hey everybody it’s lon seidman we’re taking a look today at the wd black p50 this is another one of those external solid state drives this one has a one terabyte nvme inside but it connects over usb type c this is being marketed at gamers but it will work with just about anything so if you’ve got something that works with usb storage it’s going to work just fine with that although we will talk a little bit about using this with an xbox console as we work our way through the review and we’re also going to take a look at another drive they make called the extreme pro from sandisk and we’ll see if there’s any differences between these two now i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this came in free of charge from wd however they are not paying for this review no one is reviewing or approving what you’re about to see before it was uploaded and all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own so let’s get into it now and see what this drive is all about now the price point on this for the one terabyte version is 199.
the two terabyte version is 349 and there’s a four terabyte version on amazon right now for seven hundred dollars so the price escalates very quickly on these you will certainly find more capacity in a spinning drive for much less but these do deliver better performance than a spinning drive would hardware wise it’s pretty basic there’s a nice rugged metal shell here on the top the bottom portion feels like plastic but it’s a very rugged plastic they have some rubber feet here that keep it from sliding around when it’s on the surface of a desk or a game console and it looks like it has some ability to dissipate heat here through the bottom it didn’t get all that hot in my testing i didn’t see any thermal slow downs with it so generally i think it will keep itself pretty cool there is a single connector on it of course and that is right up top here this is a usb type-c connector and of course usb type-c gets complicated and with this drive it’s especially complicated to reach the speeds that they’re advertising let me show you what i mean now if we take a look at the packaging for the drive here you can see that they’re advertising 2 000 megabytes per second or 2 gigabytes per second and they’re also listing that usb port we were just looking at as being super speed usb 20 gigabits per second now what’s important to know is that there is no computer that i’m aware of at the moment that actually ships with a port that supports this 20 gigabit usb speed and you might be saying well lon what about all this new usb 4 stuff with thunderbolt integration surely you can get 20 gigabits per second with this drive on that standard and the answer is not really let me show you what i mean so this chart from wikipedia lists all of the current usb standards for data transfer now the one that this drive supports is the super speed usb 20 gigabits per second standard designated with this logo the ss with a little 20 there above the usb icon and you can see that this is called the usb 3.2 gen 2×2 standard now what most computers have is something that supports this speed here which is the 10 gigabit version usb 3.2 gen 2×1 also known as usb 3.1 gen 2.
so the reality i think for most people is you’re going to get half the speed that’s advertised here on the hardware that you’re plugging it into primarily because i don’t see many computers supporting 2×2 at all many don’t now most don’t actually and unless you get a separate adapter card for your computer you’re never going to get the speeds that are being advertised here even with a thunderbolt or usb 4 port now there’s a separate 20 gigabit standard as part of usb4 that is coming over from thunderbolt and although this drive will work just fine on one of those usb4 connectors at 10 gigabits per second it’s not the same standard as the 20 gigabit standard that is going to be built into usb4 so just be aware that you’re going to get close to a gigabyte per second out of this under the best conditions in most cases unless you specifically have a usb port that supports two by two now i apologize for taking two and a half minutes to explain all of this but i think it’s really important for everyone to understand what the reality is versus the marketing especially with the standard they chose for this drive and the sandisk drive here that we reviewed a couple of months ago has the same issue it’s a great performing drive but the standard that it supports is not the one that i think most people are going to have so again both of these will perform very well as one gigabyte or if they’re about per second drives but not more than that now this is being marketed at gamers but if you are planning to use this with a next generation game console that means the xbox series s and x or the ps5 things get a little more complicated in both cases whether you’re on the xbox platform or the ps5 platform the enhanced games for those new consoles will not run off of external storage even storage as fast as this drive i did try to install a game that was enhanced for the series x on my series x upstairs and i got this message
where i can store the game on external storage but not actually play the game from external storage in order to do that with expanded storage you have to get a specific drive that’s compatible with those next generation consoles for that purpose this one won’t do it now one advantage this drive brings for console users is that it does a very nice job playing some of the legacy games so if you’re trying to use this with a ps4 or a prior generation xbox console you will see a speed improvement over the internal spinning drive that those consoles have we found on my xbox one x we were booting some of these games up three or four seconds faster and i think some of the gameplay was a little quicker on this drive as well because it is a solid state drive now if you’re on the ps5 or the series s or x you can move the legacy games the ps4 and the old xbox games to this drive and play those games off the drive on the new consoles that will free up your internal drive for the new stuff and the old stuff will run really nicely off of this and i think that’s the use case for this particular drive now but again the new enhanced games won’t run on this at all let’s take a look now and see how it performs so let’s begin with a sequential read and write test and we’ve got it connected right now to my gaming laptop via its thunderbolt 3 connector and again this does not support the 2×2 standard and what you’re going to see here is likely what you’re going to get close to in your own testing so let’s go ahead and start that test and see what we’re getting and we’re getting about what i expected roughly about 900 megabytes per second or so on writes and roughly the same on reads one thing i’m finding with a lot of these high performance usb drives is that because they can so heavily
saturate the connection uh the quality of the usb controller on the device you’re plugging it into makes a big impact in overall performance so the speeds that i’m seeing on this laptop again running over usb is a little different than what i got on my gaming desktop upstairs that has a slightly better usb controller inside if this was a thunderbolt drive this would be a totally different story so let’s take a look at what i got on the crystal disk mark test on that computer upstairs and as you can see here we were getting pretty close to the one gigabyte per second mark and also we were getting very good performance on its random reads and writes that that test also does when it’s evaluating performance so altogether really nice performance here despite the complexity there is also a little indicator light on here to let you know when the drive is in operation but it really just pulses on and off when things are being read or written to it’s not giving you like a fast blinking for a more granular look at what’s going on but it’s nice to know that you can at least differentiate when the drive is idle versus being accessed in some way let’s take a look now and see how it compares to some other drives we’ve looked at recently now the sandisk extreme pro being marketed at creative professionals by wd performs almost identically to the p50 that’s being marketed to the gaming community and they also cost about the same too so if you’re in the market for one of these two
drives just get whatever’s available you’re going to get the same performance and like the p50 the extreme pro here also only supports 2×2 usb for its faster 20 gigabit per second mode the only difference physically beyond the way they look is that the xtreme pro here from sandisk does have some degree of weather proofing to the packaging so if it gets wet it will likely survive more than this one would survive but in either case i don’t recommend getting these things anywhere near water with your important data on them the samsung t7 is another one you might be seeing out there and it too holds its own against these wd manufactured drives across most of the aspects of that test so no matter which one you pick i think you’ll end up with good gaming performance but we certainly are starting to see the limits of usb storage for modern gaming that is certainly true on the consoles and it will soon be true on the pcs so i would expect to really get the best performance on legacy titles on this drive and newer technologies for what’s coming next that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon seidman thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters chris alegretta tom albrecht jim calliger hot sauce and video games and brian parker if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe