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WD_Black P10 5TB Game Drive Review

By Joseph Bradford on September 19, 2019 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

WD_Black P10 5TB Game Drive Review

I own too many games.

There’s my cry for help. However, as I won’t personally do anything to stop myself, one thing I’m always in need of is storage, especially on console. RPGs and MMOs are behemoths of games, taking up gigabyte after gigabyte of precious space that could otherwise be used for pictures of my kid or cat memes. However, on console the plight is even worse. Games such as Black Desert and The Elder Scrolls Online can take a massive chunk of real estate out of the stock hard drives, not to mention the storage used up by the OS themselves.


Enter the Western Digital WD_Black P10 External Storage HDD. This hard drive, specifically made for gaming applications, is available in 2TB, 4TB and 5TB variety, giving plenty of choice when shopping for a new drive.

First the specs:

  • Capacity: 5TB
  • Interface: USB 3.2Gen 1
  • Connector: Micro B
  • Compatible with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows 8.1, 10, macOS 10.11+
  • Speed: Up To 130MB/s
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 4.65” x 3.46” x 0.82”
  • Price: $149.99 on Western Digital

We had the chance to put the new HDD through its paces the past few weeks. On one hand, for PC users it’s more a convenience than a real necessity. For most gamers, speed and form factor is prioritized over the sheer convenience of an external drive. NVMe and SATA SSDs are cheaper than they ever have been, especially in the larger sizes. Though, if you're looking at a 5TB option, they will still run you more than the asking price of the WD_Black HDD drive.

However, on console this is a different matter entirely. Console themselves have small hard drives to begin with, and while you can upgrade them, the easier solution for most will be an external hard drive.

But how does it perform?

We ran synthetic benchmarks using CyrstalDiskMark 6.0.2 and while we didn’t hit the 130 MB/s the drive is rated at, it definitely came pretty close. Hitting 127.9MB/s read and 123.0MB/s write, it’s definitely within the realm of acceptable speeds for the drive.

In real world applications we tested the speed to transfer large files and folders over to the drive, on both PC and PS4. Moving folders in the 6GB range as well as the 50GB range, we saw pretty standard times. Moving over the Skyrim install folder from an SSD to the external drive, we saw this done in about a 1 minute 45 seconds. On the PlayStation 4, I moved over a 6GB install of BlazeBlue Cross Tag Battle and it took a little longer, but not much - 1 minute, 50 seconds. As far as the large filesize, I moved over Black Desert, a 50GB folder, which took about 12 minutes to complete. All told this isn’t so bad for an HDD, though it definitely makes me long for my speedy NVMe drives.

So why should you buy this drive? Well, if you’re a PC player, unless you’re transferring large files between PCs constantly, it might not be the best purchase. NVMe and even SATA SSDs can be cheaper in some instances and are much faster than your typical HDD, though the larger sizes are still more expensive than their HDD counterparts. However, I found the best use case on console. I have a ton of games I like to play periodically on PS4 - mostly RPGs and fighting games. However I find myself constantly deleting games to make room for the new one. With the P10 drive, that’s no longer an issue. With multiple PS4s in the house as well, it allows me to move the games I want to play the most to the other console without issue.

That can’t be overstated for me - with streaming, playing games in my office for work or hanging in the living room in my daughter, being able to play exactly what I want where I want without wasting space for the same game on multiple consoles is so nice. $150 is a lot to ask for a hard drive, though. Moving down from 5TB, the P10 gets a bit cheaper (and are rated higher at up to 140MB/s with the 2TB) starting at $89.99, so if $150 is too high an ask, there are options. The question then is whether owning an external drive is worth it to you in the end.

For me, the use and convenience outweighs the cost here - it’s been refreshing not having to uninstall and reinstall console games just because I want my Soul Calibur VI fix or need to check out an update in Black Desert when one hits.

Conclusion

In the end, the WD_Black P10 Game Drive is a great little hard drive. It’s sleek, it’s compact and it performs. At $149.99 it is on the pricier side for a 5TB drive, but the option of going to a 2TB variety for under 100 bucks might appeal to consumers in the market for a drive. All in all, the drive performs and it’s incredibly convenient to use, which in the end makes it a great decision should you choose to get one.


Pros:

  • Large capacity drive
  • Decent speeds for a USB HDD

Cons:

  • Cost may be out of range for some for the 5TB model

The product reviewed was provided by the company for the purposes of this review.

Editor's note: Previously the review made it seem as though a comparable NVMe or SSD in the same size as the product reviewed would be around the same price. This error has been fixed and the review updated to reflect this. We apologize for this error.


Joseph Bradford / Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he''s not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don''t get him started on why Balrogs *don''t* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore