Western Digital releases USB 3.0 hard-drive kit

Western Digitals unveils its first USB 3.0-based external hard drive for desktop computers.

The new My Book 3.0 external hard drive looks similar to other USB 2.0 external hard drives from Western Digital. Western Digital

Now that Seagate has taken care of laptop users with its BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 external hard drive kit, Western Digital has something along those lines for desktop users.

The hard drive maker announced Tuesday at CES 2010 its first USB 3.0 external hard drive upgrade kit for desktop computers. The kit includes the My Book 3.0 and a PCI express card that adds USB 3.0 capability to a computer.

The add-in card is necessary as most, if not all, existing computers don't yet have a built-in USB 3.0 controller. Without the card, you'd have to wait until computers motherboard are released that have a USB 3.0 controller, such as the controller that VIA launched yesterday.

Other than having USB 3.0, the My Book 3.0 is a standard external hard drive with a 1TB 3.5-inch SATA hard drive. According to Western Digital, the new drive offers throughput speed as fast as the full 5Gbps potential of the USB 3.0 specification. According to the company, the new drive's sustained speed will be up to 4.5 times that of a USB 2.0 external hard drive.

The new My Book 3.0 drive is compliant with the USB-IF SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard to provide compatibility with other USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 products. SuperSpeed USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1

The new My Book 3.0 upgrade kit is available now for $200 or you can buy just the My Book 3.0 alone (without the USB 3.0 add-in card) for $180. It works with all Windows and comes with a 2-year warranty.

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