Another entry in the world’s vast selection of large capacity drives, we finally got our hands on Western Digital’s 4TB My Passport Ultra USB 3.0 hard drive. We recently brought the latest Ultra drives into the spotlight when we ran a quick story about the best options for external drives and Xbox One. Small drives and lots of space leads to a lot of gameplay.
Originally, we thought the 2TB Ultra was a good aspect for such a use, but 4TB of space gives you plenty enough room for all of your favorite games, you’re not so favorite games and the ability to pretty much download whatever the heck you’d like to beyond that, including all of those free monthly games Xbox Live Gold members can get their hands on.
The drive itself is pretty small as you’d expect, allowing you to easily slide it into your pocket like your favorite smartphone. You’d never ask yourself again if you have enough space to take something mobile to share it with something else. It features an all-plastic enclosure with small little rubber feet on the bottom to keep it from sliding around. There is a micro-USB 3.0 type B M/M connector to your typical USB 3.0 type A cable that connects it to your computer with. Pretty simple, as it doesn’t require any wall power or any additional cables.
We have experienced read speeds of up to 120+ MBps and write speeds of up to 100+ MBps while using the drive. This highly depends on various things such as the type of media you are moving around (file size, quantity of files, etc), the source drive and your computer’s USB 3.0 bus quality.
We then through the drive on an Xbox One to see how well it fares there. Normally, we have a 500GB SanDisk SSD on the Xbox for performance purposes, so we expected this one not to come close. However, it actually fared quite well. Loading games from Xbox One’s normal internal drive can be a bit slow. Loading games from the external SSD is so much faster than the internal drive. The 4TB WD HDD actually rode the SSD’s tail just slightly, showing it wasn’t as quick in load times as the SSD by a number of seconds (varies by game), but quite noticeably faster than Xbox One’s internal drive. This proves that the My Passport Ultra series truly does live up to it’s reputation as being “the next best option” for Xbox expansion. It may not be as fast as the SSD, but it comes close, it’s much cheaper and has a LOT more space. A pretty good deal if you ask me.
The drive features password protection with 256-bit hardware encryption if you so choose to hide your data from the world. The government has made it clear that nearly no data is completely secure, but this will indeed help protect it from most (if not all) anything you’d be worried about.
The fact that you can get it on Amazon right now for about $138 is a plus since that falls around the same price as the 500GB SSD, plus 8x the space. Mobile storage just got that much better.
You can find the drive in four color options, including black (the one we tested), white, blue and red. The cables remain the same color, so your customization is just in the drive itself.
We like it! It could be faster. Through general evolution of technology each year, our expectations tend to evolve a little further than what truly does hit the shelves. Call us impatient, but we feel it does give a little push/challenge to certain companies. I’d like to see read speeds of closer to 150+ from this drive (as an average). Write speeds as well, but I guess I’ll just have to see what the next generation model brings us. Its size is small making it easy for travel, its capacity is massive and the price is right. This helped guide it to a near perfect score for us.
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
- Portable hard drive
- USB cable
- WD SmartWare Pro software
- Quick Install Guide
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.