Digital Home Thoughts: Western Digital Passport vs. Buffalo Ministation: Fight!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Western Digital Passport vs. Buffalo Ministation: Fight!

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM


Power Usage
One of the concerns I had regarding these drives was the fact that some of the reviews I had read indicated that some laptops did not put out enough power via the USB ports to run the drive. Fortunately both drives support using an adapter to be able to draw power from a second USB port to provide supplemental power. Unfortunately, only the Buffalo drive included the extra cable in the package. The cable is available directly from Western Digital for an additional $10. Luckily, both drives worked just fine with just the single cable on every device I tried it on, including the Asus Eee. So almost a dead heat here, but round two goes to Buffalo for including everything you need in the box.

Performance
Each drive comes with built-in Windows-based software (it's stored on the hard drive itself). Since I'm using these specifically for media storage on Linux, I did not evaluate the built in software. However, I did perform a speed test on each of the drives. Both products feature 5400 RPM drives. As you would expect, nearly another tie: the Western Digital scored an average read speed of 27.6 MB/s and the Buffalo scored a 27.8 MB/s. So for round three, Buffalo wins by a nose.

Other Considerations
I'm more interested in functionality over aesthetics, but the Western Digital drive was more stylish. I also liked the fact that the Western Digital drive had a port cover while the Buffalo drive left them exposed. So, round four goes to Western Digital.

Conclusions
So with a score of three to one, the Buffalo beats out Western Digital. It was a great fight with two outstanding competitors. Really, both of these are great drives. If you shop around, you will find that they are similarly priced for drives of the same size. Personally I preferred the Buffalo drive since its design was more heavily focused on the fact that it was in fact a portable drive.

Chris Gohlke is a Contributing Editor for Digital Media Thoughts. He loves Sci-Fi and loves to get his hands on real-life tech gadgets. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, USA with his wife and three cats.

Tags: Buffalo, WD

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