WD External Drive: My Book Pro vs Studio

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by exoriare, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. exoriare macrumors member

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    London
    #1
    For a year or so I've had a 500Gb Western Digital My Book Pro external drive. This recently died and I returned it to WD under warranty. A new drive is on its way, but from the tracking I can see they're sending me the Studio model as replacement. I think this is because the My Book Pro is discontinued, but I've a feeling I may be given an inferior replacement.

    The My Book Pro has 2 FW800, 1 FW400 and a USB port, but it looks like the Studio has 2 FW800, a USB and an eSATA (which I don't think is much use to me as I have an MBP.)

    It's quite difficult to find comparison specs so I'm not sure whether there are other meaningful differences. So I'd appreciate some advice from some of you guys who know about these things. Am I getting a raw deal if I accept the Studio replacement?
     
  2. cuestakid macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Do not worry at all. You are getting the replacement for the Pro and in my personal opinion, a superb replacement at that.

    However, the only thing I will mention is that there are TWO lines of Studio Drives. One line is single disk that ranges from 320 to 1TB and the other is a 2 Disk RAID drive in 1 and 2TB configurations. The only difference between those two is that the the RAID version drops FW400 and from what you describe, that is the one that you are getting and it also looks like you are getting an increase in storage.

    I only wish I got what you are getting when they replaced my MyBook Pro. I got a Mybook Home which dropped FW800 all together and gave me instead eSATA. I actually ended up getting the 2TB RAID version recently and love it.
     
  3. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #3
    Since you can't find comparative results (which I would imagine would be virtually identical) I just wanted to suggest another way to look at it. Do you want to stick to getting back a drive that has been discontinued or one from current production which actually has more flexibility (with the addition of the eSATA port which could come in handy down the road)? The loss of the FW400 port is meaningless since a simple FW800 to FW400 cable would take care of it fine if you needed to use it on a FW400 only machine too. If anything, the newer drive is also probably tweaked in every way possible to be the faster also, since manufacturers are always trying to offer the fastest drives in their latest models.

    When I think of it that way, the choice is clear to me- I personally would be quite happy to get the Studio Edition as I consider it actually an upgrade. ;)
     
  4. exoriare thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Thanks cuestakid - that's reassuring. I realise I should have put the replacement model in my post: WDH1Q5000E. I think this is not the RAID. What puzzled me from looking at the pictures of the Studio is that there appear to be no FW400 ports, just 2 FW800s. But from what I can make out, you're supposed to use one of the FW800s and use a converter cable. So you can have either 400 or 800, but not both. Look like I'll now need to get an eSATA ExpressCard to take full advantage though.

    Thanks too sickmacdoc - good points. OK - I've decided I'm happy.
     
  5. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #5
    What is most important is the spindle speed of the drive. WD's new practice is equipping all single drives with 5400RPM HD's and only using 7200RPM drives in the dual drive models. This is why I avoid the Studio single drive line.

    Before Maxtor was bought out, I had several warranty replacements. They kept giving me refurbished models - funny how all the refurbished models kept showing drive errors and after 3 months of drive replacements and complaining my warranty reached its end and I gave up.
     
  6. exoriare thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Ah - now I've decided I'm not so happy. Do you have a source for that maestrokev? Not that I'm doubting you, but googling seems to bring up both 5400 and 7200 (though most advertised are 7200) and I can't find anything at WD itself - this seems to be the one spec they don't give. How will I know when I get it?

    Refurbs are something that hadn't occurred to me as I'd assumed it would be new. Is a refurb a problem, and again will I know if I've got one? Presumably a refurb is more likely to be 7200 than 5400.
     
  7. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #7
    Never opened mine, but you do get the FW800 to FW400 converter cable in the box. The Studio II is a much smaller case than the Pro, which I also have, so I would not be surprised if you indeed had a 5400rpm disk inside to cut noise and heat down.
     
  8. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #8
    WD MyBook Studio review

    There are a lot of fluff piece reviews out there (Macworld being one of the worst) for storage products that just list specs taken from WD and others just assumed it would still be 7200RPM so it is very confusing. I first clued in when I read this ZDNet article and then saw the slower transfer speeds over FW800 mentioned in other articles.

    The Studio line used to be billed as their high-end line since they put in FW800, but notice how something as critical as 5400 vs 7200RPM or 8/16 vs 32MB cache is not listed on the WD Studio specifications tab. LaCie also likes to make this info as ambiguous as possible on their external drives to mask their lower quality components. Actually now that I'm checking their WD external drive lineup, it looks like even their dual drive models are 5400RPM. Anytime you see the words GreenPower or IntelliPower it means they're using their 5400RPM Caviar Green internal hard drives.

    Another annoying thing WD does is list those drives as 5400-7200RPM but various reviews have uncovered that it spins at just 5400RPM as drives that can vary their spindle speed would be a lot more expensive if it was technically feasible.

    WD only has 3 lines for internal hard drives: Green, Blue and Black. Notice how prominently the 7200RPM speed is displayed for the Blue and Black line.

    How will you know when you receive the replacement? Short of opening the case and reading the drive model# off the hard drive you'll notice if you compare FW800 transfer speeds. Throughput for FW800 hard drives using 5400RPM are in a different class than 7200RPM hard drives. Don't worry about it if you're not copying huge files or processing video frequently.

    Refurb may or may not be a problem, just have to see whether they give you a good one or not.
     

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  9. exoriare thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Hey that's not so good is it? But I guess I'm going to have to live with it since I don't really have anything to bargain with. The Studio seems to be the top of the range for 500Gb drives, so what else could I realistically ask them for? Maybe it'll be worth a phone call to see what story they give. But at least the review says that it's sexy and that's what you want with an external drive of course!:rolleyes:
     
  10. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #10
    You'll be fine, just keep in mind when time comes to choose another external hard drive. Building your own is easy with OWC enclosures - sometimes you just want control over what goes inside and ease of future upgrade.
     
  11. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    #11
    I have the Studio and it is excellent. Much quieter than its predecessors...
     
  12. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #12
    Yep, that's an advantage of 5400RPM drives, they are quieter and use less power.
     
  13. exoriare thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Well the drive finally arrived, and yes, it works, and it's quiet and it's sexy and all that, but I think what irritates me is that if I'd wanted a 5400 drive with these ports then I'd have bought it at the time - but I bought a 7200 My Book Pro. The fact that WD has not only replaced my Pro with a Studio but is also keeping quiet about the general downgrading is pretty annoying. I thought technology was supposed to advance, not go backwards. But hey - in the scale of things.... Though I'll certainly bear this in mind next time round. WD: you may just have lost yourself a customer.

    Thanks for the advice you guys.
     
  14. Greenjeens macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2005
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    #14
    Maybe I was too quick to drink the Kool-aide, but thought the 5400 RPM solution, as implemented by WD, was compelling.
    Claiming that the drive density of the 5400 RPM drives has been increased so that the throughput at 5400 RPM is greater than similar 7200 RPM drives. At 5400 RPM there's much less heat and noise as well as no auxillery fan noise and battery drain, especially in laptops. Soon, legacy mechanical drives with an internal "spinning wheel" will be directly compared to new cool and ultra quiet, solid state drives.

    I chose faster WD "Black" 7,200RPM 1TB drives, for back ups and a 10K RPM Velociraptor.
     

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