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Western Digital SanDisk Desk Drive: Up to 8TB of Fast SSD Storage in a Compact Package

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Western Digital today unveils its first consumer-grade external SSD in four years, the SanDisk Desk Drive, which offers up to 8TB of storage space. The company says the new drive "gives content creators and business professionals an easy way to back up and access their high-resolution photos, videos, and files quickly in a single, convenient location."

And the new drive indeed seems great as long as you don't intend to move it around often.

SanDisk Desk Drive 8TB retail package
The new SanDisk Desk Drive's retail package.

SanDisk Desk Drive: Massive space, separate power adapter required

Despite the name, the new SanDisk Desk Drive is not a bulky device. In fact, it's still compact enough to fit on your palm.

However, the "desk" notion means that it's supposed to be a stationary storage device. There's a good reason for that: It requires a separate power adapter, making it less portable and a bit cluttering since an extra wire is needed.

Still, its compact design allows it to complement a laptop docking station easily. In this case, you will not need to remove it, which you would have to do with any portable SSD, before taking your laptop with you. Of course, you can also use the new Desk Drive with a desktop.

The new design is a significant departure from the super-compact shape of previous SanDisk portable SSDs, including the SanDisk Extreme Pro and SanDisk Extreme, the last of which was introduced in 2020—the top version of each can hold up to 4TB of data.

The new SanDisk Desk Drive doubles the capabilities of the previous SanDisk portable SSDs, but on the inside, it's more similar to the non-Pro Extreme drive. It features USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) and comes with a single USB-C port for both power and data.

SanDisk says the new drive has a read speed of "up to 1000MB/s" but doesn't reveal its write performance, which is likely lower than that. It's a bit disappointing that the drive doesn't support Thunderbolt or faster speeds, considering it has a separate power source. The Extreme Portable SSD, which is bus-powered, can deliver speedier speeds, at least on paper.

The table below shows the hardware specs for the two.

SanDisk Desk Drive vs. SanDisk Extreme: Hardware specifications

The Sandisk Desk Drive desktop ssdSanDisk Extreme
SanDisk Desk DriveSanDisk Extreme
Connection StandardUSB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
InterfaceUSB-C
(USB-A compatible via adapter)
Internal StorageNVMe SSD
CompatibilitymacOS and Windows
Default File SystemexFAT
Capacities
and SKUs
4TB: SDSSDT40-4T00-NA25
8TB: SDSSDT40-8T00-NA25
500GB: SDSSDE61-500G-G25
1TB: SDSSDE61-1T00-G25
2TB: SDSSDE61-2T00-G25B
4TB: SDSSDE61-4T00-G25M
Dimensions3.90 in x 3.90 in x 1.58 in
(99.2 x 99.2 x 40.2 mm)
3.96 x 2.06 x 0.35 in
(100.54 x 52.42 x 8.95mm)
Weight0.59 lb (268 g)0.17 lb (78 g)
Cable IncludedUSB-C
Power RequirementPower adapterUSB bus-powered
Data Transfer RateUp to 1000MB/s ReadUp to 1050MB/s Write
Up to 1000MB/s Read
Operating Temperature-20°C to 60°C
(-4.0°F to 140°F)
0°C to 45°C
(32°F to 113°F)
FeaturesKensington Security Slot
Automatic backup software
(download required)
IP65-rated for water and dust resistance
Shock resistant up to 1500G
Encryption supportNone
Warranty3 years5 years
US Price
(at review)
$379.99 (4TB)
$699.99 (8TB)
$89.99 (500GB)
$119.99 (1TB)
$199.99 (2TB)
299.99 (4TB)
Hardware specifications: SanDisk Desk Drive vs. SanDisk Extreme
Sandisk Desk Drive desktop ssd portsThe Sandisk Desk Drive desktop ssd requires a separate power adapter to work
While compact, the Sandisk Desk Drive desktop SSD requires a separate power adapter to work, making it a bit inconvenient and cluttering to use.

  

SanDisk says the new external SSD comes with a 3-year warranty and includes a USB-C cable. It's pre-formatted in the exFAT file system to work right away interchangeably betweeen Windows and Mac platforms.

Other than installing a massive amount of storage on any system, the SanDisk Desktop Drive includes a downloadable backup software application for those who want to back up their data. They can also use Time Machine (reformatting required) or Windows File History for the job.

Availability

According to SanDisk, the new Desktop Drive SSD is available today. The 4TB model costs $380, and the 8TB model costs $700. Consider one if you want an external SSD that won't take up precious space on your desk.  

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6 thoughts on “Western Digital SanDisk Desk Drive: Up to 8TB of Fast SSD Storage in a Compact Package”

  1. What i’d love to see is some performance metrics on these drives. I have a laptop with a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port and offloaded my Stable Diffusion install to a USB drive (either 3.2 or 3.1) because of space issues. I was astounded by the massive performance hit (around 20x) that I encountered when operating SD from the drive rather than the laptops NVME drive.

    Given that this is a large 300GB (and growing) installation footprint, but only needed from time to time, it would be great if I could run it off a remote drive, so I wonder if this is truly a local disk extension or just faster external storage.

    Reply
    • You generally can’t use USB drives for that, Kevin. You need Thunderbolt. Backup and extra storage space only.

      Reply
  2. I think any article about SanDisk drives need to come with a disclaimer about the fiasco with their portable SSDs, widely reported by {…} and others.

    I’ve lost all trust having been affected myself and wouldn’t touch another Sandisk drive even if you paid me.

    Reply
      • I very much did read the article, and was able to speed read the bits I already knew about from the press release I had already seen.
        Nevertheless, I think the point still stands, {…}

        Reply
        • Except, as mentioned, I personally experienced no issue and WD did release new firmware, etc. It’s a matter of degrees. You can embrace your bitterness, even rightfully so, but you can’t expect everyone to feel the same way. This is a new drive in four years and if you follow a link to any of the previous drives mentioned, you’ll see the note. That’s enough.

          Reply

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