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Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II review

Verdict:

Useful RAID protection and a huge capacity, but the My Book Studio II is only quick if your computer has eSATA or FireWire 800

Review Date: 17 Jun 2011

Price when reviewed: £345

Supplier: http://www.morecomputers.com

Reviewed By: Tom Morgan

Our Rating 2 stars out of 5

User Rating 4 stars out of 5

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Western Digital’s My Book Studio Edition II has a monumental six terabytes of storage space, which should be more than enough for backing up even the largest multimedia collection. The case is reasonably compact and looks stylish in metallic effect plastic. A panel on the front of the unit glows white when turned on, indicating power and activity as well as remaining capacity. Even though there’s no cooling fan, noise from the two disks was noticeable over the background noise from our test PC when accessing files.

Sadly there’s no USB3 support, but there are several other interfaces including Firewire 800 and eSATA. There’s still the option to use USB, but file transfer performance will be noticeably slower. We ran our file transfer benchmarks using all three. As there are two disks, you have the option of using RAID, either to increase performance by spreading files across both disks, or increasing security by placing a copy of each file on each disk. The latter mode halves capacity to 3TB, of course.

Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II

The My Book managed meagre 29.8MB/s writes and 46.3MB/s read speeds in the large files test over USB, but these jumped to 76.6MB/s and 78.8MB/s respectively over eSATA. It was a similar story in the small files test, with 20.4MB/s write and 25.3MB/s read speeds over USB, but 42.3MB/s and 52.3MB/s using eSATA.

At 6p per gigabyte, the My Book Studio II isn't bad value, but you'll need an eSATA or FireWire 800 port to get the best performance out of it. It may suit iMac users, who won't have USB3 anyway, but they'd be better off buying an upcoming Thunderbolt-compatible drive instead.

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