External drives are a lot faster these days. With the introduction of both Thunderbolt and USB 3, keeping backups has never been easier or snappier. Now, Western Digital has two more products to take advantage of all of these speed improvements: The My Book VelociRaptor Duo, and My Passport for Mac.
First, My Book VelociRaptor Duo houses two 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor drives that can easily be configured for RAID 0 or RAID 1. The best part is that it has a SATA 6 Gbps interface as well as 64MB of cache. Using these drives over Thunderbolt means you’ll have just about the fastest spinning drives available. Each drive is one terabyte, so you have a total of two terabytes at your disposal for $900 USD. It also features a Thunderbolt passthrough, so you can continue to chain devices as needed.
Second, we have the My Passport for Mac. This snazzy little drive features a USB 3 connection, so you can use these connections on the new MacBooks. It’s available in three sizes: 500 GB for $100 USD, 1 TB for $130 USD, and 2 TB for $200 USD. One of Western Digital’s selling points is their drive encryption tomfoolery, but you’ll probably be better off just using FileVault, which is built right into OS X.
These drives might not have the benefits of solid state drives, but they’ll be plenty fast and a lot cheaper per gigabyte. For the time being, these might just be the best options available for people that need a balance of performance and price.