Western Digital debuts first SSD-based My Passport drive with USB-C for Macs

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Western Digital on Thursday announced the My Passport SSD, not only its first portable SSD but a unit designed with Apple's latest MacBooks in mind, thanks to a built-in USB-C port.




The drive in fact requires a bundled Type-A adapter to work with traditional USB. When connected to either USB-C or USB 3.x, it can hit speeds of up to 515 megabytes per second -- it's not Thunderbolt 3-compatible, however.

For basic file transfers the drive should be ready out of the box. Proprietary backup software is included, and it can also be reformatted for macOS's Time Machine. Through a WD Security app the drive can be locked with 256-bit AES encryption.

Design-wise the drive is said to fit in the palm of the hand, but be engineered to survive drops up to 6.5 feet.

256 gigabyte, 512 gigabyte, and 1 terabyte models are planned, with prices around $100, $200, and $400, respectively. A launch date has yet to be revealed.

USB-C is the only USB format natively supported by current MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Apple has yet to bring the technology to other Macs, though iMacs shipping this year will likely include it, as should future Mac minis, and a redesigned Mac Pro coming in 2018.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    neilmneilm Posts: 474member
    Bearing in mind that free, bundled "proprietary backup software" usually translates to "nothing anyone should consider using."
    edited April 6 Solilinkmanmagman1979StrangeDayschiadewmebanchowatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 16
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,817member
    256 gigabyte, 512 gigabyte, and 1 terabyte models are planned, with prices around $100, $200, and $400, respectively.

    I remember when I paid $400 for an external 3.5" 1TB HDD. I think that was about 12 years ago.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,358member
    Yeah if those are the prices I'll be pretty pleased. I paid $340 for my 256gb external ssd three years ago. (And ages ago i paid $300 for a used 300mb spinning HD. ah those were the days...)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,215member
    A Crucial 275GB MX300 SSD goes for about $95 on B&H, so the pricing seems on par at the low end. However, pricing for the 512GB model is about $50 more than a bare SSD, and about $120 more than a bare 1TB SSD. I wonder why the upper tier is so out of line with the pricing of a bare SSD. I understand that you have to cover the cost of the housing, circuitry, and cables, but it would be reasonable to assume that those costs would be the same across the range. 
  • Reply 5 of 16
    appexappex Posts: 510member
    Choices and competition are good. USB 3.1 Gen 2 in Western My Passport SSD is great. But how does it fully compare to the current gold standard: Samsung Portable SSD T3, which amazingly remains cold even after booting Mac and working from it all day long? http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/product/portable/t3.html BTW, bring also larger sizes like 4TB and larger (T3 already has 2TB).
  • Reply 6 of 16
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,215member
    appex said:
    Choices and competition are good. USB 3.1 Gen 2 in Western My Passport SSD is great. But how does it fully compare to the current gold standard: Samsung Portable SSD T3, which amazingly remains cold even after booting Mac and working from it all day long? http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/product/portable/t3.html BTW, bring also larger sizes like 4TB and larger (T3 already has 2TB).
    LOL! I went to the site, and for a split second, I thought they were comparing the size of the T3 to an iPhone.  ;)
    edited April 6
  • Reply 7 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,187member
    Yeah if those are the prices I'll be pretty pleased. I paid $340 for my 256gb external ssd three years ago. (And ages ago i paid $300 for a used 300mb spinning HD. ah those were the days...)
    I remember this like it was yesterday:  Apple introduces the Profile 5 MB hard disk for the Apple III, for $3,499.00! 
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 16
    saltyzipsaltyzip Posts: 71member
    Good to see Apple maybe moving away from proprietary connections and following the PC standard USB connections for a change.

    Western Digital My Passport SSD is first and foremost made for the PC hence you need to reformat it for a Mac and it doesn't support thunderbolt. This article seems to indicate the drive was made for the Mac and only the Mac, whereas it just supports the new Mac.

  • Reply 9 of 16
    saltyzip said:
    Good to see Apple maybe moving away from proprietary connections and following the PC standard USB connections for a change.

    Western Digital My Passport SSD is first and foremost made for the PC hence you need to reformat it for a Mac and it doesn't support thunderbolt. This article seems to indicate the drive was made for the Mac and only the Mac, whereas it just supports the new Mac.

    It needs to be reformatted for Time Machine use, it'll work with a Mac out of the box.  And what do you mean following the PC standard USB connections for a change?  Apple has USB for years, there the recent pains of going strictly USB-C, but otherwise I don't think they've been heavily pushing people away from USB.

    Yes, you can buy a Thunderbolt drive, but nobody is forcing anyone...
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,169member
    I'm loving the external 1TB Western Digital SSD drive I got last year. Smaller than an iPhone and completely silent. I can't imagine buying another spinning hard drive ever again.
    edited April 6
  • Reply 11 of 16
    anomeanome Posts: 620member

    I was looking at the Samsung T3, since it had received good reviews, but am now there's the WD one. Will be interesting to see how those prices translate. The Samsung is kind of pricy here once exchange rates and taxes are taken into account.

  • Reply 12 of 16
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,944member
    Very interesting!    I could use an extrrnal for whole disk Time Machine backups.   

    Currently critical files get backed up to an SD card via a script using the "Attic" backup system.   This is somewhat like Time Machine in operation but we only backup the documents directory.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    jdwjdw Posts: 463member
    It's not the only tiny USB-C SSD in town:

     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z14U8BQ

    And for USB3.0, low-cost off-brand rivals are appearing:

     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JKMZ8FA
    edited April 6
  • Reply 14 of 16
    neilm said:
    Bearing in mind that free, bundled "proprietary backup software" usually translates to "nothing anyone should consider using."


    Absolutely! I delete all that proprietary software on the external drives that I buy.

    I really want that 1TB version.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 3,206member
    jdw said:
    It's not the only tiny USB-C SSD in town:

     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z14U8BQ

    And for USB3.0, low-cost off-brand rivals are appearing:

     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JKMZ8FA
    You can slip any SSD into a small SSD enclosure (made of plastic) with USB3.0 support; my kingston SSD came with that.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    jdwjdw Posts: 463member
    foggyhill said:
    You can slip any SSD into a small SSD enclosure (made of plastic) with USB3.0 support; my kingston SSD came with that.
    You would think so, but actually that is not true.  I purchased an internal SSD for a 2012 MacBook Pro from OWC (macsales.com) last year along with one of their small aluminum SSD enclosures.  I put the SSD inside the enclosure, then used CCC to clone the Mac's internal drive to the SSD in the external case, then I removed the Macs internal drive and put the SSD inside.  It worked for 1 month and then died.  I did an RMA and tried to do the same thing with the replacement, but it died during the CCC clone.  It was at that point I was on my 2nd RMA and OWC told me, "Our SSDs for the MBP's are not designed to be used in an external case.  They are only to be used inside the MBP.  So upon receipt of my 2nd RMA, I immediately removed the stock drive from the MBP, put in the OWC SSD, then put the old drive into the external case, then did the clone, and it's been working fine every since last December.

    Interestingly, OWC said that Apple's stock SSD would work fine in their external enclosure.  But their own SSDs would not!  Sounds to me like a lack of ESD protection or something along those lines.  Regardless, this true story from my own first-hand experiences proves you can put just any SSD into any external enclosure!
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