We’ve sure come a long way where portable storage is concerned. It used to be that an external hard drive was one of the coolest peripherals attached to a PC – and then not attached to a PC as it’s transported to another. When SSDs came along, it took a little while for those to transition over to portable drives, largely due to price. That situation has become considerably better over the years, as has the performance we’re seeing from these drives.
A few years ago, WD released its first-gen My Passport SSD, offering performance similar to that of an internal SATA SSD – around 500MB/s read. This second-generation drive augments that nicely, making the move to the NVMe protocol to boost the read to 1,050MB/s, and write to 1,000MB/s. Yup – this drive is fast.
We personally use portable SSDs for the sake of restoring test PCs really fast, or importing game installs to save on downloading them fresh (restoring at 300MB/s+ from an SSD is a lot better than redownloading – even with a 1Gbps internet connection.) Fortunately, if you are someone with the need for a healthy amount of space, these new My Passport SSDs are available in up to 2TB.
While these new drives are built around the USB 3.2 spec, they will plug into older PCs that don’t support it. It’s noted on the product page that you can use a Type-A adapter and still use the drives without issue, but of course, you’d be sacrificing a lot of performance by not using a proper gen 3.2 port.
These new My Passport SSDs come in four colors – Gray, Blue, Gold, and Red – and start at 500GB. That baby model costs $119.99, while a 1TB will set you back $189.99. If you want to go for the big gun, 2TB, be prepared to separate with $359.99. If that seems high, remember the time when an 80GB desktop SSD cost $600! Isn’t progress great?