The WD 8TB My Book Duo external hard drive is one of the bigger dual drives in the My Book line (but there’s also a 12TB version). It can be configured in RAID 0, 1 or as a JBOD drive.
It is a USB 3.0 interface and comes pre-formatted in NTFS for Windows. However, I use it in a Mac environment and it was very simple to reformat it for Mac OS X.
The performance of this drive is fantastic when you consider the price it costs to jump up to comparable Thunderbolt storage.
It has been available at $349.99 for several months now – down from its retail price tag of $419.99. Notably, the current price is $200 cheaper than its Thunderbolt counterpart – the WD 8TB My Book Thunderbolt Duo.
I get around 290MB/s read speed and 233MB/s write speeds out of the WD 8TB My Book Duo drive over USB 3.0, which is what you see from the screen shot above using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test utility. That is as good as or better than the comparable WD Thunderbolt drives I have tested in the past. When I ran the same test on the WD 6TB My Book Thunderbolt Duo configured in RAID 0, I saw around 230MB/s read and 240MB/s write speeds.
I was thrilled with those speeds at the time, but the USB 3.0 options are now up to par with RAID configurations. Unless you need blistering speeds, you can get great performance for compressed HD video work and photo editing and management work out of the USB 3.0 options.
USB 3.0 offers sustained data transfer rates of 5Gb/s, which is equivalent to 625MB/s. So, unless you are pushing SSD drives or an array of several spinning drives that will push you beyond those speeds where USB 3.0 becomes your bottleneck, then Thunderbolt doesn’t really offer a speed advantage.
As a bonus, the WD My Book Duo drives have two additional USB 3.0 ports on the back that can be used as a USB 3.0 hub/extension for your attached computer or can even charge your portable USB-powered devices.
So far, I’m a big fan of the USB 3.0 version of this drive. It delivers a great middle ground for price and performance that you just can’t find on Thunderbolt drives right now.
The WD 8TB My Book Duo external drive is available here at B&H Photo. You can find other configurations of the My Book Duo line here at B&H Photo.
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