A specialized hard drive for gaming exceeds expectations.

Storage is everything these days – even when you play games. Gaming systems come with a certain amount of hard drive space allotted to them, but since more and more games are going to digital download options, they take up that space rather quickly. Just a few months ago, I bought my fiance Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate for the Xbox Series X and in order for him to enjoy playing with all the different characters, we had to complete a lot of updates and character downloads. And even though standard-issue hard drives in gaming systems are much larger than they used to be, space still comes at a premium. That’s why Western Digital (WD) created a portable SSD that is specifically designed to work with gaming systems like the Xbox and the PlayStation. The WD_Black P50 is a fantastic option for gamers to add on some hard drive space to enhance their gaming experience. 

DETAILS

The WD_Black P50 is purpose-built for gamers. It can reach speeds up to 2000 MB/s and helps to decrease load screen times so that you get to the game faster. The SSD is future-ready with a SuperSpeed USB (20 GB/s) interface and it strikes the perfect balance between speed and performance. The WD_Black P50 SSD is premium storage designed for expansion. The SSD has an extremely durable form factor that is shock-resistant so that it’s ideal for portability. The hard drive comes with a 5-year limited warranty and is available in four different capacities – 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. The hard drive is compatible with Windows 8.1, 10, macOS 10.11+, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. 

Capacity500GB, 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB
InterfaceUSB 3.2
ConnectorUSB-C
CompatibilityWindows® 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″
In the BoxWD_BLACK™ P50 Game Drive SSD
USB Type-C to Type-C cable
USB Type-C to Type-A cable
Quick Install Guide

USER EXPERIENCE

The WD_Black P50 comes in a really cool retail package. The box is all black except for a few letters that highlight the name of the product and the capacity. Those are orange. The front of the box has an image of the hard drive on the front and the back. There are also bulleted features of the hard drive on the back. On the inside of the box, you’ll find the hard drive, a USB-C to USB-C cable, a USB-C to USB-A cable, a quick start guide, and a pamphlet with safety, warranty, and regulatory information included. The quick start guide is quite helpful because it shows you how you can connect the drive to different devices. 

With a PC/Mac computer, you simply plug it in as you would any other external hard drive. With a PlayStation 4, you would plug it into the USB port on the front and then navigate to the hard drive through “devices and peripherals” in order to format the drive. With the Xbox One, you plug it into the USB-A port on the front of the system and a message window automatically pops up asking if you would like to format the hard drive or not. You can use it for media or for game backups. If you want to use it for game backups, you will need to format it. I did also attempt to connect the drive to our Xbox Series X system. 

Even though it wasn’t listed as one of the compatible devices, I wanted to see what options I would end up having if I tried it. As it turns out, I was able to access the WD_Black through one of the menu options on the Xbox Series X, but the only options I had with it was to use it for media storage for replaying on the Xbox or as storage for videos that are recorded using the Xbox. I did not have the option to reformat it for use as a game storage device. 

In order to complete speed tests on the hard drive, I plugged it into my MacBook Pro using the USB-C to USB-C cable that was provided. I usually run three different speed tests on hard drives – Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, AJA System Test Lite, and a real-time data transfer test where I copy a large file or set of files onto the hard drive and use a stopwatch to time how long the transfer takes. The table below shows the results of the two application-based tests. For the real-time data transfer test, I copied a folder that was 7.28GB in size to the hard drive and recorded a time of 25.21 seconds. That translates to a data transfer rate of 0.29 GB/s or 291.2 MB/s.  

WRITEREAD
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test928.3 MB/s901.1 MB/s
AJA System Test Lite (1080p, 4GB, ProRes HQ)610 MB/s694 MB/s
AJA System Test Lite (4K Full, 16GB, ProRes HQ)888 MB/s904 MB/s
AJA System Test Lite (5K Red, 64GB, ProRes HQ)885 MB/s906 MB/s

CONCLUSION

The WD_Black P50 seems to be a very capable, easy-to-use hard drive. Its special design for gaming makes it unique, but when it comes to function it isn’t very different from other SSDs and if someone decided to use this special hard drive for regular backups from a computer, they could. It’s got a very unique look to it and is very efficient when it comes to its data transfer speeds. I would recommend this not only because it is designed for gaming, but also because I trust WD products. With World Backup Day right around the corner, you should pick one up for the gamer in your life.

For more information, visit westerndigital.comFacebook, and Twitter.