Western Digital My Passport X Review – An external drive targeted for Xbox One and PC Gamers
Since the Xbox One’s induction in the retail markets worldwide in 2013, I’ve run into a bunch people who own the console and complain about, well, you guessed it, storage space, or the sheer lack of it.
Well, what could you expect. Gone are the days when DVDs and Blu-Ray discs were all that was needed to launch a game. This is the generation of digital downloads, so one has to download and install GBs of data on their internal drives in order to play a game. For some games, the volume of data is humungous. Triple A games take anything between 30 – 85GB of space on your hard drive.
That has resulted in gamers having to make difficult choices, like deleting a beloved game in order to make space for a new one. Nobody likes doing this, me included. And console internal storage is limited, at 500GB. This hinders your combined gaming experience during the ownership of the console. Then, there’s the issue that once you delete a game, if you want to play it again, you have to download the darned thing all over again. And we know how terribly un-gamer friendly the data usage policies of ISPs in our country are. The majority of data plans are capped at 50GB. Thats just worth one Triple A game, or maybe not even that.
Western Digital recognised this problem, and introduced the My Passport X portable drive as a heavenly sent solution. The “X” suffix obviously takes its influence from the Xbox One, and for reasons unknown, most brands end up adding an “X” to their gaming products. Off topic, research has proved that gamers connected with the alphabet “X” more than they connect to others. “X” signifies performance, and the My Passport X packs a bunch of it, in a nifty little package. This drive supports the Xbox One out of the box, USB 3.0 for the fastest read/write and transfer speeds, and for the PC gamers, it has the ability to hold your Steam installs. The My Passport X comes in just one capacity, 2TB. Two terabytes should be enough to hold 50 big production games, and is the number claimed by Western Digital itself.
The My Passport X takes its design cues from the Xbox One design itself. The Xbox’s combination of black matte and glossy finish on its surface is carried over to the My Passport X. When sitting together, this design similarity makes them look synergic and unified.
The first time I held the “X” in my palm, I noticed how perfectly the drive sits in it. WD nailed it with the size of the “X”. Even my mobile phone doesn’t fit my below average sized palms, but the X sat in as if that was where it was meant to be. I can even fit it in my pocket without anybody noticing that I’m carrying a 2TB USB 3.0 external storage device on me. That’s a big plus and that really adds to the unique portability of this gaming drive. If you own a gaming laptop and are short of storage space, just add this to your already large arsenal of gaming gizmos in your laptop bag and you’re set.
Setting up the hard drive is fully dummy proof. There are no drivers required, I tested the My Passport X with both Windows and OSX. The drive’s default name, consequently is, well, you guessed it, “X.” Setting up the X on the Xbox One is easy as a breeze too. Just plug in the USB cable, follow on-screen instructions, wait for the dive to format and voila, you just juiced your Xbox One by 2 terabytes of storage space. That’s fours times the hard drive space your Xbox One came with. Not bad at all.
Copy/pasting operations to and from Windows ran breathtakingly fast, noticeably faster than USB 2.0 drives. In some cases, I felt the My Passport X was faster than the ADATA HD710 USB 3.0 external hard drive. Both drives are performance drives, but the WD My Passport X edges out in speed being a tad little faster.
Taking our testing onto the Xbox One, we installed the latest Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 on the My Passport X. When we had it loaded on the Xbox’s internal drive, the average loading time before a match begins was 5.6 seconds. With the My Passport X, we got 5.2 seconds. That’s about an 8% increase in load times for PES 2016. We assume this translates to other games too, but we are yet to test them and will do so over time. We are in the process of slowly moving our Xbox One installs onto the My Passport X, and as a default case, all new games are being installed on the X (I’m looking at you, Halo 5).
Summarising, looking hard at the Western Digital My Passport X, I find it difficult to find any flaws in the drive. This is a neat, straight forward product designed with a clear vision and purpose. Everything about the My Passport X speaks about its ultimate purpose, i.e. to be used as an external storage for games and media, and WD checks all those marks with flying colours. It is built well, sized just right, is blazing fast and super easy to use. Western Digital have nailed it with the My Passport X, their product design team’s clear headedness is evident. My only issue is the price. The My Passport X retails around INR 8,500 in the open market. Although that isn’t a bad price for an external 2TB hard drive, it’s a ‘tad’ little higher. I’d still say that this is worth every penny. But the big disparity between the Indian and American pricing (Indian being the higher, obviously) is off-putting. That’s not something WD can fix though, as we believe. It’s the duties our government levies on such products that make us pay more.
Unique product, with a clear purpose
Easy to set up
Blazingly fast, supports USB 3.0
Sized perfectly. Easy to carry
If we really had to pick one, the body of the hard drive is prone to scratches.