WD releases Mac desktop drives with USB 3.0, 4TB capacity

USB 3.0 ups the I/O bandwidth by 10X over USB 2.0

Western Digital today introduced a new version of its My Book Studio desktop drive for Mac OS X systems that offers USB 3.0 connectivity and as much as 4TB of storage capacity in a single drive.

Drives with USB 3.0, also known as Super-Speed USB connectivity, are coming out in droves even as computer systems with 480Mbps USB 2.0, called Hi-Speed USB connectivity, cannot take advantage of the additional I/O bandwidth.

The My Book Studio drives come pre-formatted for Mac OS X, but users can reformat them for use with Windows systems and the file allocation table (FAT) file system.

In August, WD released the My Book VelociRaptor Duo desktop backup drive with 10Gbps Thunderbolt I/O connectivity and the My Passport for Mac with USB 3.0.

WD touted the VelociRaptor Duo, with 2TB capacity, as king of the heap for performance. The performance of the VelociRaptor Duo is at least as good as any consumer SSD, WD said.

WD could not say when the My Book Studio will have Thunderbolt capability. WD's new My Book Studio desktop drive comes in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB of capacity. The drive is compatible with Apple Time Machine and offers 256-bit hardware-based encryption for added security against unauthorized access to the drive and its contents.

"WD's My Book Studio with USB 3.0 delivers extreme transfer speeds while maintaining the standard USB and FireWire connections computer users prefer," said Jim Welsh, executive vice president and general manager of WD's branded and CE products. "Its large capacity, combined with a premium aluminum enclosure, hardware-based encryption, and compatibility with Apple Time Machine, provide Mac users with a fast, secure and complete system for preserving their valuable content."

WD continues to offer its My Book Studio drive with USB 2.0 and FireWire800 connectivity for legacy systems.

The My Book Studio external hard drive comes with a 3-year limited warranty and has a suggest retail price of $160 for the 1TB; $190 for 2TB; $240 for 3TB and $300 for 4TB version.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

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