WD Labs PiDrive 314GB Hard Drive Review


Final Thoughts

WD PiDrive 314GB
WD PiDrive 314GB

Western Digital set out to make a drive that was low power but gave the Raspberry Pi a nice, fast, reliable storage, and they did just that. The WD PiDrive 314GB met, and exceeded every expectation I had for it. There was only one issue I had with the drive – the LED that showed power and drive activity.

WD PiDrive 314GB PiDrive LED Light
WD PiDrive 314GB Crazy Bright LED Light

This thing could be used as flash light. The LED is insanely bright and I couldnt find a pattern as to why sometimes it blinked and others it was solid. Either way, it is BRIGHT. I ended up putting electrical tape over it for my testing. This LED is truly the only down side I have about the PiDrive.

The WD PiDrive gives you enough disk space that you could make the Raspberry Pi 3 into a viable light duty low power desktop. I have used the Pi 3 and PiDrive combo for couple weeks now and for general office work it has done well for me. It took me a bit to get used to LibreOffice, and fiddling with remote desktop settings, but I got to the point where I could do a lot of my daily office work off of this setup, granted I wasnt going to do 6 things at once, but work could be done.

Another advantage to using the WD PiDrive is that a swap-file can be used to give the system hard drive space to use as RAM. This helped when it come to running programs like Gimp for editing images. The Raspberry Pi 3 only has 1GB of RAM, with PiDrive I can bolster that with a 4GB swap-file. If you are running a flash based drive you dont want to use a swap-file as it will burn out that spot in the flash. Same for just regular usage of a SD card as the OS drive. Eventually the SD card will burn out from the excessive writes to the card.

Currently Western Digital has a promotion for the 314GB PiDrive and you can pick one up for $31.42 (sick of the Pi references yet?), the Raspberry Pi 3 is $35, throw in a keyboard, mouse, and $16.99 power supply and cable kit you can turn any TV into a low power PC for less than $100 plus shipping and pull less power than a light bulb. Not to shabby.

LR Recommended Award

Final Thoughts: The WD PiDrive 314GB adds speed and long term reliable storage for Raspberry Pi users, but please Western Digital, find a way to tone down that drive activity LED.