Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (WDH2Q60000) review

The answer, if you need lots of external storage...
Photo of Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II (WDH2Q60000)
£331 inc VAT for 6TB model

With so much streaming and downloadable media available these days it’s easy to clog up drives in your system with stuff you’re waiting to see or burn to optical media or both – and in the case of HD video, these can be huge files. What you need is a very large capacity external drive that can store all these files – and they don’t come much bigger than the latest member of Western Digital’s extensive external drive family, the 6TB My Book Studio Edition II (WDH2Q60000).

Missing USB 3.0 connection
The My Book Studio Edition II range of drives sits in WD’s Desktop for Mac segment and one can only presume it’s for this reason that WD has missed a major trick with the 6TB drive and not given it a USB3.0 port amongst the plethora of interfaces it does come with. Currently Macs offer no native support for USB3.0, and with the coming of the super-fast Thunderbolt interface on Macs, it’s likely to stay that way.

That won’t stop Windows users who want to move large files quickly on and off the 6TB of external storage from moaning about its non-appearance. They’ll have to make do with USB2.0 or e-SATA interfaces – and, besides, there’s lso no future-proof connection for the Mac side of things, Thunderbolt doesn’t get a look in eithera. Joining the e-SATA and USB 2.0 interfaces are FireWire 400 and FireWire 800. Annoyingly you get all the cables you need except one for the e-SATA connection. Why this one is left out is anyone’s guess.

Huge capacity
As Western Digital were the first to launch an internal 3TB drive, it was never going to be long before they found a home for them in external drives. Inside the WDH2Q60000 you’ll find two the Caviar Green 3TB (WD30EZRSDTL) drives, and because of their green credentials (low power consumption, variable spin speed etc) there is no need for a cooling fan inside the box. Out of the box, the drives are set up by default in a Mac-supporting HFS+ RAID 0 array, so PC users will have to re-format the drives to NTFS before use. Also, be aware that the only Windows users who can use this drive will be those using Vista or Windows 7. Sorry, XP users – but this isn’t a drive for you.

RAID 0 (‘striped’) arrays are fine if you’re just looking for speed and capacity, but it comes at the risk of having no data protection. If either one of the drives fail you’ll lose all your data. If this is a concern for you, you can rebuild the array as a RAID 1 (‘mirrored’) for data protection. Should one of the drives fail, or WD come up with even bigger capacity drives, then the drives in the unit can be easily replaced by popping open the top of the unit.

Company: Western Digital

Positives
  • Huge capacity for backups and storing media files.
Negative
  • No USB 3.0 interface (or Thunderbolt for Mac users).

Verdict

The latest addition to WD's My Book Studio Edition II range offers huge amounts of external storage, but the lack of forward thinking by not having at least a USB 3.0 interface for Windows users is disappointing.