1.5TB drives - Seagate FreeAgent vs. WD My Book Essential


macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 22, 2003
I need advice on selecting an external drive. I'll use it primarily as a backup for the files on my iMac, but I may occasionally edit some video that's stored on it. I'll reformat it to Mac-only and have no use for any backup software that comes installed on it.

I've purchased two drives, and I'm trying to decide between the two.

Both are 1.5TB drives. Both are USB 2.0.

Seagate FreeAgent Desk - ST315005FDA2E1-RK
Western Digital My Book Essential - WDBAAF0015HBK-NESN

It's hard to find accurate specs on them. I THINK the Seagate is 7200 RPM with a 32MB cache, and I can't find any numbers for Western Digital.

Any/all advice on choosing between the two is welcomed.



macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2009
Last week I purchased the Seagate for $129 and have been populating it with music and video pretty much non-stop ever since. This is only the second external hard drive I've ever owned (the first was a WD 300 gb back in 2003), and it's clear to see that vast improvements have been made between the two.

The Seagate:
*Is reasonably priced
*Is very quiet (virtually no noise at all)
*Offers a power-saving auto-shutdown feature for when it goes idle
*Has very quick transfer speeds (transfers a 5-6gb dvd rip from the MBP to it in about 20 sec)

I haven't owned this for very long, nor have I owned the other one you're considering, but I am quite pleased thus far with my Seagate.



macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
It doesnt matter, keep whichever one you want.

USB 2 is the bottle neck, not the drive. Even a 10,000 RPM can only push data so fast over the USB 2 connection.

You wouldnt notice a difference between the two.


macrumors member
Mar 31, 2010
I've had a 1TB Mybook Essentials for about 2 years. I actually first bought one that failed after about 2 weeks after just sitting on my desk and hardly being moved or even used all that much, kinda weird, but luckily I bought it locally at Costco and just took it back and got it replaced and the replacement has been running extremely well. I just bought a 1TB My Passport (the portable one) and it's been really nice. I've got it partitioned as Mac OS Journaled, FAT32 and WBFS (for the Wii games). I have stuck with WD because they've worked for me but I'm sure Seagate is just as good.


macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2007
I have had a number of WD and Seagate externals and portables, and from what I've seen Seagate does better with the portable, WD better with the desktop.


macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 22, 2003
Thanks for the advice.

I think I'm going to go home and open up the Seagate tonight.