WD My Passport SSD is a cheap and reasonable way to upgrade the storage on the MacBook Pro. It is housed in a stylish and compact case and can be taken with you.
If you have purchased a Mac mini or MacBook Air with M1, one of the problems to be solved is to expand its storage capacity. With no upgrade options available, consumers will have to switch to external storage options, which usually means some form of portable hard drive.
Western Digital’s My Passport product line has been running for a long time and aims to provide storage space that users can take with them. My Passport SSD has been updated for 2020, increasing the speed and refreshing the appearance of portable drives.
short and small
The My Passport SSD’s case is very small, only 0.35 inches thick, 3.94 inches long and 2.17 inches wide. Its weight is also very light, only 45.7 grams (1.6 ounces).
Although the drive is a bit larger and thinner than the previous generation, it is still very portable and can be easily carried in a bag.
The two-tone shell of the previous version has been switched to a metal shell with a sweep pattern, and there are five colors to choose from. Although the last version is a bit exaggerated, although the new version is less, it is still very fashionable.
The metal shell also has shock and vibration resistance, as well as high drop resistance up to 6.5 feet, which helps protect the shell. This means that the drive can easily cope with the severe tests in daily use without causing too much trouble.
A good design choice is to use a separate USB-C cable, which can be easily replaced by the user. This does lose the cable, but it can still be used with any USB Type-C cable.
WD included a (too short) USB Type-C to Type-C cable, and WD also included a USB Type-C to Type-A adapter in the box. This provides the drive with out-of-the-box functionality, allowing it to be used with USB-A 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports at lower speeds.
We don’t like this kind of cable, and the rigidity of the cable is not high. Fortunately, better alternative cables are cheap and abundant.
The drive is listed as supporting USB 3.2 Gen 2 with speeds up to 10Gb/s. Since it is a USB drive, it is backward compatible with the correct cable.
Capacity and performance
As part of the update, WD updated the storage type inside the drive and moved the production line to the higher-speed NVMe. WD claims a read speed of up to 1,050MB/s and a write speed of up to 1,000MB/s on the second generation of USB-C 3.2.
WD provides three capacity drives, covering 500GB, 1TB and 2TB, of which the 1TB version is used in this evaluation.
In the real world, we usually see a read speed of about 930 MB per second and a read speed of 910 MB per second. With the expansion of the drive speed test, thermal throttling reduced the read and write speed to about 720 MB per second, which is still faster than a single SATA-based SSD can provide.
When connected to a USB 3.0 Type A port, the read speed is limited to 410 megabytes per second and the write speed is limited to 400 megabytes per second. Taking into account the port limitations, these speeds are about the same as we expected.
Security and compatibility
Like earlier versions, WD includes 256-bit AES hardware encryption in the drive, allowing users to encrypt data with minimal performance loss. The encryption element relies on the use of the accompanying WD Discovery software, which can also be used to automate backups, but it does require Internet activation beforehand.
The WD Discovery software for Mac is sufficient, but we will not discuss it here. With encryption enabled, on a 15-inch i9 2018 MacBook Pro or M1 Mac mini, the read speed is limited to approximately 700 megabytes per second and writes within 550 megabytes per second, compared to the 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro The upper limit is below every second.
WD has its own backup software, and Mac users have better options. For starters, not even including third-party cloning software, the drive also supports macOS Time Machine. However, it must be reformatted beforehand-most Mac users usually do this unless they are working cross-platform.
WD said that the drive can be used directly on PC and Mac in exFAT format. On the PC side, it supports both Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, and can be reformatted to support other operating systems.
Small but powerful
For those users who need external storage, WD My Passport SSD does not go wrong. Its use of NVMe means it is faster than ever, coupled with the metal shell and built-in hardware encryption can help ensure the safety of your precious data.
Its small size and high capacity make it a portable product for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro users. The price of this drive is also commensurate with the product it offers, and it is a good choice for storage expansion-although external expansion-on the Mac, sometimes the internal price for additional storage is high.
WD My Passport SSD is a sturdy and durable external USB-C drive that can be easily purchased by most electronics manufacturers. Not everything needs to break ground or have record-breaking speed. Sometimes, you need a $10 hammer to get the job done, instead of the $120 ergonomic design (which can be tailored to fit your hand).
WD My Passport SSD is the epitome of the right tool to get the job done without wasting money.
- Small size and light weight.
- Separate USB Type-C cable.
- Resistant to shocks and drops.
- Enough but not great encryption suite.
- Fast transmission speed
- The supplied cable is short.
- Time Machine needs to be reformatted.
Rating: 4 of 5
Where to buy
The WD My Passport SSD can be purchased from Amazon. The 500GB model is usually priced at $89, the 1TB version is priced at $139.99, the 2TB version is priced at $239, and the retail price is $119, $199, and $379. There are three colors: gray, gold, red, silver and blue.