Western Digital My Book Duo DAS Reviewby Ganesh T S on July 12, 2014 6:00 PM EST
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- Western Digital
Even as the consumer NAS market continues to experience rapid growth, it is impossible for consumers to have really fast access to data when the storage is bottlenecked by the speed of their network link. Single hard disks, by themselves, can hardly saturate today's high-speed direct-attached storage (DAS) interfaces such as eSATA, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Users needing fast transfer rates (while maintaining the higher cost-effective capacities that hard disks provide) need to go in for RAID solutions. These tend to perform well for certain common workloads such as multimedia handling.
Earlier this week, we took a look at LaCie's high end 2-bay RAID DAS, the 2big Thunderbolt 2. It integrated both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 2 as connectivity options. At $800 for a 8 TB version, the pricing carries a premium for the Thunderbolt connectivity. USB 3.0 is, in a way, the poor man's Thunderbolt. With a focus on the average consumer, Western Digital launched the My Book Duo USB 3.0 DAS with hardware RAID capabilities a few weeks back. We got the 8 TB version in for review. The detailed specifications of the unit are provided below.
|Western Digital My Book Duo WDBLWE0080JCH|
|Internal Storage Media||2x 4 TB 3.5" WD40EFRX Red Hard Drives|
|Interface||1x USB 3.0 + 2x USB 3.0 (Downstream Hub)|
|RAID Modes||RAID 0 / RAID 1 / JBOD|
|Cooling||Fan behind the front face at the base of the unit|
|Power Supply||100-240V AC Switching Adapter (12V @ 3A DC)|
|Dimensions||165 x 157 x 99 mm | 6.5 x 6.2 x 3.9 in.|
|Weight||2.24 kg | 5.0 lbs.|
|Product Page||Western Digital My Book Duo|
Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology
Evaluation of DAS units on Windows is done with the testbed outlined in the table below. For devices with USB 3.0 connections (such as the My Book Duo that we are considering today), we utilize the USB 3.0 port directly hanging off the PCH.
|AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration|
|Motherboard||Asus Z97-PRO Wi-Fi ac ATX|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4790|
Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A2133C11
32 GB (4x 8GB)
DDR3-2133 @ 11-11-11-27
|OS Drive||Seagate 600 Pro 400 GB|
|Optical Drive||Asus BW-16D1HT 16x Blu-ray Write (w/ M-Disc Support)|
|Add-on Card||Asus Thunderbolt EX II|
|Chassis||Corsair Air 540|
|PSU||Corsair AX760i 760 W|
|OS||Windows 8.1 Pro|
|Thanks to Asus and Corsair for the build components|
Full details of the reasons behind choosing the various components in the above build, as well as the details of our DAS test suite can be found here.
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PEJUman - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - linkit's also only $100 if you factor the 2 x 4TB reds in it worth $350.
fteoath64 - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - linkIf you put it that way, then $100 for the enclosure, PSU and controller board would be reasonable, so it is a good buy if a DAS suits your needs using USB3 only interfaces with the added value of a hub tossed in as extra!.
fteoath64 - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - linkClearly this is a DAS as opposed to a NAS that you would like to expect. Totally different kettle-of-fish!.
Cerb - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - linkUm, OK. Is there any reason why it can't connect to your router or Plex server? While the review is a little ambiguous, there's no mention of needing added OS-specific drivers just to see the drives, so it *may* work with [most USB UMC enabled] routers just fine.
Zak - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - linkOK
darwinosx - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - linkYou couldn't test it on a Mac too? With all the Apple articles Anandtech does? I'd like to know about the Mac software and performance.
name99 - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - linkWhat problem do you want to solve on a Mac?
This will give you a single glob of 8GB storage with minimal config, but you're paying for that convenience. That's fine, but there are cheaper and/or higher performing alternatives.
If you're willing to do just a little config, for the same sort of price you could buy
- a USB3 hub
- a 256GB external USB3 SSD
- two USB3 4TB hard drives
You could then use Apple SW RAID to stripe the HDs together, and use CoreStorage (using the commandline diskutil command) to fuse the SSD to the striped RAID. What you'd have will give you the performance of this box for throughput, but with the zippiness of SSDs for the random access. I have a system like this (although put together from substantially older equipment --- an old 64GB SSD and two REALLY old 300GB HDs) and it works astonishingly well given the age of the equipment, especially the HDs.
darwinosx - Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - linkI am already using two USB 3 drives and carbon copy cloner. I want a more minimal solution. Interesting solution with SSD but I don't need speed for a backup solution.
DanNeely - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - linkAT authors work remotely (and live all over the world) so there isn't a single shared testbed, nor can they easily loan hardware back and forth for testing. Since Apple doesn't donate hardware to build testbeds, the only authors who have Apple devices to test with are those who've bought Apple computers with their own money for personal use.
darwinosx - Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - linkAnandtech has plenty of Macs availalbe which is really obvious.