WD My Passport SSD Portable External Drive
The WD product portfolio has been missing a portable Solid-State Drive (SSD) for some time now, but that all changed recently with the introduction of the WD My Passport SSD that is only available at Best Buy. The WD My Passport keeps the same familiar look of the hard drive based My Passport line, but is smaller ends up being smaller thanks to the SSD storage technology inside that has no moving parts. The My Passport SSD is available in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities that have blazing-fast speeds of up to 515MB/s in perfect lab conditions. WD is targeting content creators and enthusiasts with this tiny drive (10mm x 90mm x 45mm) that likely holds an M.2 SATA III SSD inside. When it comes to pricing you are looking at $399.99/1TB, $199.99/512GB and $99.99/256GB USD, respectively. That means you are looking at around $0.39 per GB.
The image above shows the WD My Passport SSD 1TB next to the WD My Passport (2016 model) 1TB. The new My Passport SSD uses a the smaller USB Type-C connector and is USB 3.1 Gen-2 ready, and USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and USB-A compatible. The drives plastic housing features a black top with a metallic bottom and while it looks good, it shows fingerprints really bad and was found to be super hard to keep clean.
The My Passport SSD can also be protected with built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption if one wants to enable it with the optional software and the drive is backed by a three year warranty.
WD recognizes that not everyone has a PC with a USB Type-C port, so they include a USB Type-C to Type-A adapter in the box to go along with the USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable.
The included USB Type-C to Type-A adapter oddly only fits one way despite the USB Type-C interface being reversible. We found this to be an annoyance as did finding a place to store the adapter when it wasn't in use. This is something that is easily lost, so if you lose Flash drive caps you'll be misplacing this adapter.
Here is the official WD My Passport SSD product introduction video for those want to watch a quick video.
The model we'll be looking at for this review is the WD My Passport SSD 1TB that is sold under part number WDBK3E0010PSL.
When you first connect the WD My Passport SSD to a PC you'll see that there is a application called WD Discovery that can be installed. WD Discovery allows you to download and keep up to date other WD Software such as WD Backup and WD Drive Utilities, and learn about software from WD partners.
If you setup the WD Backup Software Application you can automatically backup photos, videos, music and documents. You can adjust how often it backs up (hourly, daily, monthly) and to where it backs up. You can use this utility to backup to the My Passport SSD or to the Dropbox cloud service. This software won't clone your entire drive, but it will capture the basic Windows folders as well as ones that you set to manually include. Once you have actually saved files you can use the restore function to move the files back to the original locations. You can find out more information about this on the WD Discovery Online user manual
as well as the 35-page My Passport SSD user manual that can be found here
. We are just giving you a quick overview of the key features and then going to take a look at the drives performance.
It should be noted that we tested the WD My Passport SSD 1TB with firmware X4161100 and that was the latest available when we did our testing. We did find it odd that the WD My Passport SSD 1TB drive shows up as being a SanDisk SD8TN8U1T002000 in CrystalDiskMark, but one needs to keep in mind that WD acquired SanDisk in 2016. It looks like WD might be using a Sandisk X400 SSD with TLC NAND Flash memory inside the WD My Passport SSD, but they won't confirm that guess and we couldn't get our enclosure open without breaking it.
Fresh out of the box the My Passport SSD comes pre-formatted for exFAT and is ready for use on Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 systems along with Apple machines. You can format the drive for NTFS if one would prefer that format and you might as you'll need to use that format for the TRIM command to work. This is one of the very few external SSDs on the market that has enabled TRIM support, so that is great news for someone looking for a portable OS drive.
Let's take a look at some performance tests that we performed on Intel X99 powered desktop PC and wrap this up!
WD My Passport SSD 1TB Performance Benchmarks
CrystalDiskInfo is free benchmark that many people use to test storage drives with, but this test runs really quick and the results show the highest score of the five 'burst' tests for each performance metric tested. The problem is that the tests are so small and quick it rarely ever fills up a drives cache and is not a good look at real world performance on many external drives or SSDs that use TLC NAND Flash memory. We are including results for you to look at as you can use it at home to compare with to get an idea what the best case performance looks like on this drive.
We managed to hit 456.9 MB/s on the sequential read and 458.2 MB/s on the sequential write test, which are pretty solid scores from the external SSD. The WD My Passport 4TB external hard drive has a 5400 RPM hard drive inside and only managed to reach 118.5 MB/s on the sequential read and 112.7 MB/s on the sequential write test, so there is greater than a 3x performance difference in sequential performance between the two models.
ATTO Disk Benchmark showed that we were getting up to 483 MB/s read and 479 MB/s write speeds as well, so it looks like the WD My Passport SSD 1TB portable drive has some solid performance numbers.
With the applicactions preset in Anvil's Storage Utilities we found sequential speeds of up to 447 MB/s Read and 440 MB/s Write!
We wanted to do some real world file transfers, so we copied over few MKV Full-HD movie that added up to almost 6GB. During the transfer we found that we were getting around 285-340 MB/s on average when the data was being written to the My Passport SSD 1TB drive. Real world performance is going to be lower than the peak numbers shown in the ATTO and CrystalDiskMark benchmarks, but it still isn't bad!
Let's wrap this up!
WD My Passport SSD Conclusion
The WD My Passport SSD is my smaller than the WD My Passport 1TB portable hard drive pictured above, but it manages to offer superior performance. We never made it up to the advertised top speed of 515 MB/s, but the 482 MB/s we reached in the ATTO disk benchmark was nothing to launch at. Real world file transfers appeared to be right around 300 MB/s Write and 400 MB/s Read. Not bad performance from an external SSD, but there are faster drives in this category on the market. The one really neat feature of the WD My Passport SSD has that the others might not is the fast you can run TRIM on this model.
WD has a 3-year limited warranty on this model and says that it can withstand a drop of up to 6.5 feet (1.98 meters) and still operate just fine thanks to the SSD design.
When it comes to pricing the WD My Passport SSD 1TB model that we tested today is priced at $399.99 plus tax
at Best Buy who has exclusive selling rights on this product. The regular WD 1TB My Passport with the old school spinning hard drive inside is available for $57.99 shipped
, so moving up to an SSD will run you nearly 7x more money. For that reason alone you can see why WD is targeting content creators and power users with this drive. If you are looking for a place to store data that is seldom accessed the standard model with a hard drive is the clear choice. This product is aimed that those that move around large amounts of data on a regular basis, may want to put an OS on it at some point or can simply afford it.
At the end of the day the WD My Passport SSD appears to a fast portable SSD that is fairly rugged with password protection with hardware encryption. If you need something faster than a hard drive with these features we certainly recommend giving this model a closer look.
Legit Bottom Line:
The WD My Passport SSD is expensive, but that is offset by the higher file transfer speeds.
We have been made aware that the WD My Passport SSD will be available at other retailers, in addition to Best Buy, starting sometime in August 2017.