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The tests not only gave us answers, but also raised new questions. The owner of the Dual-Option Media Center enjoys using a multi-functional combo-machine that can store huge amounts of data, can read data from memory cards and can serve as an USB hub for other USB-compliant devices. And yet, the results of the tests are rather unsatisfying. Irrespective of the interface and the file system, the WDXF2500JB was benchmarked to have the lowest performance compared to three other external drives of the same 250GB capacity. While the performance gap is not critical in WinBench 99, the WDXF2500JB attached via FireWire did very feebly in FC Test. Is it a price the developer had to pay to add so many functions into the device? Perhaps.

I was not permitted to take apart the sample I took through my tests and I don’t know the particulars of its internal design, especially its card-reader section. Probably, the realization of the “matching circuit” resulted in the performance degeneration in FC Test. Another version is that the FireWire controller is just ineffective at processing small files. Anyway, the performance of the WDXF2500JB was closer to the other devices when it was connected through the USB 2.0 interface. I would also like to remind you that according to our previous reports this drive is very fast at reading CompactFlash media and simply fast at reading SD cards.

That said, I could recommend the new drive from Western Digital to users who need its universality in the first place, while the performance of the disk subsystem is of less importance. Otherwise, you may want to consider the other three models first.

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