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Western Digital has introduced its first 3TB hard disk drive designed for consumer-grade data backup. The new My Book Essential external hard drive is based on yet unannounced internal device with 3TB capacity and yet unknown performance characteristics.

The new WD My Book Essential 3TB drives not only take advantage of the latest blazing-fast USB 3.0 technology, but are also fully compatible with USB 2.0 connections for those who have yet to upgrade their computers to USB 3.0. When connected to a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, consumers can transfer data at speeds up to 5Gb/s, which by far exceeds speeds of hard drives to read or write data.

"WD's newest line of My Book and My Passport external hard drives features the latest USB 3.0 connection technology, which more than triples the speed to transfer media files, but still works with today's USB 2.0 ports. In addition, consumers can take advantage of the highest capacity available on external hard drives with the new 3TB My Book Essential drive," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD's branded products group.

The hard drives with 3TB capacity have to use 4KB sectors (up from 512 bytes on the vast majority of current drives), 64-bit operating system, new logical block addressing (LBA) standard along with new UEFI (universal extensible firmware interface) replacement for BIOS (basic input-output system). Since WD  My Book Essential  3TB and its direct rival Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 3TB are external solutions, they do not need to work with BIOS/UEFI and hence the only requirement is probably a modern 64-bit operating system. Such limitation forces HDD makers to release 3TB hard drives in external form-factor.

WD My Book Essential 3TB has manufacturer's suggested retail price of $249.

Tags: Western Digital, WD

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