Western Digital-500GB USB 3.0/2.0---5,400 or 7,200 RPM?

vbimport

#1

Hello,
I’ve been looking at a Western Digital - My Passport Essential 500GB External USB 3.0/2.0 Portable Hard Drive. What is the speed of this drive (5,400 or 7,400 RPM) and does it make a big difference? I have looked everywhere for this spec. My primary purpose is save my finished audio and video projects to an external drive. Would this be a well recommended drive, since I would like to have two, to be on the safer side?
Thanks,
Eric :slight_smile:


#2

Hi,

the rotation speed does not matter since USB is the bottleneck.
Additionally, avoid external HDDs without PSU (exception: 1.8" drives).

Michael


#3

[QUOTE=mciahel;2553858]Hi,

the rotation speed does not matter since USB is the bottleneck.
Additionally, avoid external HDDs without PSU (exception: 1.8" drives).

Michael[/QUOTE]

If implemented correctly USB 3 performs about as fast as eSATA/SATA 1.0. So differences in drive performance will matter. You correct as far as USB 2 is concerned as it bottlenecks drives to 20-30 megs per second.

Keep in mind the USB 3 controller must be have at least 4 PCI-E lanes at it’s disposal or throughput will be less than ideal. Most likely still faster than USB 2 but most likely slower than a fast 7200 RPM drive. The controller used on the USB 3 drive may also adversely affect throughput if not implemented correctly.

Bill


#4

[QUOTE=Eric Holtz;2553854]Hello,
I’ve been looking at a [U]Western Digital[/U] - [B]My Passport Essential 500GB External USB 3.0/2.0 Portable Hard Drive[/B]. What is the speed of this drive (5,400 or 7,400 RPM) and does it make a big difference? I have looked everywhere for this spec. My primary purpose is save my finished audio and video projects to an external drive. Would this be a well recommended drive, since I would like to have two, to be on the safer side?
Thanks,
Eric :)[/QUOTE]

The drive you looking at is USB powered so it’s more than likely not a 7200 RPM drive. It sucks that WD does not say what drive is being used or give detailed specs. Since the My Passport Essential USB 3 drives are available in sizes up to 1 TB I would guess they are using Scorpio Blue drives which are 5200 or 5400 RPM drives, depends on where you look. A fast 2.5 inch 5400 RPM drive will have sequential read/write speeds of around 60 megs per second. So more than twice as fast as USB 2. A fast 2.5 inch 7200 RPM drive should have sequential read/write speeds of around 80 megs per second. As I said above a 7200 RPM drive will most likely need a power brick so portability would suffer. If you can live with the power brick I’d just get a 3.5 inch external USB 3 drive as it would be faster. Newer 3.5 inch 7200 RPM drives should have sequential read/write speeds of 100+ megs per second.

Bill


#5

Thank you, Please pardon the brief ignorance, but what is PSU?
At the present, my PC is [B]USB 2.0[/B] and I do not need to move extremely large files that quickly, but I am looking ahead to the future with [B]3.0 [/B]upgrade–if it is that big of a deal for my purposes. :confused:


#6

[QUOTE=Eric Holtz;2553885]Thank you, Please pardon the brief ignorance, but what is PSU? [/quote][B]P[/B]ower [B]S[/B]upply [B]U[/B]nit :slight_smile:

At the present, my PC is [B]USB 2.0[/B] and I do not need to move extremely large files that quickly, but I am looking ahead to the future with [B]3.0 [/B]upgrade–if it is that big of a deal for my purposes. :confused:
I assume you are using a notebook. Any upgrades are only possible if your notebook does have an ExpressCard expansion slot. In that case you simply have to insert an add-on card and install the drivers for it. Apart from USB3.0 you could also use eSata (together with a HDD that has an eSata interface).

Michael


#7

[QUOTE=Eric Holtz;2553885]Thank you, Please pardon the brief ignorance, but what is PSU?
At the present, my PC is [B]USB 2.0[/B] and I do not need to move extremely large files that quickly, but I am looking ahead to the future with [B]3.0 [/B]upgrade–if it is that big of a deal for my purposes. :confused:[/QUOTE]

PSU = power supply or in this case power brick. I would not worry about what drive is in the Western Digital-500GB USB 3.0/2.0 since you have USB 2. It should be a nice bump in performance when you go USB 3 no matter if its a 5400 or 7200 RPM drive. See this review for info on the speed difference between USB 2 and USB 3.


#9

[QUOTE=mciahel;2553858]Hi,

Additionally, avoid external HDDs without PSU (exception: 1.8" drives).

Michael[/QUOTE]

I registered only to ask: why? And what’s that exceptional about 1.8"?


#10

For information backup I would go with the 5,400 rpm drives. IMO, less rotational speed means less chance of drive failure from overheating and increased bearing wear. I used a Samsung 1.5T 5,400 rpm drive in my HTPC and there is little performance difference that I have seen with it.