WD My Passport vs "For Mac" version - is the Mac version necessary?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ryanstewart, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. ryanstewart macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    Hey everybody!

    So, I'd like to get this very popular drive:

    http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Port...1355714611&sr=1-1&keywords=wd+my+passport+2tb

    But technically these are for Windows, and they make a Mac version here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Port...1355714611&sr=1-3&keywords=wd+my+passport+2tb

    I'd rather get the black version, and I read some of the reviews stating that you can just reformat the Windows version and it will work fine for Mac. While I'm sure I could get it to mount, would there be any possible performance issues by doing this? In other words, is there any reason to buy the Mac version, or are they identical, but just come formatted differently?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #2
    I'm not familiar with that particular model but with Seagate, I always just reformat for Mac (I don't like their software and just want a fresh disk). I think you can do that for any HD.
     
  3. SixSidedStudio macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2010
    Location:
    Palm Beach Gardens Florida
    #3
    I just bought and reformatted the "PC" version a few days ago. No issues whatsoever once you reformat for Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

    I found this at the bottom of the Amazon link you posted:

    Compatibility
    Formatted NTFS for Windows® XP, Windows Vista,® or Windows 7
    Requires reformatting for Mac OS® X Leopard® or Snow Leopard™, or Lion
     
  4. mankar4 macrumors 6502a

    mankar4

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    USA
  5. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

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    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Have two of those drives. Great so far. One formatted for moving things between Mac and Work PC. Have one partitioned for home use and time machine back up. Both have worked great. The amazon basics case also works well. Have that for each also.
     
  6. Sparxxx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    #6
    I kinda have the same issue.
    I`m looking for an external HDD that should work on both my PC and my MBA.
    The HDD has to be formated in NTFS...
    I understood there are some applications you can buy in order to read/write NTFS on OSX.
    Any details/suggestions?
    thanks!
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #7
    Here is the OS X software you need for NTFS.

    You could also format the external in exFAT and that can be read/write natively in OS X and Windows. You will see that format option in Disk Utility.
     
  8. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #8
    Do you have a 2012 Mac with USB3?

    If not, and you have a Firewire 800 port, then you'll get better performance with a Firewire drive rather than USB.

    E.g. http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=420

    ...however, Firewire is on the way out and you might not find one at the physical size and capacity you want, and will probably pay a bit of a premium. Plus, if you have an Air or a vanilla MacBook its USB or nothing.

    I've had one of these in the past:

    http://www.verbatim.com/prod/hard-drives/portable/store-n-go-firewire-800-usb-30-for-mac/

    ...which was great because it fas FW800 [i[and[/i] USB3, but it was a bit overpriced and I don't think they do them bigger than 500GB.
     
  9. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #9
    The drives on the Studio version are removable (unlike USB-only ones where WD likes to use that one-piece design).

    This makes going with the 2TB version a pretty future-proof option - a person could always migrate that drive to a USB 3 or Thunderbolt enclosure in the future...
     
  10. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    ^^^^^
    That's probably only because of a different case - WD don't make them self serviceable etc.
    Only difference between the two, beside the difference in case, is that the drive is formatted for each particular platform. Just get the cheaper one and reformat when you have it!
     
  11. ryanstewart thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 23, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    Thanks for all the advice. I'm only using this drive for extra storage/backups, so speed isn't really the focus, but I definitely want a USB 3.0 drive. I'm mostly concerned with reliability, and I'm really drawn to the My Passport series because of the WD Nomad case they make:

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=600

    I'm a very big fan of excessive protection when it comes to HDDs, so I'd plan on leaving in that case essentially all the time.

    The other option I'm considering is going with the 1TB LaCie Rugged Mini (3.0). I'm planning on getting the Rugged 3.0/Thunderbolt SSD as a speed drive, and it would be nice to 2 Rugged's, as I really like those drives...they essentially have cases built in. But that would mean I lose a whole terabyte of storage from the WD My Passport.

    Anyone have any experience with the WD My Passport vs. LaCie Rugged Mini? I'd assume the LaCie has a bit of an advantage in terms of performance.
     
  12. lightz39 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #12
    It seems the only difference is the fact that its sliver and comes preformatted for mac. I JUST(like yesterday) bought the black 2TB windows one. I wish I would have got the silver one. They didn't have it at the store though.
     
  13. hamkor04 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #13
    I got WD Passport Essential usb 3.0 1TB, got 2 partitions 1 for TM one for Data (not Journalled format), using it almost 2 years now, there is no probs or any performance issues
     
  14. leon314 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    #14
    There's an important difference between these WD drives apart from formatting and colour, which theluggage alluded to - My Passport for Mac works with USB 2 and 3; My Passport Studio works with FireWire 800 and USB 2.

    So if you want to use USB 3 you need the silver Mac version.
     
  15. ryanstewart thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 23, 2011
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    Yes, this is true. But I was actually comparing the WD My Passport vs. My Passport for Mac, not the Studio.
     
  16. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #16
    I got this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236187 and it partitioned and formatted just fine for the Mac for use with Time Machine.

    The "for Mac" designation looks to be a money grab as they anticipate many people won't know it's the same device just formatted differently.

    Interesting, if you use the Product Selector on www.wdc.com and select Mac and PC in the compatibility list it returns NO RESULTS. The WDC site has no ability to directly compare the devices.

    Sadly, Newegg's comparison tool seems to choke on comparing the standard drive and the "For Mac" drive. I think you'll find the devices identical with the exception of the formatting. This is the comparison I'm trying to make
     
  17. lightz39 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #17
    Something else I just thought of... Maybe the "for mac" thing means their software that comes with it works for mac. I don't use it anyway but just a thought.
     
  18. ryanstewart thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 23, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    Hey, does anyone know the cache/buffer size for the 2TB My Passport for Mac HDD? I can't seem to find that anywhere. I also notice that they never really say the RPM speed either, though I'm sure it's 5400 RPM. It's really frustrating how they tend to not list any tech specs that aren't flattering...
     
  19. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    Dec 30, 2009
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    DFW, TX
    #19
    The actual HDD are the same, they are just formatted differently. A lot of external drives actually come formatted FAT32 by default so that there is not a problem with it being "picked up" by Windows or OS X.

    Even in NTFS OS X can read it but it can't write to it without a 3rd party software.

    Whether you buy a "for Mac" drive or one not marked for Mac, OS X will still initially see the drive then you can open Disk Utility and format the drive to HFS then be able to read and write.

    Or like mentioned before you can install 3rd party software and format the drive to NTFS is you would be using this drive in between OS X and Windows machines.
     
  20. HishamAkhtar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    #20
    So conclusion, it doesn't matter which one you buy? I'm looking at Boxing Day sales and the one's "for Mac" tend to be more expensive than the regular "Windows" WD Passports.
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #21
    Exactly. Just buy whatever size you want and format in Disk Utility. Any drive will work.
     
  22. HishamAkhtar macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 22, 2011
    #22
    Thanks!
     
  23. ryanstewart thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #23
    Ya, I ended up going with the WD My Passport for Mac, because the price on Amazon was the same, and I like the silver look. But any of them should work for both Mac and Windows if you format them correctly, assuming your machine has the necessary ports.
     
  24. iHailCarlo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    #24
    I got the WD My Passport today as a gift, and it works great right out of the box. It already backed up and saved my computer and is set up with time machine.
     
  25. Towhead macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    #25
    But does it work with your Mac USB 3 port at USB 3 speeds?
     

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