Home Consumer WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD Review (4TB)

WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD Review (4TB)

by Adam Armstrong
WD_Black P50 SSD with AIC

Back in August of 2019 at Gamescom in Cologne, WD announced its WD_Black for Gaming. This included HDDs for games, a game dock, and a portable SSD. In fact, we reviewed the WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD a little over a year ago. In the waning months of 2020, WD expanded the line again adding NVMe and internal drives. Now the company has expanded the capacity of the WD_BLACK P50 up to 4TB and we’re going to look at it here.

Back in August of 2019 at Gamescom in Cologne, WD announced its WD_Black for Gaming. This included HDDs for games, a game dock, and a portable SSD. In fact, we reviewed the WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD a little over a year ago. In the waning months of 2020, WD expanded the line again adding NVMe and internal drives. Now the company has expanded the capacity of the WD_BLACK P50 up to 4TB and we’re going to look at it here.

WD_Black P50 SSD

As we stated last time, the SSD leverages USB 3.2 2×2 connectivity and has maximum performance claims of up to 2GB/s. The drive comes in capacities ranging from 500B to 4TB, which makes it a nice little bump considering game consumption is slowly trending towards download based over users buying the disks.

WD_Black P50 SSD back

The 4TB WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD comes with a 5-year warranty and is available for $750.

WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive Specifications

Capacity 4 TB
Interface USB 3.2 2×2
Connector USB-C
Compatibility Windows 8.1, 10
macOS 10.11+
PlayStation 4 Pro or PS4 with system software version 4.50 or higher
Xbox One
Dimensions (L x W x H) 4.65″ x 2.44″ x 0.55″

WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive Design and Build

The larger capacity WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive looks identical to the smaller capacity version. The case offers good looks as well as a lot of strength, which helps a lot for cooling. The top cover is a big aluminum plate that draws heat off the SSD, which helps for sustained usage. The drive looks like a crate one would see in a Halo or Gears Of War game versus the standard portable SSD. This adds to the durability of the drive. The top of the drive has the WD_BLACK branding as well as the name of the drive.

WD_Black P50 SSD port

The bottom of the drive has four small rubber feet. Also on the bottom is information about the drive and a QR code that gives the model number. The USB port is on one side of the drive.

WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive Performance

To gauge the performance of the 4TB WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive, we put it through two tests: Blackmagic software and IOMeter, both on a Lenovo P520. We used an add-on PCIe card based around the ASMedia ASM3242 chipset offering a USB 3.2 2×2 interface. We compared this performance to the following drives, both of which support the USB 3.2 gen 2×2 interface. For a comparison we are looking at the 1TB version of WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive. We retested the 1TB version so they are both done on the same test bed.

WD_Black P50 SSD front

First up, let’s look at Blackmagic. The 4TB was able to hit 1.6GB/s read and 1.8GB/s write compared to the 1TB’s 1.66GB/s read and 1.7GB/s write. So, a bit better in writes and a bit slower in reads.

Turning to IOMeter, we measured both 1 and 4 thread, the latter which is a higher load that pushes the SSDs harder. First up is the 1 thread performance, where the 4TB version had 1.43GB/s read and 1.52GB/s write in 2MB sequential. 2MB random saw 1.42GB/s read and 1.5GB/s write. For random 4K the 4TB saw 8,292 IOPS read and 18,810 IOPS write. For 1 thread 1TB performance the 1TB version gave us 1.44GB/s read and 1.48GB/s read. 2MB random saw 1.06GB/s read and 1.42GB/s write. 4K random saw 6,523 IOPS read and 18,417 IOPS write.

Moving on to the more intensive 4 threads testing, the 4TB saw 1.97GB/s read and 1.98GB/s write in 2MB sequential. 2MB random gave us 1.96GB/s read and 1.98GB/s write. 4K random saw 35,318 IOPS read and 71,167 IOPS write. The 4 thread 1TB was very close performance-wise with 2MB sequential having 1.98GB/s read and 1.96GB/s write. 2MB random saw performance drop comparatively with 1.31GB/s read and 1.52GB/s write. 4K random had 29,950 IOPS read and 74,305 IOPS write.

Conclusion

WD has taken its popular portable SSD for gaming, WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive, and doubled the previous top capacity up to 4TB. The drive still leverages USB 3.2 2×2 connectivity and comes with the claim of up to 2GB/s assuming your system supports it. WD is selling it now for $750.

For performance, we tested both Blackmagic and IOMeter (1 thread and 4 thread). We compared the 4TB to the same drive in a smaller capacity, 1TB. For Blackmagic the 4TB was a bit slower in reads but a bit faster in write with 1.6GB/s read and 1.8GB/s write. In IOMeter 1 thread we saw the higher capacity to come with a bit of a performance boost hitting 1.43GB/s read and 1.52GB/s write in 2MB sequential, 1.42GB/s read and 1.5GB/s write in 2MB random, and 8,292 IOPS read and 18,810 IOPS write in 4K random.

With 4 Thread we saw the 4TB mostly perform better than the 1TB with 1.97GB/s read and 1.98GB/s write in 2MB sequential, 1.96GB/s read and 1.98GB/s write in 2MB random, and 35,318 IOPS read and 71,167 IOPS write in 4K random

The 4TB WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive is a nicely designed drive that can add lots of capacity to PCs and consoles for gaming. The drive is able to hit its top quoted speed with supported host systems, with interface saturating I/O. At launch, it’s a little bit expensive, but over time this high-capacity SSD should come down some. Overall it’s a nice enhancement, to the WD gaming line, giving WD_BLACK fans more options when it comes to managing their game libraries.

WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive on Amazon 

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