes in previous versions has been dropped.
- This drive is faster than the last generation. Up to 10% faster in benchmarks, but just noticeable in practical use.
- The form factor of the new drive is almost exactly the same as before except for pointy corners and about a 1mm increase in thickness.
- It comes with the same very short USB 3.0 cable as previous versions. I like a longer 3ft (or more) USB 3.0 cable: a very good upgrade purchase for the My Passport drives.
- The redesign of the drive case is not a plus for me. Not much of a minus either as it’s not why I selected this drive. The worst thing is going with pointy corners. From a handling perspective rounded corners are nicer.
- The warranty has been reduced from 3 years for last year’s model to 2 years for this one.
IN THE BOX:
The My Passport comes in a easy to open retail package containing the drive and a annoyingly short USB 3.0 cable. There are a couple small pieces of paper for warranty and quick-start. That’s it. The cable in this model is the same as previous versions. This may be just fine for a lot of folks but I keep some 3ft (or more) USB 3.0 cables handy for longer runs to my desktop or even on top of a tall computer.
FORM FACTOR vs. PREVIOUS GENERATION:
I’ll compare the new generation of My Passport with my 2015 My Passport Ultra
This Model My Passport’s dimensions:
1TB: 0.37lb, 4.33in X 0.64in X 3.21in
2TB-4TB: 0.54lb, 4.33in X 0.85in X 3.21in
2015 My Passport Ultra’s dimensions:
500GB: 0.32lb, 4.33in X 0.62in X 3.21in
1TB: 0.34lb, 4.33in X 0.62in X 3.21in
2TB-4TB: 0.50lb, 4.33in X 0.83in X 3.21in
I tested both my older My Passport Ultra 2TB drive and the new My Passport 4TB model using CrystalDiskMark benchmark software and by copying 11GB folder of updates and files to the drive. This was to compare the benchmark with real-world copying. The 11GB folder has a broad mix of file sizes and types including files an over 2GB iso DVD images.
Using CrystalDiskMark I found sequential reads were about 10% faster and writes about 40% (!) faster with the new model. Random reads were just a tiny bit slower and writes were about 4% faster. While the benchmarks showed significant differences using them in my real-world copy test the difference was noticeable but not great. If you need to write large files this drive is noticeably better than the 2015 model.
For my testing the My Passport drive was connected to the Renasas USB 3.0 chip set on my Dell Precision E6500 laptop. I have the latest Renasas drivers installed. The laptop also has a Samsung EVO SSD as the hard drive (matters for my real-world copy testing).
The New Generation My Passport:
Sequential Read: 125. 5 MB/s
Sequential Write: 113.7 MB/s
Random Read: 4KiB 0.573 MB/s
Random Write: 4KiB 1.290 MB/s
Sequential Read: 119.1 MB/s
Sequential Write: 113.7 MB/s
Random Read: 4KiB 0.505 MB/s [ 127.4 IOPS]
Random Write: 4KiB 1.305 MB/s [ 327.1 IOPS]
The 2015 My Passport Ultra:
Sequential Read: 112.8 MB/s
Sequential Write: 72.4 MB/s
Random Read: 4KiB 0.584 MB/s [ 142.6 IOPS]
Random Write: 4KiB 1.373 MB/s [ 335.2 IOPS]
Sequential Read: 110.7 MB/s
Sequential Write: 70.7 MB/s
Random Read: 4KiB 0.522 MB/s [ 127.4 IOPS]
Random Write: 4KiB 1.340 MB/s [ 327.1 IOPS]
REAL WORLD COPY:
In my real world copy test the new My Passport drive was just noticeably faster than the older My Passport Ultra. More on the writing than reading side. It peaked out at about 68MB/s with large files. I never dropped below 31MB/s even with large amounts of small files being copied to the drive. The 2015 My Passport Ultra peaked out at about 60MB/s and dropped several times to 29MB/s.
I’m thinking the newer drive may have a larger on-drive write cache or maybe it’s just a bit faster drive. Maybe both. On big copies the new My Passport may save you a few seconds here or there but your last generation My Passport Ultra drives are still pretty close in real-world performance.
The My Passport line of drives from Western Digital has been very good to me and to my clients. This reliable and good to excellent performing line has a long positive history with me.
This WD My Passport model is an evolution over the 2015 My Passport Ultra. I’ll pick it for new purchases over the older model, but won’t rush out to replace older drives. I like the 2015 My Passport Ultra’s rounded corner case better but it’s very minor point for me. Overall it’s a excellent successor to a 5 star predecessor and continues to be a very good external storage choice.
For making improvements that outweigh a small misstep in case design and not making a mess of something that has been working well for a long time This new generation of My Passport drives is worth 5 stars in my opinion.
Hope this helps someone!