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Western Digital My Passport 1TB Portable HDD Review

By Christopher Bowman on April 04, 2019 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

Western Digital My Passport 1TB Portable HDD Review

People talk about SSDs as all the rage, but we forget about their older brother the HDD. Well, Western Digital hasn’t forgotten. If you’re running a console in need of extra storage or want a portable game drive to take with you on the go, this drive might be on your wishlist. But should it be? Join us as we find out! This is our review of the WD My Passport Portable Hard Drive.


Specifications

  • Model: My Passport 1 TB (also in 2TB, 3TB, 4TB) – $59.99 USD
  • Color: Black (also in Blue, Red, Orange, Yellow, and White)
  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10 operating systems
  • Interface: USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 Compatible
  • Additional Details:
    • Auto Backup with included WD Backup software
    • Password Protection with hardware encryption
    • 3-year limited warranty
    • Ready to use out of the box

Western Digital has been a big name in the world of computer storage and continues to be today. For this review, we decided to go a different route and focus on console gamers. If you have an OG PS4 or Xbox, then you already know about the constant need for more storage. If you are like me, with multiple consoles, you like to play games without having to delete them just to make space when a new one comes out. Of course, this means more time downloading and installing again down the road if you choose to play them again. Not anymore. External hard drives have been a thing for a while, but they have greater storage sizes for a lesser cost now. I used the My Passport drive for my PlayStation 4 and my Xbox One X, and the results were good.

For PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X, having the extra 1TB is clutch, considering the size of the console’s drives out of the store. The Xbox One X comes with a 1TB internal drive while the PlayStation 4 slim model also has 1TB. When attached to a console you will need to run a quick drive format and then begin loading your games onto the drive. For the PlayStation side of things, it seemed to take a little bit of time to transfer the game files from internal to external drives, while the Xbox still took some time to transfer, it was ultimately quicker of the two. The speed of the games didn’t seem to vary from system, however. Black Ops 4 loaded identically, for example, between the two.

Our normal tests also went fairly well for an external HDD. Using Skyrim as a baseline for speed tests, we began by transferring a full game folder from an internal drive to the external and back again. As you can see, the minimum speed we saw was 35 MB/s and at its peak we saw 235 MB/s with an average overall transfer speed of 135MB/s. Compared to the Seagate 7200 RPM drive we see much-improved transfer speeds over an internal HDD. This is a win.

When I went in and attempted to load games from a fresh install there was a little snag, however. The load times in major areas of four games saw increased loading in times. World of Warcraft was the only one I loaded to come in under 30 seconds, while Lord of the Rings Online loaded in just under a minute. The other two games took a little longer than a minute to boot up in city areas. While this isn’t horrible, it isn’t good compared to other game load times.

In our ATTO benchmark, the read and write peaked at 121.95 and 120.24 respectively. When comparing with the same Seagate 7200 RPM again, we see that this is a little bit of a drop off in scoring. For the most part, when we put these two drives side by side, there are similarities and there are differences in scores as normal. The newer external HDD is better in certain areas while the older internal HDD is still better in others. When it comes to storage size for the price you can’t go wrong with a 1TB external drive, and the ability to disconnect it from your console and take it with you to play your games on someone else’s console is crucial.

Conclusion

When you go looking for an external drive to use for gaming there are a few different options, but the WD My Passport is definitely worth the money for the storage space you receive. It is quick to install and format from one system to another, and it gives you the ability to take your saved games from one console to a friend's for easier game playing without new installs. This drive is now a permanent part of my PlayStation 4 system and has doubled my storage space for gaming with friends or family.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Transferable from system to system
  • Great storage size options

Cons

  • Still slow in certain situations

The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.