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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussions including the Apple Watch.

WD Passport 320GB and Lacie Portable 160GB on a MacBook Pro

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Member Since: Dec 01, 2007
Posts: 30
jogi is on a distinguished road

jogi is offline
Hi all,

Looking around the internet, before indulging myself to a 2'5" external hard drive, I couldn't find any information if the Macbook Pro USB ports could provide enough juice to make the drives spin. There was a lot of speculation and it was reported that the Powerbook 15" could not spin up a 250 GB WD Passport drive.

So I took the risk, bought myself a 160GB 2.5" lacie and a 320 GB WD Passport.


1. Tried the Lacie, with the Firewire 400 port. It worked wonderfully, with the only problem of the cable being too easy to pull out from the Macbook Pro firewire 400 port, which had happened a couple of times while I was watching a movie off it in my bed...

2. Tried the Lacie with the USB connection. I attached it to the port on the left of the computer and it did not work. The drive could not spin up, with the computer either plugged in or not. Then I tried the port on the right, the one next to the Firewire port and it worked wonderfully. I didn't see any speed differences, the maximum throughput that I've seen was around 30mb/sec from both Firewire and USB connections.

3. Tried the WD Passport 320 GB on both USB ports and it worked like a charm. Speed is practically equal, with aroung 28-29mb/sec max throughput.

Hope the above help you in any purchasing decisions ;-) It would have saved me tons of time and provide peace of mind when purchasing an expensive external drive like the WD Passport...

Macbook Pro 15", C2D 2.16 GHz, 2 GB Ram, 120 GB 5400 internal drive, ATI graphics.
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kgeier82's Avatar
Member Since: Dec 01, 2006
Posts: 1,495
kgeier82 is a jewel in the roughkgeier82 is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: MBP 2.4/2GB/200HD/256 8600gt

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never had a problem with drive spin up on any intel mac here.

havent had a beast of 320gb to try though either. my7k200 worked fine, while it was external. i saw a FW400 2.5 drive in the apple store, i wonder if it was the lacie.

2.4ghz Unibody | Hitachi 320GB 7200 | 256MB 9600gt
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Member Since: Dec 27, 2006
Location: Vancouver BC, Canada
Posts: 149
Mactime is an unknown at this point
Mac Specs: White MacBook, Intel Core 2 Duo

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thanks for the review, i am interested in buying the WD passport 250 GB and as you mentioned what stopped me is seeing on there site that the powerbook didnt have enough juice to power the WD via its USB. From what you are saying is that your MacBook pro had no issues with the WD passport. My question is do the MacBook Pros and the regular Macbooks(white) have the same power output through there USB ports?

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