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Western Digital My Passport Studio 640 GB Portable Hard Disk Dive Review
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The 640 GB My Passport Studio

The My Passport Studio is only available in one colour combination - white and silver. Thankfully, it was not completely white as some Mac products are wont to do. It's designed to look like a passport (albeit a VERY thick one), so it has a silver cover that wraps around the left side with white sides at the top, bottom and right.

The My Passport Studio is a little thicker and heavier than most USB hard disk drives. The extra thickness and weight may be due to the space required to fit the E-label display and associated electronics.


Usable Capacity

This Western Digital My Passport Studio drive has an official formatted capacity of 640 GB. We checked that out by formatting it in NTFS using Microsoft Windows Vista.

The actual formatted capacity was 639,428,980,736 bytes. That is 571 MB less than the official formatted capacity. With about 113 MB allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity was almost 700 MB below 640 GB.

The reason for the large "loss" of capacity is due to the inclusion of the WD SmartWare utility. To prevent this utility from being accidentally (or intentionally) deleted by the user, WD chose to use some space on the hard disk drive to create a virtual CD (VCD) drive of about 371 MB in size. That's where all the "missing space" went.

It's too bad Western Digital used so much space for the VCD partition. The SmartWare suite of applications for both Mac OS and Windows only took up 260 MB. That meant that about 111 MB of space was being wasted in the VCD partition.

We can understand why Western Digital chose to use a Virtual CD drive, instead of just providing a copy of the software inside the drive. However, we wish they could have created a smaller partition, or provided a utility to remove or adjust the size of the Virtual CD partition. Western Digital only provides a Virtual CD (VCD) Manager that allows you to disable or re-enable the Virtual CD - it doesn't restore the space used by the Virtual CD, or even allow you to adjust the amount of space used.





Formatted Capacity

• 640,000 MB

Guaranteed Sectors

• NA

Bytes Per Sector

• 512 bytes

Spindle Speed

• 5,400 RPM

Cache Buffer

• Unknown

Internal Data Transfer Rate

• NA

Maximum I/O Transfer Rate

• 800 Mbits/s (FireWire 800)
• 480 Mbits/s (USB 2.0)

Average Seek

• NA

Average Latency

• NA

Drive Ready Time

• NA


• FireWire 800
• USB 2.0

Maximum Height

• 18.5 mm (0.73 inches)

Maximum Width

• 83 mm (3.27 inches)

Maximum Length

• 124 mm (4.88 inches)

Maximum Weight

• 180 g (0.40 lbs)

Power Consumption

• NA

Operating Temperature

• 5 °C to 35 °C
• 41 °F to 95 °F

Non-Operating Temperature

• -20 °C to 65 °C
• -4 °F to 149 °F

Maximum Shock

• NA

Drive Acoustics

• NA

Non-Recoverable Read Errors

• NA

Load/Unload Cycles

• NA


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Western Digital External Hard Disk Drives


The 640 GB My Passport Studio
Usable Capacity


A Closer Look


Testing The My Passport Studio


Surface Temperature
Transfer Rate Profile


WinBench 99 Test Results
Transfer Rate Range


IO Meter Random Access Performance


IO Meter Sequential Access Performance



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