Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive
Western Digital's latest external hard drive offers a massive 4TB of storage
- 4TB of storage, fast, cool and quiet operation
- Hard drives are difficult to extract, software can be cumbersome to use
Western Digital's latest external hard drive provides extensive storage capacity and delivered good results in our speed tests.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
Western Digital has increased the capacity of its My Book Studio Edition II external hard drive to 4TB. Designed to be used with both Macs and PCs, it lets you choose from plenty of different connections and it can be configured for speed or data redundancy.
Coated in a silver finish, the My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) has the same sleek, book-like enclosure that will be familiar to users of any of Western Digital's My Book range of external hard drives. The rounded LED on the front of the enclosure doubles as a capacity and operation indicator. At the back there are two FireWire 800 ports, as well as an eSATA port and a mini-USB 2.0 port. The retail package comes with a FireWire 800 cable, a FireWire 800 to FireWire 400 adapter and a mini-USB to USB cable; an eSATA cable is unfortunately omitted.
The WD My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive employs two 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration, which improves read and write speeds. The internal hard drives are cool and quiet, so the My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) itself is silent during operation. The enclosure is passively cooled through perforations along the top and back of the casing and rarely gets warm.
Out of the box the My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive is formatted with the HFS file system, so it can be used with Mac computers; Windows users will have to format it to NTFS or use an application like MacDrive to get it working. The My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) is Time Machine–friendly, so it's dead easy to set up automatic backups for your Mac computer through Mac OS X.
For PC users, Western Digital has provided its Anywhere Backup and Memeo AutoSync applications to automatically back up and sync information and folders. A Mac version of Anywhere Backup is available but it isn't as useful or intuitive to use as Time Machine.
There is also a 30-day, PC-only trial for MioNet, Western Digital's remote access interface for its hard drives.
Using Western Digital's Drive Manager on either a PC or a Mac you can alter the drive configuration to a RAID 1 array, which decreases overall performance and halves capacity but provides increased data security; data is mirrored on the MyBook's two drives.
Should one of the internal hard drives fail, replacing it is fairly simple. The case's top opens and after unscrewing the metal bracket you can use plastic handles to extract the hard drives. The My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive will support any Western Digital internal hard drive; other brands aren't compatible.
We tested the external hard drive by transferring data between it and a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor. Over eSATA, the external hard drive wrote 20GB worth of 3-4GB files at a rate of 77.3 megabytes per second (MBps), read them at 89.4MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write operation at 41.9MBps. It wrote 3GB of 1MB files at 51.7MBps, read them at 54.5MBps, and performed a simultaneous copy transfer operation at 41MBps. FireWire 800 speeds were much the same, though the 3GB small file test was marginally faster.
USB 2.0 speeds were understandably much slower: the My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) external hard drive wrote 20GB of large files at 25.1MBps, read them at 26.7MBps and transferred the same data to another portion of the drive at 12.7MBps. In the small file test, the external hard drive had a write speed of 15MBps, a read speed of 23.4MBps and a simultaneous read/write speed of 10.7MBps. Both the USB 2.0 and eSATA file speeds are much faster than this external hard drive's closest counterpart, the LaCie 4Big Quadra (4TB).
Though the LaCie 4Big Quadra has extensive RAID configuration options and four drive bays, the Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (4TB) is cheaper and faster.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
- WD will make a record-breaking 14TB hard drive available next year
- Start hoarding SSDs: Prices are expected to spike as supply gets tight
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTSalesforce Marketing Cloud ConsultantVIC
- TPGIS Developer - 6 month ContractQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPSenior Node.JS DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- TPSolution Architect - Real-Time Tracking SystemVIC
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- FTProject AnalystNSW
- FTAutomation TesterQLD
- FTProject ManagerACT
- FTAutomation Test AnalystSA
- CCTest Manager OfficeACT
- FTSecurity EngineerACT
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTWeb DesignerACT
- FTPower BI Reporting DevelopersSA
- CCFrom Security Operations to Technical Business Analyst, make the move now!NSW
- TPTechnical ArchitectVIC
- FTPolicy & Programme OfficerACT
- FTSoftware Development Manager - CloudACT
- FTBusiness Development Manager -Wealth/Funds Management SoftwareVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- FTInformation Security ConsultantACT
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW