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Ten... FireWire 800 hard drives

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Western Digital My Passport Studio

RH Numbers

Western Digital's My Passport Studio hints at Mac aesthetics, but at least it has a matt black finish for the main body. The 1TB unit I tested included both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 cables, but unlike some other models, Western Digital doesn't include a FireWire 400 cable.

Alas, this drive is also in the same league as the Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go. Its sequential performance is somewhat better – with 76MB/s writes and 68MB/s writes – but it can't handle random operations with any kind of speed. It features a USB 2.0 interface too, so no alternative Superspeed options for PC users. While its price tag is in keeping with other portable drives, its performance does impact on its value for money.

WD My Passport Studio FireWire 800 external hard drive

Reg Rating 65%
Price £180 (1TB)
More info Western Digital

Western Digital My Book Studio II

RH Numbers

Like the G-Tech G-RAID, this behemoth from Western Digital also comes in 6TB form created by the marriage of two 3TB drives in a RAID-0 like configuration. I must say that the twin drive format really does bolster the My Book line a lot. You get two FireWire 800 ports, eSata and USB, but unfortunately only USB 2.0. Given WD’s success in the USB 3.0 market it would have really broadened this drive for all season's appeal to see it featured.

As for performance, the 6TB Studio II reads at 77MB/s, but it struggles to get much beyond 50MB/s when writing, so that’s a bit of a let-down. If you can live with the plastic enclosure and the average performance, but don't want to spend a fortune, then a My Book Studio II is definitely worth considering, as the larger capacities WD offer are pretty good value overall. ®

WD My Book Studio 2 FireWire 800 external hard drive

Reg Rating 70%
Price £295 (4TB), £380 (6TB)
More info Western Digital

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