Western Digital is always working hard behind the scenes to bring higher capacity drives to market. Before today the largest capacity portable drive from WD was 2TB. That is enough storage space for many, but the demand for 4TB models has been slowly increasing. WD has recognized that the needs in the market have changed and is releasing high-end 4TB portable NVMe SSDs under their WD, SanDisk and WD_BLACK drive series.
This also makes them the first major drive maker to introduce 4TB models and they will all be shipping by the end of February 2021! The very first 4TB portable drive that will be available for purchase is the WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive. At $749 the new 4TB version of the WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive comes at a price point for those that need a solution like this. This drive is aimed at gamers that are looking to store a large number of games on a single drive capable of up to 2000MB/s read speeds.
To get those speeds on the WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD you’ll need to connect it to a SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 2×2) port. Very few systems support this standard right now, but that will be changing this year. That is because you’ll see a number of platforms coming to market with support of USB 4. That is great news for storage enthusiasts as some non-power limited implementations of USB 4 (USB4, USB 4.0, or Thunderbolt 4) support 20Gbps and faster devices. USB4 offers a maximum throughput of 40Gbps! We have seen public slides that show Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake desktop processors support Intel Thunderbolt 4 and are fully USB4 compliant. Thunderbolt 4 is also supported on the latest Apple M1 powered Macs!
Inside the WD_BLACK P50 4TB model is the equivalent of a WD SN750 4TB double-sided M.2 2280 NVMe SSD. This M.2 2280 form factor drive is capable of over 3 GB/s speeds over the PCIe Gen 3 x4 interface and should have no problem reaching 2 GB/s over the USB 3.2 2×2 interface.
Western Digital sent Legit Reviews the WD_Black P50 4TB Game Drive SSD (part number WDBA3S0040BBK) to try out on one of our desktop platforms that has a USB 3.2 2×2 interface. The specifications are exactly the same as the P50 model that we reviewed in 2020, so the only major change here is the capacity increase. There was some minor issues with the initial run of the P50 that we ran into the first time around, but that has been ironed out with new silicon by ASMedia.
The capacity of the P50 Game Drive is shown on the bottom of the drive between the rubber pads that keep it from sliding around.
Here is a quick look at the USB Type-C port and the white power/activity LED that is located just off to the side. You’ll get the best speeds on a USB 3.2 2×2 (20Gbps) connector on the host device, but you can run it on any USB port as it is backwards compatible.
Before we jump into testing, here is a quick look at CrystalDiskInto v8.9.0 on the P50 4TB drive. It shows that inside is an SN730E NVMe SSD that uses the NVMe Express 1.3 standard. The SN730 is the OEM version of the SN750 that is available on the consumer channel.
Let’s take a look at some benchmarks!