Western Digital My Book 3.0 review: Western Digital My Book 3.0

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MSRP: $279.99

The Good The Western Digital My Book 3.0 is fast and is bundled with a USB 3.0 PCI Express card; it runs cool and quiet.

The Bad The My Book 3.0 doesn't let users upgrade the hard drive and it's expensive. Western Digital didn't include backup software with the drive.

The Bottom Line Western Digital's My Book 3.0 is a great external-storage addition for desktop computer users. However, notebook users have better choices.

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7.4 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 5
  • Performance 9
  • Support 7

The My Book 3.0 is a big "yes" for those who've been wondering if they wanted a USB 3.0 drive for their desktop PC. With its superfast performance and its included USB 3.0 PCIe card, the drive will significantly alter your expectations for external hard drives. Costing about $200 for the 1TB version and $280 for the 2TB version, the My Book 3.0 is $50 more expensive than its USB 2.0 counterpart; however, we feel it's well worth it.

If you have a PC desktop and are looking for a simple external hard drive, look no further than the My Book 3.0. However, we recommend that notebook users look at the Seagate BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0.

Design and features
The My Book 3.0 is a no-frills storage device. It has a straightforward design with one tiny white light on its front that serves both as the power and activities indicator and on its back it only has a Mini-USB 3.0 port.

The drive is bundled with a Mini-USB 3.0 cable, a power adapter, a two-port PCIe USB 3.0 add-in card, a software CD, and a well-illustrated quick-setup poster. The PCIe add-in card includes a high-profile and a low-profile bracket, so that it can be installed in a regular-size desktop or a slim tower desktop, such as the Dell Inspiron 537s.

Even without the colorful quick-setup poster, it's very easy to set up the My Book 3.0. Just connect it to a computer using the included USB cable, plug in the power, and turn it on. The only tricky part is installing the PCIe card, which is only necessary for computers that don't already support USB 3.0. Still, if you know how to use a screwdriver and can follow the instructions, you shouldn't have any problems installing the card. Finally, you'll need to install the driver from the included CD.

If you are uncomfortable installing the PCIe card, the My Book 3.0 will work with any existing USB port, just at slower speeds. After installation, the hard drive is immediately available to the computer and is preformatted using NTFS file system.

According to Western Digital, it will soon release a more affordable, standalone version of the My Book 3.0 that won't include a PCIe card. So if you like the drive but don't need the PCIe card, just wait for the company to release the unbundled version.

Because of the My Book 3.0's design, you can't upgrade the hard drive yourself. This means you won't be able to replace the built-in SATA 2 (3Gbps) hard drive with a SATA 3 (6Gbps) drive. If you could, the My Book 3.0 could potentially operate faster since USB 3.0 can transfer files up to 4.8Gbps.

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