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Western Digital vs LaCie, a comparison of the top external USB 3.0 models

written by: Jon Cevski•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 10/5/2010

Find out what is the better option, Western Digital or LaCie. Read this full review of the best hard drives that these companies can offer.

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    Western Digital vs LaCie

    The USB 3.0 standard is a new technology that is meant to succeed the very successful USB 2.0 standard. It brings better data bandwidth, but there aren’t many hardware devices that support this standard. One of the first hardware components that are built with USB 3.0 support are external hard drives. The older external hard drives were slow and had small capacity. Now they are almost as fast as the hard drive that you have in your PC, and offer high storage capacity up to 2 TB. So this article will be a comparison of the two best and largest models of external drives with USB 3.0 support from two great manufacturers, Western Digital and LaCie. Read on to find out what is the better choice in this battle of Western Digital vs LaCie.

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    Western Digital My Book 3.0

    My Book 3.0 1 The Western Digital My Book 3.0 uses USB 3.0 connectivity which can transfer data at 5 gigabits per second. That's up to 10 times faster than the USB 2.0 standard, but the real speed of this external hard drive doesn't even come close to this. This speed is the full capacity of the USB 3.0 standard but the hard drive can't reach this speed so the actual speed is much lower. It has a big storage capacity of 2 TB and can store 400,000 digital photos or 500,000 MP3 songs or 770 hours of DVD quality video or 240 hours of HD video and that's a lot. The USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 with no additional hardware needed. The average read speed is 88MB/s, with average writes of 66MB/s which is three times the speed of the Western Digital My Book Elite USB 2.0. Size and weight are important for external hard drives. The Western Digital My Book 3.0 measures 165 mm height, 135 mm depth, 48 mm width and weighs 1.18 kg. This is a great size and weight for an external hard drive with this big storage capacity.

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    LaCie Minimus USB 3.0

    LaCie Minimus USB 3.0 

    The LaCie Minimus USB 3.0 is another great external hard drive. It has a storage capacity of 2 TB and uses the USB 3.0 connection with bandwidth up to 5 Gb/s or 600 MB/s which is equal to copying a whole movie in just one second. But, the LaCie Minimus USB 3.0 can't use the full capability of the USB 3.0 standard so the writing and reading speeds are 87.7 MBps for writing and 104.9 MBps for reading which makes it almost 20% faster than the Western Digital My Book 3.0. Also it has a smaller size of 110.7 x 29.4 x 172.8 mm and lighter weight of only 850 g.

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    The Verdict

    The price of the two models on Amazon is almost the same so the deterring factors would have to be the speed and size. The LaCie Minimus is faster and smaller so it's the obvious choice. On the other hand, Western Digital is a manufacturer with large experience in building hard drives, so the Western Digital My Book 3.0 is better built and has better support. These things are not enough to make the Western Digital My Book 3.0 a winner. So when compared one against the other, Western Digital vs LaCie, LaCie wins because it is faster, smaller and lighter. Follow this link if you want to read about a comparison of two internal hard drives, Western Digital vs Maxtor.