Verbatim USB 3.0 HDD
You might think that Verbatim and its to-the-point product naming – this one is actually called USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive – is an unlikely candidate for the fastest drive, but at 162MB/s read and 161MB/s write, it certainly is.
I have trouble faulting this drive at all, it’s quiet and vibration is minimal, has a metal case and is priced very reasonably. The only real niggle is that from the factory Verbatim has partitioned the 3TB disk into 2 volumes of 2048GB and 746.5GB to allow use with legacy operating systems. For some this could be minor annoyance, yet the smaller capacity models aren't affected and the performance is top notch.
Reg Rating 90%
Price £55 (1TB), £70(1.5TB), £110 (2TB), £149 (3TB)
More info Verbatim
Western Digital My Book Essential
Alas, Western Digital's case design for the My Book line remains unspoilt by progress – the My Book Essential is just as unstable as any of its brethren when stood vertically. Usually My Book drives have some other unique or redeeming feature, but I’m sorry to say that this one doesn’t, and performance is mediocre at best.
You do get WD SmartWare which is a sequential backup service akin to Apple’s Time Machine and a two-year warranty though. It’s not outrageously priced either, but the overall appeal of this drive is found wanting by a fair margin. ®
Reg Rating 75%
Price £80 (1TB), £100 (1.5TB), £120 (2TB), £180 (3TB)
More info Western Digital
CrystalDiskMark 3 Results
Data transfer speeds in Megabytes per Second (MB/s)
Longer bars are better
False Ads by 3TB Hard Drives & Microsoft or a test left undone
I need disc image backups and since I use Win 7 Pro 64 bit, I look for the Microsoft Win 7 logo on the HD package. Since my disc image size is about 600GB, I want something that is big and faster than USB 2.0. Yep, there is a WIn 7 logo on the 3TB WD My Book Essential External Hard Drive USB 3.0. box. Since I could get 2 of them for US$250, I bought two. Shock & ****, I could not use either drive to make a WIn 7 system image. Google the error message - formatting issue. But, on the box was "Formatted NTFS for Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7."
Search on Microsoft and find a posting from 2007 that admits to this "rare error." It seems that Microsoft software does not like the 3TB size. Yep, I have the May 2011 KB update that was to fix this issue installed on my system . I should mention that WD is in big denial of any such problem. Tried using USB 2 instead of USB 3, no go. Formatted HD as exFAT, no go in USB 2 or USB 3. Reformatted back to plain NTFS and wonders, able to make system image in USB 3. Then, several days later, I needed a file back that had been securely erased.
Oh, unhappy days. System will display the system image, but try to restore the system image and the computer tells you - unable to find the system image in either USB 3 or USB 2. I had to copy the system image from the WD to a Verbatim 2 TB External HD USB 3 over 8 hours, then use the Verbatim 2TB HD in USB 2 mode to restore the system image. It seems 3TB is a TB too far for Windows 7. You should tested the use of WIn 7 system image on the various 3TB hard drives because that a major reason to buy 3TB external hard drives
OS centric drives...
OS centric drives simply are not future proof. Anything that forgoes the obvious standard USB driver for something more bothersome is not only locking out current alternatives. It's also going to create extra support headaches in the here and now as well as a whole bunch in the future as tech moves on.
If you have to load a driver to use the disk then it's a big fat FAIL.
You'd be hard pressed finding a 3.5" caddy that doesn't require a separate power supply.
I don't know of many decent 3.5" drives that will happily spin up on 10V 1A of supply, which is all you can draw from two USB sockets.
2.5" drives on the other hand are more or less designed around lower power draw, so happily power themselves off a USB cable. 7200rpm drives often need two ports though to spin up.