I’ve been writing for tech mags for as long as the Raspberry Pi has existed, and one of the most popular Pi tutorials I’ve seen in the last four years or so is the classic Raspberry Pi fileserver. It’s a no-brainer really, due to the Pi’s size and power requirements; the only thing you need to add is a USB hard drive. On Pi Day Western Digital, popular purveyors of hard drives, released PiDrive, a Raspberry Pi-optimised USB hard drive that you may want to consider for the job.
You see, while the Raspberry Pi may be low power, hard drives are basically a chunk of metal spinning at several thousand RPM; this, as you might expect, needs a little more juice. While in the grand scheme of things a Pi fileserver is still a relatively low-power solution, it does make you wonder. The PiDrive, on the other hand, is designed around the Raspberry Pi. It draws all the power it needs straight from the separately available USB power cable [this article originally implied that the cable was included – we’re sorry for the inaccuracy] which then also fits into the Raspberry Pi. With this and optimisations to the way data is transferred, the power draw of the entire system ends up being lower than the usual methods.
As it was released on Pi Day, WD have gone all-in with the Pi references. It has 314 GB of storage and currently costs $31.42 (£22), which is 31.4% off its RRP of $45.81 (£32).
At that size it’s probably most useful for your day-to-day Pi use, offering more storage than your standard 8GB SD card. However, there are four USB ports on a Raspberry Pi and you can connect a drive to each of them if you want to go down the fileserver/NAS route – WD reckons PiDrive will work just fine for that kind of purpose.
The PiDrive is on sale now. Give it a look!