WD My Passport SSD

Review: WD’s My Passport SSD will postpone changing my MacBook Pro

I don’t have much to complain about my MacBook Pro current. It is the 2016 15-inch model, with 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 455 GPU (with 2GB of VRAM)… in short, everything I’m entitled to. I would certainly have some performance gain by upgrading to the 2018 generation, but it is not something that is bothering me and the other things have hardly changed since then.

But there is something that bothers me about this machine: the internal SSD. I don’t say for his performance, which is quite satisfactory, but for his ability. I took one of 512GB and, although it is enough space for many people, in my case it is little. I have lots of apps installed, very large photo collections, a respectable music library (from the time I bought them on the iTunes Store) and so on. And the biggest bottleneck of all: videos, especially the ones I edit professionally using Final Cut Pro X.

I’ve already taken some steps here to try to free up space on the internal SSD, such as hosting some things in the cloud (much of it in iCloud itself) and moving other less used ones to my external HDD (I have one from LaCie, from 4TB). But the fact is that I constantly see the internal space tighten and today I can’t get much more than 60-80GB free – which is very little for those who work with video editing.

For a long time, I had no alternative but to use my own external HDD to edit videos. As you can imagine, the experience was terrible due to the performance bottleneck of a conventional hard drive. We are almost in 2019, I can’t.

That said, I was seriously considering switching Macs this year and getting a new MacBook Pro with at least 1TB of internal SSD, preferably with 2TB for the long term. But, before that, I decided to try a new external drive – this time an SSD – and changed my mind. Next, you’ll understand why My Passport SSD, from Western Digital, made me postpone the idea of ​​changing MacBook Pro.

WD My Passport SSD

First of all: my God, how small and light this business is! I was startled when I opened his box and came across what it is: they are 45x90x10mm, weighing only 40 grams. The feeling is that it is hollow and you can take it peacefully in your pants pocket; WD even says that it can withstand drops of up to 2m.

The design is very cute and discreet, with a smooth black part and the other metallic, with a slightly wavy aspect. The model I tried is 1TB, but it also has versions of 256GB, 512GB or even 2TB.

WD My Passport SSD

At the bottom we have only a single USB-C port, perfect for someone with a Mac like mine (but it also includes a little adapter for USB-A). The included cable is 40cm long, more than ideal for the purpose of this external SSD (for me, it could even be shorter), and it powers the drive itself – that is, it does not require an external source.

There’s not much to talk about using the drive itself, it’s like any other. I always like to format mine before I start using them, and I have already chosen to adopt the Apple File System (APFS) in My Passport SSD, since it is a file system well optimized for flash memories.

My Passport SSD in Disk Utility

Those who do not want to do so can choose to use the WD Security software and enable 256-bit AES encryption on the SSD for complete security of the data stored on it, as well as WD Backup to make backup copies (although it is also compatible with MacOS Time Machine).

Both my SSD and HDD are external devices that need to be connected to the Mac, of course. But the SSD gives a practical bath considering its dimensions and its weight; in addition, as it has no internal moving parts, you can use it “hanging” (swinging) without problems if necessary.

What really made me happy about life with the My Passport SSD and sparked plans to not switch MacBook Pro, for now, was its performance. It obviously doesn’t get to the feet of the machine’s internal SSD, but it is infinitely better than the HDD. Better than trying to explain, is that you see practical tests performed by the Blackmagic Disk Speed ​​Test:

Drive performance testInternal MacBook Pro SSD

The internal SSD reaches 1.628MB / s writing and 1.548MB / s reading, enough to have the Checks throughout the reference table of the app for video editing. So far, no surprise.

Drive performance testLaCie external HDD

Here, you see the horror that I was going to edit videos with the HDD. He recorded only 66MB / s writing and 50MB / s that is, it is really extremely limited in performance.

Drive performance testMy Passport SSD

We then arrived at My Passport SSD. In the test I didn’t reach the 515MB / s promised by WD, but I came close: 303MB / s writing and 451MB / s of reading. See that few Checks greens are not activated in it – and for me, who only work today with full HD 1080p captures, is more than enough.

And note how curious: My Passport SSD is 4.6x faster than HDD in writing and 9x in reading, while the internal SSD on Mac is 5.4x faster than it in reading and 3.4x in writing. That is, it is as if he were right there in the middle between the two.

I also tested the traditional file transfer from the Mac’s internal SSD to the two external drives: a 1.95GB video file took 32 seconds to the external HDD and only 6 seconds (!) To the external SSD, corroborating the benchmark of Blackmagic.

And yes, I can confirm to you that my experience has been quite satisfactory. I would love to have 1-2TB internal on my Mac so I can work at speed full and not having to leave anything “hanging” on it, but this being the only reason that would make me switch Macs today, the option of a product like My Passport SSD is infinitely more reasonable considering the investment that I would have to make in a MacBook Pro new and still with its updated SSD – since even the 2018 models do not come, in their standard configurations, with more than 512GB of capacity (a shame).

The exact model I tested, the 1TB My Passport SSD, can be found in online stores such as Pontofrio, Extra and Casas Bahia for R $ 1,799, which can be paid in up to 12x without interest. It comes with a three-year limited manufacturer’s warranty and is compatible with both Macs and PCs.

To those who are in a situation similar to mine, I recommend it with my eyes closed.