3TB Caviar Green teased in new WD external drive

Some three months after Seagate uncorked its first 3TB external hard drive, Western Digital has joined the party. The new My Book Essential packs one, two, or three terabytes into a monolithic black enclosure. At the rear, you’ll find USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, giving this drive native SuperSpeed connectivity. If you want to connect Seagate’s equivalent 3TB offering via USB 3.0, you’ll need a separate adapter that costs $40.

Buried deep in the official press release is the revelation that the My Book Essential uses a single Caviar Green hard drive to reach the 3TB mark. No further details are provided, but a component version of the drive will be "available in distribution shortly." Like its forebears, the 3TB Green likely has a spindle speed in the 5,400-RPM range.

We don’t yet know how much the 3TB Caviar Green will cost, but when wrapped in My Book garb, it’s going to set you back $250. That’s the same suggested retail price as Seagate’s 3TB external drive, which has since dropped to $200 online. Factor in the cost of the USB 3.0 adapter, which you’ll want if you’re going to be moving gobs of data, and you’re looking at pretty much the same price for both drives.

Comments closed
    • ManAtVista
    • 9 years ago

    Reply to #7, Yea, these are for mass storage + low power. I have ripped my blu-ray library to a 2TB WD GP drive without additional compression (just remuxed to .mkv) and all of the movies play fine. This kind of scenario and similar things is what these drives are for, if you want a fast boot + game drive, get an SSD and use one of these as your media storage.

    • Kent_dieGo
    • 9 years ago

    When the day comes where I can can boot from a 3 GB partition I will get one of these. I am sure motherboards and Windows will have this capability soon.

      • ManAtVista
      • 9 years ago

      They already do. Get an EFI motherboard (MSI makes some, I think intel does, as do others) and get x64 version of Windows, which has supported this since Vista was launched in 2006/2007.

        • UberGerbil
        • 9 years ago

        Actually, EFI boot support wasn’t in Vista at launch; it was added in SP1 (coincident with Server 2008 launch) late 2007 / early 2008.

          • ManAtVista
          • 9 years ago

          Oh, thanks for the correction. I plan to go UEFI on my next computer (sandy bridge x68) but haven’t had the chance to experiment with it yet.

    • allston232
    • 9 years ago

    Why can’t they create a USB standard that has enough power to self-power the 3.5″ external HDD? I hate power cables. I love the 2.5″ enclosure for this reason (and that it’s smaller).

    • Ihmemies
    • 9 years ago

    OK cool, when I can buy one internal drive for my computer?

    • Ethyriel
    • 9 years ago

    They didn’t mention advanced format in the press release. I wonder if it really only uses 512B sectors.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 9 years ago

    Yay, another low performance “green” product, I’m so enthused. Not.

      • Deanjo
      • 9 years ago

      Green drives are aimed more at storage capacity for such things as media storage, backup storage, etc and are perfectly suited for those tasks. Low access times, spindle speed and throughput are not big factors for those applications.

        • Ihmemies
        • 9 years ago

        Yes. Green drives are fast enough for 2160p video.. you don’t really need any faster drives for media storage, for now.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 9 years ago

      My WD green is perfectly fine for playing .avi’s, mp3’s and downloading files and torrents to. I want it to be low power and couldn’t care about performance. That’s why I also have a WD black that I install my games on.

      • swaaye
      • 9 years ago

      A modern WD green drive can dust a peak performance 7200 RPM from a few years ago. My WD 1TB and 2TB greens can push around 80MB/s sequentially, I believe, which is definitely good enough for any video I know of!

      I saw the 2TB drives going for $100 a few weeks ago. 2TB for $100! ๐Ÿ˜€ I can’t help but recall $500 500MB drives….

    • Spotpuff
    • 9 years ago

    Damn it I just bought my 3rd 2tb… need to get some raid 5 going.

    Or wait for humongous SSDs.

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    i’d like to see some raidable 2TB’s please!

      • Deanjo
      • 9 years ago

      Get a Mac then, they have supported such setups since 2006.

        • ManAtVista
        • 9 years ago

        1. You don’t tell someone who wants ice cream to go to Italy “because they have ice cream in Italy.”
        2. There have been PC mother boards that support EFI, and Windows has supported EFI (x64 versions) for years now as well.

    • Lianna
    • 9 years ago

    …which of itself is pretty big (and nice with USB 3.0), SE 1TB for me.

      • Lianna
      • 9 years ago

      …meant as a reply to myself. Don’t talk to myself, don’t talk to myself… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Frith
    • 9 years ago

    Since WD don’t make five platter drives this must be four 750GB platters so it will run cooler than the Seagate, making it rather more desirable. I think I’ll get one of these, break it out of the external enclosure and use it as an internal drive. (Edit: just re-read the article and noticed the “component version of the drive will be ‘available in distribution shortly'” so I assume that means they’ll be selling an internal version?)

    Out of interest, what exactly is the limitation with partition above 2TB? Is it that you can’t create a boot partition above 2TB or that you can’t have any partition above 2TB?

      • wira020
      • 9 years ago

      I thought even the BIOS wont see it.. thus the need for UEFI..??

        • Ethyriel
        • 9 years ago

        Does the BIOS even care about partitions if the bootloader is on the MBR?

      • Krogoth
      • 9 years ago

      Partitions that are greater than 2TiB need to be formatted into GPT. The problem is that BIOS cannot boot partitions that use GPT format. Only EFI-equipped systems can do it.

      FYI, 2TiB (2 * 2^40) = 2.20TB (2.20 * 10^12)

      The BIOS should be able to read it though. The HDD limit for 48bit LBA is 128 PiB(128 * 2^50) or 144.1PB ( 144.1 * 10^15). We aren’t going to see partitions with that size that in a long time if ever.

      The easy workaround to the 2TiB problem is just make your boot partition >2TiB and use whatever remainder as a separate partition. It is not too different from what was done with the FAT16 limit back years ago.

    • Lianna
    • 9 years ago

    That’s My Book Essential. My Passport Essential SE maxes out at 1TB and non-SE at 500GB since they are 2.5″.

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