Western Digital last week introduced several new members to its My Passport family of external hard drives. The new portable external HDDs can store up to 4 TB of data, an improvement over previous-gen portable storage solutions from the company. The new drives are based on the WD’s new 2.5”/12.5 mm HDD platform which uses high-capacity platters.

Like the other Western Digital’s My Passport HDDs, the new models feature a USB 3.0 interface and come with automatic WD Backup software. The drives also have hardware AES-256 encryption. As for visual aesthetics, the design of the new 4 TB My Passport drives remained the same as that of the latest generation.

While the update looks fairly regular, it is important what is inside these new 4 TB drives. Western Digital traditionally does not disclose a lot of technical specifications of its external HDDs, such as spindle speeds or cache sizes. However, what the company did confirm is that the new My Passport 4 TB HDDs are based on 2.5”/12.5 mm hard drives featuring four 1 TB platters. We believe these should be based on either PMR or SMR technology. 2.5” SMR platters of such capacities are not something brand new in general because Seagate has been using them for several months but it would be noteworthy if Western Digital has started to use them for commercial products. Besides, the company has a platform that can house four of such platters, thus enabling 4 TB 2.5”/12.5 mm HDDs.

List of WD’s My Passport Drives with 4 TB Capacity
Brand   Model Interface Compatibility Color
My Passport Ultra WDBBKD0040BBK USB
3.0/2.0
Windows/Mac Black
WDBBKD0040BBL Blue
WDBBKD0040BWT White
WDBBKD0040BBY Purple
My Passport Ultra Metal WDBEZW0040BSL Silver
WDBEZW0040BBA Blue
My Passport for Mac WDBCGL0040BSL Silver/Black

Western Digital stresses that it has not announced any internal 4 TB 2.5”/12.5 mm hard drives for consumer or other devices, which is perhaps not surprising given that mainstream notebooks use 7 mm and 9.5 mm drives. Nonetheless, formally Western Digital has the highest-capacity commercial 2.5”/12.5 mm HDD on the planet. Last year Seagate released its Samsung Spinpoint M10P HDD 4 TB HDD in 2.5"/15 mm form-factor, which has been exclusively used inside the Samsung M3 and P3 portable external hard drives.

Western Digital’s new My Passport Ultra 4 TB external HDD is already available from the company’s online store and from select retailers and distributors for $159.99. Next quarter the company plans to start selling its more expensive My Passport Ultra Metal and My Passport for Mac external HDDs with 4 TB capacity.

Source: Western Digital

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  • icrf - Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - link

    The best HDD I ever had was a 400 GB Samsung, pre-Seagate buyout. I was sad to see them gobbled up. Reply
  • HomeworldFound - Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - link

    I have an M3 Slimline drive here with a Samsung drive, it really was a good product. I bought exactly the same model with a Seagate drive, why not, it still says it's a Samsung drive. It gave me nothing but trouble. The drive refused to transfer files over Intel fed USB 3.0 front ports. The UAS driver is annoying. It refused to work with my FireTV, Raspi 3 and Odroid. Just complete junk. Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - link

    Samsung got ownership of 9% of Seagate as part of the deal. Reporting from 2011 said the shared branding would only be for 12 months. SInce it's continued since then Samsung must still be signing off on it; presumably that means they think it's a good thing for them.

    Purely a wag, but I assume Seagate's paying for the usage of the name in some form; and would guess there're customers (presumably in South Korea) who prefer to buy the Samsung brand.

    At the time of the acquisition, Seagate was going to keep Samsung running as an independent design unit (similar to WD and HGST). I can't find any info either way, but perhaps they still are and the Samsung branded drives are designed in SK instead of wherever else Seagate does the rest of its design work.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - link

    Well this product is right on time for me.

    I tore apart the Seagate 2.5" / 4TB version (15mm drive inside) and used it in my AW18. Effing thing failed last week. I don't expect Seagate will warrant the disk outside of its enclosure? Anybody know better?

    So, I'm going to give this WD a try. (*when I actually see it for sale* - which I don't locally out here in Asia).
    Reply
  • Captain_WD - Thursday, July 7, 2016 - link

    Hey there :)

    What are you planning on using the WD My Passport? It's good for backup and portable data usage as well as console gaming and other similar types of usage. If you need more info on the drive or if you'd like some other alternatives - feel free to ask, I'd be happy to help. :)

    Regarding the warranty, most manufacturers do void the warranty on external drives that do not support removing the drive from enclosure. It's the same situation with the WD My Passport - if you get the drive out of the enclosure you'd lose the warranty.

    Feel free to ask if there are any questions!

    Captain_WD.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, July 7, 2016 - link

    Hi,

    I'd like to know if you expect it to last > 85 days, as is told to me by my failed Seagate using Smartctl output for one...

    And two, can I buy the drive, sans enclosure, so that I may actually have a warranty this time?

    My usage: backups, videos, music, Bit Coin volume.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - link

    Just to add - did not find the 4TB anywhere for sale, have the 3TB version now.

    Using externally, and resisting the urge to pull it apart, so that I have a warranty. :(
    Reply
  • edward1987 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Just in case you are interested when these WD drives will be available in UK you can try to follow this page http://www.span.com/search/wdb_star_0040b Reply

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