Western Digital announce My Passport Pro Thunderbolt Raid storage

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Western Digital have just announced a new portable storage solution for photographers and digital content creators! The My Passport® Pro Thunderbolt Raid, the first portable, Thunderbolt™-powered dual-drive solution, comes in a 2 or 4TB  flavour and has the cable built into the drive as you can see in the photographs below.

My Passport Pro_thunder2_HigRes

Here’s the official press release;

SYDNEY, Australia, – Mar. 28, 2014 – WD®, a Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) company, and world leader in storage solutions for the connected life, today introduced My Passport® Pro, the first portable, Thunderbolt™-powered dual-drive solution, providing creative professionals and enthusiasts high performance and capacity in a truly mobile solution. For Mac systems, My Passport Pro has user-selectable RAID functionality to deliver needed performance for the most demanding applications in the field, without the need for power adapters or extra cables. My Passport Pro is available in 2 TB and 4 TB capacities.

“The only Thunderbolt dual-drive solution that’s bus-powered, WD’s My Passport Pro enhances the workflow of mobile creative professionals by providing fast transfers and data protection for the large amounts of digital content they generate outside the studio,” said Jim Welsh, executive vice president of branded products and worldwide sales, WD. “From photographers, videographers and musicians to graphic designers and architects, people who depend on portable storage for their livelihood will find My Passport Pro defines a new level of performance, reliability and especially portability.”

“Thunderbolt™ technology makes new approaches possible for high-performance workflows,” said Jason Ziller, Intel’s Director of Thunderbolt Marketing. “By combining dual storage drives on a portable, bus-powered device, the My Passport Pro from WD is a uniquely powerful storage solution with high capacity for today’s demanding users.”
Directly powered via the integrated Thunderbolt cable — a design unique to WD — performance of My Passport Pro clocks in at speeds up to 233 MB/s, providing super-fast transfer, edit and backup capabilities. Another key feature of the dual-drive My Passport Pro is its user-selectable RAID function, which lets users choose data striping (RAID 0) for high performance or mirroring (RAID 1) for data redundancy, depending on the user’s needs. Superior to both FireWire 800 and USB 3.0, the integrated Thunderbolt technology of My Passport Pro makes video manipulation quick and easy—with the ability to copy a 22 GB high-definition video file in half the time typically required by a USB 3.0 drive working in RAID 0 format.

Consisting of two 2.5-inch hard drives housed in a sleek aluminium enclosure, My Passport Pro is thoroughly shock-tested for extra durability to perform reliably when working on the go.

simon_pollock_wd_my_passport_pro_intro

Here’s what I think;

I’ve had the “My Passport Pro” for a few days now and this is by no means enough time to fully get used to working with a new device, but having worked with storage of all different kinds for so long, it’s enough to get a good feeling about something. Now I just want something to fulfill a certain storage need that I have, so I was very impressed when the WD team pulled out this little beast and handed it to me over a nice chicken schnitzel sandwich (yes, really). The build is solid with little rubber feet to keep it steady, and a fan that’s built in to keep the temperature within its working range. The fan doesn’t come on much – I’ve had the drive sitting running for a couple of days, and even under a lot of load it hasn’t activated – nice and quiet.

I have it configured to speedy Raid 0 for now, checking out the performance of the drive. The 2TB version is going to be more than enough for almost any shoot, even when setup in Raid 1 (mirrored) giving you just under 1TB of useable space. The real test of this device will be in a couple of months when I take it to Israel for a week long photo tour with Kinetis (and our very own dPS writer Oded Wagenstein) and will be writing about the drive and how it performs along the way!

gtvone_wd_my_passport_pro

The My Passport® Pro has filled a gap in my workflow and has filled it nicely – time will tell in terms of drive stability and build quality, nothing beats three copies of important content, but a mirrored raid disk in the field is a great start.

You can buy one of these little beauties on Amazon:

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Sime (aka #gtvone) is the customer support manager for dPS, and lead blogger in our Cameras and Gear Blog. He's a Melbourne based photographer, www.gtvone.com and please feel free to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • Guido

    “copy a 22 GB high-definition video file in half the time typically required by a USB 3.0 drive working in RAID 0 format.”

    This would only be true if it housed super fast SSD drives. A USB3.0 SSD can happily copy 400MB/s – double of what this Thunderbolt drive pair can do. The above statement is misleading. Thunderbolt only starts beating USB if you’re housing dual SSDs (which can approach speeds of 8-900MB/s in RAID0).

    Is it possible to replace the HHDs with SSDs?

  • WD made…. a thunderbolt hard drive… and then used standard disks inside? Seriously? What a waste of time. Came here looking for something that was ACTUALLY thunderbolt – not a regular ol’ hard drive with a thunderbolt cord.

    I’ll be back when this is capable of even 20% of actual Thunderbolt performance.

  • adimauro

    Yeah, agree with the others about no SSDs. But, I’m assuming they didn’t go with SSDs to provide more storage and lower price. Still, I’ll stick with my ToughTech Duo with dual 256GB SSDs and RAID 1. It’s super fast to work with. A little more expensive, but, honestly, the extra storage isn’t even necessary since everything gets archived after processing, anyway. I’d rather have the extra speed for working in Lightroom/Photoshop.

  • Arian Rassoul

    a second TB port for daisy chaining would have been great though

  • Primus Singleton III

    Not familiar with the new model reviewed here, but i have a My Passport for Mac and it works superbly. Also, Western Digital has EXCELLENT customer service. They took excellent care of my situation, in the pass. I’d always buy their product.

  • saewba

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