Thursday, July 17, 2014

Western Digital My Passport Slim 1TB review: A sleek drive with good build quality

Western Digital has been coming out with My Passport drives for a while now. We have seen the drive getting cosmetic changes over the years. But with the My Passport Slim, WD is concentrating on making slimmer drives, which employs WD’s Slim series of internal HDDs. We had last seen the WD My Passport Ultra which didn’t impress us much. Let us see how it fares.

Build and Design
WD My Passport Slim comes in 1TB and 2TB variants
WD My Passport Slim comes in 1TB and 2TB variants
With the My Passport Slim, WD has not just gone for a slim profile, but the build quality has also improved. We move from the older plastic bodies to an aluminium enclosure. WD has stuck with simple dual-tone finish on the My Passport Slim with silver colour on top and dark blue on the rear side. It has rounded edges and is portable enough to fit into your jeans’ back pocket. It is just 12.3mm thick which puts it in the same segment as the Seagate Backup Plus Slim drive, which is 12.1mm thick on the sides.

WD My Passport Slim 1TB is 12.3mm thick, placed above the Seagate Backup Plus 1TB which is 12.1mm thick
WD My Passport Slim 1TB is 12.3mm thick, placed above the Seagate Backup Plus 1TB which is 12.1mm thick
The My Passport Slim comes in two variants – 1TB and 2TB. In the 1TB variant – code named WDBGMT0010BAL – gives 931GB of unformatted space. The drive is powered by the USB 3.0 interface. It houses a drive with a rotational speed of 5400 RPM and an 8MB cache. WD also bundles in its proprietary software along with the drive.
The WD My Passport Slim has a USB 3.0 interface
The WD My Passport Slim has a USB 3.0 interface
The bundled utilities are divided into three main segments such as WD Drive Utilities, WD Security and WD SmartWare. Under the SmartWare utility you can backup data from your system to the WD Ultra or even to Dropbox. You will need to activate the Dropbox access via the activation code which you will be prompted to enter. You will have to register your email ID and the utility will get upgraded to SmartWare Pro which is a paid utility. You can even schedule backups or have category-wise backups. WD Security allows you to password protect and encrypt your drive.The final utility named WD Drive Utilities, allows you to run diagnostic tests, set sleep timers for the drive when not in use and secure erasing of the drive.

Test Setup
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard: ASRock Z87M Extreme4
RAM: 2 x 4GB GSkill RipjawsX
OS Drive: Intel SSD, 80GB
Source Drive: Corsair Neutron GTX, 240GB SSD
PSU: Cooler Master 800W Silent Pro Gold
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

We used the native USB 3.0 ports on the ASRock Z87M Extreme4 to test the hard drive. We start off with the synthetic testing using Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 and ATTO benchmark. ATTO gave 105.94 for sequential reads and 106.52 for sequential writes. Crystal Disk Mark scores are as below.
For the real world performance test, we transferred a 10GB single RAR file and a 10GB assorted file to get real life sequential and random file transfer speeds. To simulate a file write we transferred files from the Corsair source drive to the target Seagate Backup Plus drive and vice versa to simulate a file read. After each read and write operation we restarted the system to clear out any cache. Finally we performed the intra-drive test. The results are as follows.


Intra drive

Verdict and Price in India
Western Digital has a good looking drive which performs decently as compared to its competitors. In terms of raw performance, it is slower than the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB drive, but the difference isn’t that great. The thing going for WD is the presence of its utilities which is lacking with Seagate drives. But then, the Seagate drive has social media backup, which is not there in the My Passport Slim. It all comes down to the pricing in the end.

At Rs 6,895, the WD My Passport Slim offers a cost/GB of Rs 7.4 which is higher than Seagate Backup Plus’s Rs 6.44 (based on Rs 6000 MRP). Pricing for the WD is on the higher side considering Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB comes for around Rs 5,100 now. Sure, the My Passport Slim has better build quality. It all depends on what you are looking for. If WD’s security and backup utilities are more dearer to you than the Seagate Backup Plus’s social media backup, then go for the My Passport Slim. But if you just want a regular 1TB external drive with USB 3.0 interface, there are drives which start from Rs 4,800 for the 1TB variant with both WD and Seagate.


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