Among the new crop of USB 3.0 external hard drives, top experts like the Western Digital My Book 3.0 the best. Unlike some cheaper drives, it takes full advantage of USB 3.0's faster speed, reading and writing as quickly as an internal hard drive in tests. Even when hooked up to a USB 2.0 port, it's still very fast. If you' re comfortable installing a do-it-yourself upgrade, Western Digital also offers a version with a PCIe USB 3.0 add-in card for desktop PCs in the box (*Est. $150 for 1 TB). Testers say the My Book 3.0 is quiet, too, and it runs cool (hot operating temperatures can kill a hard drive). This new model has built up no reliability history, though, and its two-year warranty is shorter than some.
The Western Digital My Book 3.0 offers 1 TB or 2 TB of storage, but no included backup software. The My Book 3.0 is formatted for Windows, as Mac computers do not have USB 3.0. If you need a high-capacity desktop drive for a Mac, experts recommend the Western Digital My Book Studio, which is designed specifically for Macs and has USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 ports. A less expensive, USB 2.0-only option is the Clickfree (Discontinued), a unique portable hard drive that automatically backs up your files every time you plug it into your computer; the Clickfree works with both PCs and Macs and has a three-year warranty.
CNET publishes the most comprehensive review of the Western Digital My Book 3.0, including a chart comparing its performance with seven other drives'. RegHardware.com and TomsHardware.com also publish very objective, insightful tests of the My Book 3.0. This new drive has quickly accumulated a useful number of user reviews at Amazon.com.
CNET tests the Western Digital My Book 3.0 -- both with USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports -- and compares its performance with seven other external hard drives. It's fast, cool and quiet, and it makes CNET's list of the best external hard drives. A handful of user reviews here are very negative, however that's not backed up by user reviews at other resources.
Review: Western Digital My Book 3.0 (2 TB), Dong Ngo, March 22, 2010
Unlike some USB 3.0 drives, the Western Digital My Book 3.0 has the other qualities -- besides a USB 3.0 port -- to make it a really fast drive, RegHardware.com' s tests show. Shaun Dormon also appreciates that the My Book 3.0 "runs cool and quiet."
Review: Western Digital My Book USB 3.0 Drive, Shaun Dormon, March 31, 2010
The Western Digital My Book 3.0 proves quick in most read/write copy tests here -- "just as fast as an internal hard drive would be." Its 7200 RPM drive easily outpaces cheaper 5400 RPM drives with USB 3.0, and testers say it's a great choice for performance users.
Review: Western Digital MyBook 3.0 (1 TB), Patrick Schmid and Achim Roos, July 22, 2010
Amazon.com sells various versions of the Western Digital My Book 3.0, but the one with the included PCIe adapter card gets the most feedback. With over two dozen owners posting here, the new My Book 3.0 maintains an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Most of the ratings are a perfect 5 stars, but a few say their drive died either immediately or shortly after it was received.
Review: Western Digital My Book 3.0 -- 1 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive with PCIe Adapter Card WDBABP0010HCH-NESN, Contributors to Amazon.com