Whether you’re running out of room on your current hard drive or you’re finally making good on a new year’s resolution to start backing up your data, there’s never been a better time to upgrade to a massive 1TB worth of storage. The Western Digital My Book Studio Edition allows you to easily stow away those precious digital memories and still have room left over for using Leopard’s Time Machine automated backup feature—all without breaking the bank.
About the size of a stubby desk dictionary, the gray My Book features ports aplenty. There are two FireWire 800 ports (an adapter cable for connecting to FireWire 400 devices is included) and a mini USB port; an eSATA (external SATA) port is also included, but you’ll need to buy an add-in card to realize its faster speeds. There’s a thin blue activity bar on the front that also doubles as a capacity gauge, though only when the drive is connected via USB or FireWire. The drive also features a port for a security cable.
To operate the My Book, you simply cable the drive up to your Mac using an available port, plug in the power adapter, and press the power button. The drive comes preformatted for the Mac, and mounts immediately on your desktop. To use the capacity gauge and power save features, you’ll need to install the supplied WD button manager software. The drive comes bundled with WD Anywhere Backup, which is a Western Digital-branded version of Memeo’s LifeAgent backup utility.
Although the drive was not the fastest of those we tested in a recent roundup, it delivered very good performance and was a good value compared with other drives with the same 1TB capacity. In addition to the 1TB version we looked at, the My Book Studio Edition is also offered in 320GB, 500GB, and 750GB capacities.
Copy 1GB file to FireWire 800
Copy 1GB file to FireWire 400
Copy 1GB file to USB 2.0
Copy 1GB file to eSATA
Duplicate 1GB file via FireWire 800
Duplicate 1GB file via FireWire 400
Duplicate 1GB file via USB 2.0
Duplicate 1GB file via eSATA
Low-Memory Photoshop: FireWire 800
Low-Memory Photoshop: FireWire 400
Low-Memory Photoshop: USB 2.0
Low-Memory Photoshop: eSATA
Scale = Minutes: Seconds
How We Tested: We ran all tests with drives connected to a Mac Pro Quad 2.66GHz Xeon with Mac OS X 10.5 installed and 1GB of RAM. We tested the drive with each available port—FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2, and eSATA. We copied a folder containing 1GB of data from our Mac’s hard drive to the external hard drive to test the drive’s write speed. We then duplicated that file on the external drive to test both read and write speeds. We also used the drive as a scratch disk when running our low-memory Adobe Photoshop CS3 Suite test. This test is a set of four tasks performed on a 150MB file, with Photoshop’s memory set to 25 percent.—Macworld Lab Testing by James Galbraith and Jerry Jung
Price per gigabyte
eSATA (1), FW800 (2)*, USB 2.0 (1)
320GB, 500GB, 750GB
* Includes a FireWire 800 to 400 adapter cable
Macworld’s buying advice
The combination of features, compact design, good performance, and price make My Book Studio Edition (1TB) worth a look if you’re thinking of adding more external storage to your Mac.
[Jeffy Milstead is a Macworld Lab alumnus and a writer living in San Francisco.]