WD My Book Essential USB3.0 3TB Review

By on August 13, 2011
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External data storage at its most efficient.

Good: Very fast; Quiet operations due to fanless design; Large 3TB capacity is good value for money
Bad: Not recommended for anything other than storage & backup as it's running at 5400rpm
Price: AED 1000
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The Western Digital My Book series of external hard drives have been a part of our daily lives since a good part of the last decade. The WD My Book hard drives are the household standard for data storage and backup, easily available in every high street retailer and for a very reasonable price as well. So today, I’ll be looking at the next generation of My Book external hard drive, the USB 3.0 equipped, 3TB My Book Essential.

As usual, the design of the My Book Essential is a love or hate affair, with my personal opinion skewing towards the former given the hard drive’s simple, and rather elegant design. That, and the fact that when stacked together, the My Book Essentials give a very neat appearance. Although, given the 3TB capacity of our test unit, I can’t see anybody stacking this HDD, at least not for another good year.

The completely fanless design of the My Book Essential means that it’s running at a cool 5400RPM, which for an external storage/ backup HDD is a completely acceptable speed. We won’t be running games off of this oil tanker of a HDD. That said, it’s always interesting to test a HDD to see how fast it really is. However, you will hear the occasional read/write heads clicking loudly every once in a while as it starts to write large data.

For our benchmarks, I have used CrystalDiskMark to get the sequential read and write speeds, and HD Tach for the Burst speeds. To compare the My Book Essential USB 3.0 3TB, I have used one of its main competitor, the Buffalo DriveStation Axis USB 3.0 1TB  external HDD (which understandably costs AED 380). Furthermore to give an idea of the performance extremes, I have also added the numbers of the Kingston HyperMAX 3.0 128GB USB3.0 SSD (which costs AED 1,289) and the TwinMOS A3 USB3.0 8GB flash stick (which costs AED 75).

As you can see, the My Book Essential USB3.0 3TB is one hell of a performer, which is great given its major use of data storage and backup. The huge sequential read and write speeds are extremely impressive because this means you can transfer large amounts of data files to and from the My Book Essential to your PC.

The high burst speeds will ensure that regular backups of small files using the included WD SmartWareSoftware are promptly stored to the My Book Essential, ensuring a smooth experience in daily usage.

The Western Digital My Book Essential USB3.0 3TB external HDD is a step in the right direction, with WD providing a very fast, quiet and relatively cool HDD in a smart looking external enclosure. For the price, there’s nothing in the market that provides this much value for money when storage capacity and overall speed is concerned.


From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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