External SSDs are getting faster, the maximum throughput speed of USB 3.2 Gen 2 has already surpassed. If you really want to quickly, turn to Western Digital. With the WD_BLACK P50, they offer an external SSD that has to reach speeds of up to 2000 MB / s via a Gen 2×2 connection. We took the SSD with us to the test bench to see if that speed is actually achieved.
WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive
price from € 165.99
Capacity 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
Interface Usb 3.2 Gen2x2 (Usb-C connection)
Specified speeds Read speed 2000 MB / s, Disc speed 2000 MB / s
PCMark 10 Score 1161
AS SSD Score 1375
Dimensions 118mm x 62mm x 14mm
Weight 114 grams
OS Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, macOS 10.11+, PlayStation 4 Pro or PS4 with system software version 4.50 or higher and Xbox One
9 Score 90
- Sturdy design
- Very fast
- Short cables
- Very pricey
The WD_BLACK P50 features a sturdy black metal housing that feels like it could just survive a bomb blast. The design, together with the used font, also gives the impression that the SSD has flown out of a science fiction action movie. The material used is of course not only for the eye, the metal also cools the fast SSD very well. At the top, the SSD may look a bit rough, at the bottom of the SSD you will find four rubber feet so that it does not scratch directly over the housing of your PlayStation 4 when you put it on it. On the side of the housing you will find a USB-C connector and a white LED lighting that turns on when the SSD is active.
At 118 x 62 x 14 mm, the size of the P50 is slightly larger than average, but on the other hand, the SSD is nice and firm in your hand and your pocket.
In addition to the SSD, we also find two very short cables and the manual in the package. One has a USB-C connector on both sides, the other ends in a USB-A connector. Great for your game console, but those who want to use the SSD on a PC may have to look for a longer cable.
SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps as its marketing name is better known as USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. This technique uses two high-speed USB Type-C Tx / Rx channels to achieve a maximum throughput of 20 Gbps. This means you always need a USB-C connector to achieve the speed, a USB-A connector simply does not have enough wires that can be connected.
We use CrystalDiskMark to find out the read and write speeds. The results the program shows are in line with the promised speed of WD_BLACK P50. We achieve a reading speed of 2078 MB / s and the write speed is even higher at 2084 MB / s. It’s as if the drive is telling us that it’s not even performing at its maximum.
With PCMark 10, Data Drive Benchmark achieves a score of 1161. The result shows a bandwidth of 180.25 MB / s and an average access time of 140 µs. From the AS SSD benchmark, the WD_BLACK P50 gets a score of 1375.
Xbox and PlayStation
Because the manufacturer focuses mainly on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, we have also tested the SSD on that and with surprisingly positive results. The game GTA V starts from the hard drive in our PlayStation 4 Pro in 2 minutes and 9 seconds. If we move the game to the ssd, it starts up in 1 minute and 21 seconds. The recently released Watch Dogs Legion did it from the hard drive in 1 minute and 4 seconds with the WD_BLACK it was only 41 seconds. Final Fantasy VII Remake also booted 17 seconds faster. The Xbox One also gave positive results. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla booted from the hard drive in 50 seconds and the SSD could do that in just 25 seconds. The Watch Dogs Legions game on the Xbox One hard drive had to take 23 seconds longer than on the WD_BLACK.
The WD_BLACK P50 is an incredibly fast external SSD with a hefty, but not exceptionally high, price tag. Although the SSD is promoted as a disc for the PS4 and Xbox, we find that a bit overkill. The promoted speed of 2000 MB / s can never be achieved via the USB port on the game console. If you buy it with the idea of getting a fast SSD for the PlayStation 5, that is a more logical choice. For those looking for a fast SSD for their PC, WD_BLACK P50 is in any case good.