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Western Digital My Book Essential USB 3.0 (3TB) review: Western Digital My Book Essential USB 3.0 (3TB)

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The Good USB 3.0 could finally put FireWire to bed ... should Apple ever adopt it.

The Bad eSATA is still faster.

The Bottom Line If you've set yourself up with a USB 3.0 connection, the My Book Essential is a decent desktop drive to complement it, and shows promise for the interface in the times ahead.

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8.0 Overall

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The My Book Essential is the second of Western Digital's USB 3.0 desktop drives, after the aptly named My Book 3.0. The difference? The Essential doesn't come packed with a USB 3.0 card — you'll need to bring your own to the party.

Save for branding, it is otherwise identical, down to the black shiny plastic shell power button on the back, tiny white power dot on the front and single interface. Yep, the drive offers you USB and USB alone, so you'll want to make sure you're rocking a 3.0 controller, lest you get throttled back to abysmal 2.0 speeds.

CrystalDiskMark is our weapon of choice when it comes to benchmarking, set to a 1GB random data set.

Sequential reads (MBps)

  • e-SATA
  • FireWire 800
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • 149.572.5723.78N/A
    Hitachi G-Drive (3TB)
  • 127.3583.3320.32N/A
    Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (6TB)
  • N/A83.5921.95
    N/AWestern Digital My Book Studio (2TB)
  • N/AN/AN/A117.8
    Western Digital My Book Essential (3TB)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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