With 6TB, you can save a lot of junk. Off the top of my head there are the TV series that I've had to sacrifice to make room for new ones. You know, TV shows that aren't keepers (Heroes anyone?), and more bad movies in HD than you can shake a stick at. I hated all of them, but it was painful to part with them nevertheless. Western Digital My Studio II lets you hoard all of that junk with its ginormous gargantuan titanic 6TB of storage. This is my review of that product.
Aside from hoarders, the Western Digital My Studio II is for a special breed of digital professional: the video editor, the professional photographer, the art director, the 3D animator. Chances are, that's not you. No worries, digital collector. Hoarders will be just as happy with this baby.
The Western Digital My Studio II looks just like any WD external hard drive, only fatter. There's a reason for that. It's actually two 3TB hard drives placed back to back. This is actually something of a good idea, as placing two drives in a RAID configuration makes sense. If one hard drive fails (it happens sometimes), the other one will survive; whereas when one hard drive with two partitions fails, both partitions will probably die. Still, this design makes this external hard drive more than just chunky. Make some room on your table.
Once it's there, it's not going anywhere as this is not a portable hard drive. It will be tethered to your table with a power brick. Not to worry, it's actually kind of good looking on a table. It's built of plastic, but it does a good job of mimicking an aluminum Apple MacBook because, make no mistake about it, this is targeted for Mac fanatics. It even has white FireWire and USB 2.0 cables, as well as white LED lights on the front.
The WD My Studio II connects in any of four ways: FireWire 800/400, eSATA, and USB 2.0. The FireWire and eSATA connections alone speak volumes about who will be excited about this external HD, namely digital professionals with very powerful rigs. These are the kind of people who demand a fast, high bandwidth connection to their data.
I am not one of those people, so I tested this as a hoarder would, and I found USB 2.0 to be more than adequate. I haven't had a FireWire connection on my computer for years, and I haven't missed it.
The WD My Studio II comes with free software, but let's get real. What Mac owner in his right mind would use these backup utilities over Time Machine? You can format the drive, create partitions, set up RAID and all that from Apple's very own Disk Utility, or you can use WD's software. It's nice that you have that option, but you won't lose much if you chuck the disc.
In today's everything-tiny-sleek-and-shiny world, this external HD feels a little like the past, especially with cloud computing on the horizon. Personally, I like it. It feels like a hefty book. And I like books. Call me old-fashioned, but I find it comforting to have my data with me physically, and with 6TB I get to have more of it at my fingertips than ever. Using it is simple. The uninitiated may want to turn to the packaged software, but more experienced hoarders can throw away the manual. They'll know what to do.
USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt would have been nice, especially since FireWire connections are fast disappearing on PCs. All told, you've got plenty of options, so it's not that big a deal.