Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo Review

The Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo (8TB) is retailing for S$1,199 which is pretty expensive for a external hard drive.

It comes with dual Thunderbolt ports that allows you to daisy-chain up to six My Book Thunderbolt Duo drives (48 TB using six Thunderbolt Duo 8 TB drives) or other devices such as monitors, media players, and video / audio editors.

Thunderbolt offers a theoretical speed of 10Gbps as compared to 5Gbps on the USB 3.0.

The My Book Thunderbolt Duo comes in 3 sizes, 4TB (S$749), 6TB (S$899) and 8TB (S$1,199). The one I gotten for this review is the 8TB model. It measures 165mm x 157mm x 99mm (Height X Depth x Width) and weighs 2.3kg.

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo - Box Front
Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo – Box Front

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo - Box Back
Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo – Box Back

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo - Box Contents
Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo – Box Contents

One Thunderbolt cable is included with the package.

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo - Font View
Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo – Font View

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo - Back View
Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo – Back View

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo
Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo - Besides My iMac (Late 2012)
Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo – Besides My iMac (Late 2012)

User Replaceable Harddrives
One of the nice features that I like about the My Book Thunderbolt Duo is that the harddrives are user replaceable. You do not even need a screw driver to remove the harddrives as shown in the series of pictures below.

User Replaceable Harddrives - Step 1: Push To Open The Cover
User Replaceable Harddrives – Step 1: Push To Open The Cover

User Replaceable Harddrives - Step 2: Unscrew The Ring Screw
User Replaceable Harddrives – Step 2: Unscrew The Ring Screw

User Replaceable Harddrives - Step 3: Pull Out The Black Flap
User Replaceable Harddrives – Step 3: Pull Out The Black Flap

User Replaceable Harddrives - Step 4: Remove The HDD
User Replaceable Harddrives – Step 4: Remove The HDD

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo - HDD Removed
Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo – HDD Removed

I know that Western Digital owns Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, but I am still wondering why they do not use their own HDD, like WD Black or WD Blue in the My Book Thunderbolt Duo.

Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo - Hitachi HDD
Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo – Hitachi HDD

Performance
My 27″ iMac (Late 2012) is on a 3TB fusion drive and it gets about 249MB/s on write and 276MB/s on read.

My 13″ MacBook Air (Mid 2011) on a 256GB SSD gets about 247MB/s on both read and write.

My Book Thunderbolt Duo on RAID 0 gets about 231MB/s on write and 227MB/s on read, and on RAID 1, it gets halved to 123MB/s on both read and write.

iMac 3TB Fusion Drive Disk Speed Test
iMac 3TB Fusion Drive Disk Speed Test

MacBook Air 256GB SSD Disk Speed Test
MacBook Air 256GB SSD Disk Speed Test

My Book Thunderbolt Duo RAID 0 Disk Speed Test
My Book Thunderbolt Duo RAID 0 Disk Speed Test

My Book Thunderbolt Duo RAID 1 Disk Speed Test
My Book Thunderbolt Duo RAID 1 Disk Speed Test

WD Drive Utilities
You can download the WD Drive Utilities (the .dmg is also included in My Book Thunderbolt Duo) to manage your My Book Thunderbolt Duo.

It allows you to check your My Book Thunderbolt Duo’s drive status, wipe your drive, perform diagnostics and change your drive RAID type. By default out of the box is is RAID 0 (Stripe).

WD Driver Utilities - Drive Status
WD Driver Utilities – Drive Status

WD Driver Utilities - Change To RAID 1
WD Driver Utilities – Change To RAID 1

WD Disk Utilities - Drive Erase
WD Disk Utilities – Drive Erase

WD Driver Utilities - Diagnostics
WD Driver Utilities – Diagnostics

Summary
The My Book Thunderbolt Duo is a review unit that I have to return, I wish they let me keep it because I can see myself using it. It sits nicely besides my iMac and compliments the design of it. Using Thunderbolt, it is faster than USB 3 and does not waste one USB port.

My Book Thunderbolt Duo - Compliments iMac Design
My Book Thunderbolt Duo – Compliments iMac Design

I am currently using it for my iMac Time Machine (TM) backup till the day I have to return it.

One interesting feature is once you shutdown your iMac the My Book Thunderbolt Duo will automatically be switched off!

Time Machine
Time Machine

Pros:

  • Fast read/write speed (230Mb/s)
  • Nice design which compliments your iMac or MacBook Pro/Air

Cons:

  • Expensive

PS: Western Digital has decided to let me keep the My Book Thunderbolt Duo! Thank you so much Western Digital!

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