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WD: New Thunderbolt desktop hard drive is faster than SSD

August 30, 2012 05:49 AM ET

By comparison, he said, transferring a 5GB SD movie using USB 2.0 (480Mbps) would take 120 seconds; with USB 3.0 (5Gbps) it would take 58 seconds; and using Thunderbolt with a single drive, it would take 58 seconds.

"To take advantage of Thunderbolt's bandwidth, you need to use two drives or daisy chain these drives together," San Jose said.

The VelociRaptor Duo comes with two 1TB drives. The internal drives can be configured as RAID 0 for performance or RAID 1 for data protection. A JBOD option allows users to connect it for running Windows OS on a MAC.

The 2TB dual-drive desktop system is being pitched by WD as ideal for editing high resolution video, 3D rendering, graphic design and other demanding digital media applications. "Photographers, graphic designers and post-production professionals can conduct several high-intensity tasks such as video editing [and] 3D rendering, while completing other graphics-intensive projects," WD said in a statement.

The VelociRaptor Duo comes pre-configured for Apple's Time Machine backup feature -- the HFS + Journaled format for Mac. Users can reformat the drive for a Windows-friendly File Allocation Table (FAT).

The drives can also be easily changed out with the push of a release button.

My Passport for Mac portable drive

The other drive WD announced today is the upgraded My Passport for Mac, a backup drive that's also pre-configured for use by Time Machine and it comes in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities.

Previous iterations of the My Passport for Mac drive had a maximum capacity of 1TB and used the USB 2.0 port specification. The new version uses USB 3.0 offers a 10-fold improvement in bandwidth over USB 2.0, according to the USB specification.

My Passport
WD's My Passport for Mac portable hard drive

In reality, with overhead included, the USB 3.0 port can reduce data transfer time by up to three times when compared to USB 2.0 transfer rates, WD said.

Just as with its predecessor, the My Passport for Mac comes with WD's security utility, which can be used to set password protection and hardware encryption and protect files from unauthorized use or access.

WD is pitching the My Passport for Mac as their highest-capacity portable hard drive. The drive is 3.24 inches wide, 4.26 inches long and 0.82 of an inch thick.

My Passport for Mac drives have a suggested retail price of $99.99 for the 500GB model, $129.99 for the 1TB model and $199.99 for the 2TB drive.

Both the My Passport for Mac and the My Book VelociRaptor Due come with three-year warranties.

covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at Twitter @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed Mearian RSS. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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