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1 TB external Harddrive vs. those my passports External HD?

by Archangeldawn / November 28, 2009 5:20 AM PST

Hello all,

My question is, I saw a Western Digital 1 TB external harddrive for sale the other day and another Western Digital my passport external hardrive that included the words "portable"; So I am in need of a bit of clarity here. Being that they are external, does that not make them both portable? Is it just marketing or are there some features that make the other more portable than the other such as size, and so on?

Thanks for the help

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by CMN240967 / November 28, 2009 7:29 AM PST

Basicly, the "Non-portable" one has a mains lead, the "portable" one is powerd through USB

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thanks CMN240967
by Archangeldawn / November 29, 2009 2:36 AM PST
In reply to: Simple

I see, so are there any advantages from one to another? I can clearly see the advantage of having the My passport external HD being USB powered as it avoids having to look for an extra plug-in, but does that make the device a bit slower as far as transfer speeds are concerned?

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I think the USB powered Hdd...
by ahtoi / November 29, 2009 3:08 AM PST
In reply to: thanks CMN240967

are 2.5", which mean it costs a little more. As for speed (usb vs. usb), the portable might be faster (because it's smaller..just guessing).

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USB 2.0 is the real bottleneck, not the drive.
by BigGuns149 / December 5, 2009 7:15 AM PST
In reply to: thanks CMN240967

The access times might be slower, but due to the limitations of USB 2.0 you probably won't see much difference in transfer speeds. Many modern HDDs are capable of faster speeds than USB can transfer so while the 3.5" drive may be capable of transferring faster USB 2.0 bottlenecks the performance so that you aren't able to take full advantage of the capabilities of the drive.

Short of spending a little more for a drive offering eSATA, FW800, or USB 3.0 you probably aren't going to see a big difference in performance. That being said unless the computer you are connecting it to offers one of those ports you wouldn't be able to take advantage of any of these faster interfaces.

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Connection is not the difference
by sharee100 / December 4, 2009 10:00 AM PST
In reply to: Simple

I have a 250gb "portable" hard drive (Passport) and a 1tb external hard drive. The difference is physical size of drive. Both types of drives use usb connections.

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From here...they're both is the characterized
by VAPCMD / November 29, 2009 4:02 AM PST

as 'Desktop' using mostly 3.5" HDDs and the other as 'Portable' using 2.5" notebook/laptop HDDs. The difference is speed...esp with eSATA (nod to desktop), capacity (nod to desktop), weight (nod to laptop), cost pe GB (nod to desktop), etc.,.

Just keep in mind you can create your own external/portable disk by simply buying the hard disk of choice and enclosure of choice with USB2.0 and or eSATA. This also gives you some warranty options too .. especially with the HDDs that have 5-year warranties.

Hope this helps.


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One for every need
by AlexDena / December 4, 2009 1:14 PM PST

As of today the biggest Portable External HDD is about 750 gb, vs the 1,2,4 and even 8 TB non-portable external HDDs.

The differences, besides capacity, are two:

1. Portables are powered via USB, non-portable are powered through an AC adapter (although non-portables does not mean you can't take them with you because they weigh barely above 1 pound and you can use them anywhere you have a power outlet).
2. Speed, USB 2.0 (which most portable HHDs are) raw data speed is about 480Mbps. Non-Portable SATA HDDs are 1.5, 3 or 6 Gigabit when connected to a SATA connection on a motherboard... if you use a SATA Non-Portable external HDD no matter how fast the HDD is you will only be able to transfer data up to 480 Mbps so all that excess of Hard Disk speed is wasted.
Although, if you use an Ethernet connection to transfer data to a Non-Portable external HDD then you will be able to get the most out of it's speed.

Bottom line, if you are thinking on getting one of those think about your necessities and choose between mobility or speed, to put this in perpective a 3 MB mp3 song will transfer in about 1/20 of a second to a portable HDD.

So choose wisely...



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2.5" drives more shock-resistant
by dincz / December 4, 2009 3:44 PM PST

The 2.5" notebook drives used in portable enclosures may also be a better choice in terms of ruggedness. They were designed for portable use.

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Re: Portable hard drives
by sirpaul1 / December 4, 2009 9:40 PM PST

A factor I have not seen mentioned about USB powered external hard drives is that they turn off during hibernation/sleep. I have read about file corruption because of this. Hasn't happened to me yet(knock, knock).
USB powered drives usually run at 5400 RPM (although you can pay a premium for the 7200 ones), whereas power supplied drives usually run at 7200 RPM.

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