Western Digital” has not been producing HDDs exclusively for quite some time. With the “My Passport” SSD the first external SSD of the manufacturer appeared some time ago. Our detailed test report will clarify whether the company, which was previously successful in the HDD sector, can now also score points with its first external SSD. For this purpose, we have examined the 512 GB model of the “My Passport” SSD with a recommended retail price of around 190 euros (currently: Price not available *).
Design and Workmanship
The external SSD of “Western Digital” is small and compact, which can be an advantage. In the test, with its dimensions of 45 x 90 x 10 millimetres, it can be accommodated well in any case. It fits in any jacket pocket and is therefore extremely easy to transport. It is not so small that it could be overlooked or forgotten.
By the way, the SSD is completely made of plastic, which is a bit of a pity at first. However, the manufacturer ensures with the design that the SSD looks rather high-quality. So it is divided into two halves. One of these two halves is matt black, while the other is visually reminiscent of brushed metal. Here “Western Digital” proves good taste and skill – the SSD imitates higher quality material and thus puts itself in a better light.
The light weight of 41 grams is striking, which is hardly to be expected despite the small size. Here, the SSD also benefits from the plastic housing, which hardly carries any weight.
Overall, the SSD is well crafted and appealing in terms of design. So there is no real criticism here. Only the fact that only plastic can be found on the outside reduces the very positive overall impression. However, this makes the low weight possible, which in turn is a clear advantage.
The external SSD is connected via the compact USB-C port. This ensures that the SSD can also be used with the latest notebooks, PCs and smartphones. Unfortunately, it cannot be connected to older computers in this way, but a USB-A adapter is also supplied for this purpose.
Performance and Speed
The biggest advantage of an external SSD over an external HDD is its speed. SSDs are expected to be able to copy large amounts of data in no time at all. Western Digital’s “My Passport” must also be able to meet these expectations in order to be competitive.
The manufacturer specifies transfer rates of up to 540 MB per second. Unexpectedly, these values cannot be reached in the test. So far all SSDs tested by us could exceed the manufacturer’s specifications in the benchmarks – or at least have reached them.
The maximum values determined are about 500 MB per second when reading and about 520 MB/s when writing. This is not quite enough for competing products, but it is at a similar level to internal SATA SSDs. These reach top speeds of 560 MB/s. Unfortunately, the bad dissipation of the waste heat is problematic.
AS SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
Crystal Disk Mark
HD Tune Pro
The only real point of criticism is the operating temperature. If the SSD is used permanently and over long periods of time, it increases enormously. In our test, temperatures of about 47 degrees were already reached in idle mode (at 22 degrees room temperature). Under load the temperature rose to 75 degrees. Even 75 degrees are still harmless, but unfortunately the SSD has throttled down to not get any warmer. Here, the speed in the benchmarks dropped to about 130 megabytes per second – as fast as a standard external HDD.
In practice, however, overheating is less relevant. When moving large folders with numerous files, the maximum speed is never reached due to many small files. This prevents the SSD from overheating.
Large files are more problematic. We have used a large ZIP archive for this. The first 60 gigabytes were transmitted at about 300 megabytes per second (well below the benchmark values). After 60 gigabytes, however, the 75 degrees were reached and the SSD has always briefly throttled to about 75 megabytes per second.
All in all, however, it should be noted that no problems are to be expected in normal operation.
With “My Passport”, Western Digital presents a fast and powerful SSD at the level of internal SATA SSDs. The Western Digital My Passport SSD is very well suited for everyday use, but less for professional use due to the temperature development.
Unfortunately, Western Digital has very strong competition with Samsung. A recommendation for the Western Digital My Passport SSD is therefore difficult. If the SSD scores in the future with a comparatively favorable price, it is however quite recommendable.