The latest generation of the Raspberry Pi — the third, for those counting — is the most powerful and versatile yet. Bundling a 64bit CPU, a better on-board GPU, and native wireless and Bluetooth support all into one micro-sized PCB is a stellar achievement. But it doesn’t have much in the way of storage.
Fortunately, Western Digital has stepped up to support the do-it-yourself community with its new PiDrive, a very low-profile hard drive (HDD) with a modified interface to make connecting it up to the Pi, as easy as pie.
With a profile as low as just seven millimeters, Western Digital’s new PiDrive should be able to make it through the Pi’s clubhouse door, as one of the tenets of the micro-computer is its small size. Traditional HDDs are just too big to consider. While flash memory is an option, Western Digital believes that a tiny HDD is the way forward, and now offers 314GBs of HDD storage for Pi users.
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Part of that reasoning is power requirements. WD believes that its drive should offer a good trade-off in power-draw vs. performance, while maintaining its small stature.
Based off of Western Digital’s Blue drives (as per Ars), they have been modified to make them easier to connect up to the Pi 3 also. Gone is the traditional SATA connector, and in its place, a USB interface has been implemented. WD insists it will allow for “sufficient performance to deliver maximum USB data transfer rates.”
That should mean that Pi users can connect the drive directly to the micro-PC, without any converters or other additional hardware.
Better yet, WD has teamed up with the team behind BerryBoot, the software solution that makes it easier to have multiple operating systems on the same storage drive and boot up from external drives. With more than 300GB of space to work with, you can have almost as many OS installs as you want.
Available now direct from Western Digital, the PiDrive’s retail price is $49, but you can pick it up now at a reduced $31 for the time being. It’s also available as part of a bundle, which includes an enclosure, a 4GB SD card, and a few cables.
What kind of interesting projects can you imagine with the use of the PiDrive?