WD Black P10 Review: More than a Gaming Drive

The WD Black P10 has a look that means business.

The WD Black P10 is the first in a series of Game Drives that WD announced earlier this month. But you don’t need to be a gamer to appreciate it. The portable drive is fast in my testing and its rugged, cool-looking design is a boon for any user.

On the downside, the new portable drive is quite expensive, costing some 50 percent more than others, including those from WD, of the same capacities. Also, its lack of support for USB-C can be a turnoff. But if you’re looking for a well-built portable storage device, especially to use with a game console, this is still a good buy, though not a must-have.

WD Black P10 Game Drive

7.6

Performance

8.0/10

Features

6.0/10

Ease of Use

8.5/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Solid and stylish design
  • Fast performance
  • Plug-n-play out of the box

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A little bulky
  • No USB-C or encryption support

WD Black P10: An all-new plug-n-play WD portable drive

The P10 is unlike any other portable drives you’ve known from WD, like the My Passport family. For one, as the name suggests, it comes in complete black with a metal casing that dubs as passive cooling. Also, the drive uses a micro-USB 3.2 port (formerly micro-USB 3.0 port) to connect to a host, instead of a USB-C port.

Though the lack of USB-C support is a bit disappointing, considering all existing game consoles and most computers still have regular USB ports, this is not a huge deal. But if you have those that only have USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports — like those Macbooks — the WD Black P10 is not for you.

Out of the box, the P10 is formatted in the exFAT file system, making it compatible with all intended hosts, including Windows, macOS, and game consoles. There’s no bundled software, and there’s none needed to make it work. All you have to do is plug the drive into your system’s USB port.

WD Black P10’s detail photos

The WD Black P10 comes in a nice box.

The portable drive uses a micro-USB 3.2 port, instead of a USB-C port.

The P10 includes a standard USB cable.

The WD Black P10 is a rugged portable drive.

WD Black P10’s hardware specifications

Like all portable drives, the P10 is bus-powered and includes a standard USB-A to micro-USB cable. On top, it has a small white indicator light that pulses to show data activities.

The P10 doesn’t support encryption. It’s quite understandable since game consoles generally don’t have a mechanism to open an encrypted drive. And there’s no real need to keep your game-related info private in the first place. However, if you need a portable drive to store sensitive data, the P10 is not suitable.

WD Black P10: Fast performance

I tested the 5TB version, which is the highest capacity but slightly slower than the 2TB version, and was still quite happy with its performance.

In the copy tests, the P10 averaged almost 120 MB/s for both reading and writing — clearly above the average on the charts. I also tried it with my Xbox One and games stored on it loaded about as fast as those stored on the console’s internal drive. Overall, while the drive’s performance wasn’t earth-shattering, it’s fast enough for my needs.

Conclusion

The WD Black P10 Game Drive not strictly a gamer-only portable storage device nor is it a must-have. Anyone needing a portable drive can enjoy it, and the truth is you can use most, if not all, portable drives with your game console — at most you only need to do some reformatting.

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But the P10 is also a statement. It feels solid and looks professional. Whether or not you’re into gaming, getting the WD Black P10 shows that you’re not messing around. Also, WD promises that it’s built to last. I’m not sure if that’s enough to justify its high cost, but the P10 sure is a cool drive to carry around.

26 thoughts on “WD Black P10 Review: More than a Gaming Drive”

  1. I intend this to be formatted NTFS for use with Windows and\or a backup drive for a Synolgy NAS. Does this drive require\install the (annoying) WD-SES driver?

    There are now apparently 2 versions of this (5TB) drive.
    WDBA3A0050BBK-WESN
    WDBA5G0050BBK-WESN

    Do you have a clue what the difference is? As best I can tell it’s a Gamepass subscription.

    Reply
  2. Amazon currently has these on sale for $94. However, I did research and found a picture of the actual PCB, and it has the USB interface directly soldered to the board rather than adapting normal SATA connectors. While this will make no difference for its intended use, if anyone is entertaining the idea, like I was, of shucking these to use in a computer system, forget it!!

    Reply
  3. Excellent and helpful review, honestly the most complete i found!

    Q/ Is possible to use it as PS4 HDD and also keep using it for PC whenever i need to.

    Thanks again for your review.

    Mike

    Reply
  4. Got this drive today, really appreciated your thorough review (I found a 5TB version for less than the Passport, so yippee!). I do worry about how much it heats up, to be honest – so it goes with a non-fan HD! I’m not 100% certain it is a metal housing though, but if so, its super-thin like ductwork sheet metal! As I read in an Amazon review, you can physically squeeze the top and bottom of the drive without much effort. I might have to carry it in a case, y’know.
    Do you find in your experience there’s a break-in timepoint where one can fully accept it’s status as a stable back-up?

    Anywho, thanks so much for your reviews Dong!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Mike. You can count it as a stable backup from day one as long as you use it as a BACKUP, meaning the original is in good shape. Seriously, as a backup, there’s no need to worry about it at all. Glad you got a good deal on it.

      Reply
  5. WDBA3A0050BBK-WESN 5 tb gaming drive is $110 today. I heard it is 5400 rpm and not that fast compared to 7200 rpm. I want to use it for ps4. We have big games like spider man, god of war and some latest games as well. Do you recommend buying it for this price? Is the speed worth the price?

    Reply
    • I think the storage space is worth the price, Usha. But it’s not going to be any faster than the console’s internal drive. If you want your game to load fast, you need to invest in the P50 which will make a huge difference.

      Reply
  6. Just saw the 4tb one go for $99 + $5 off on NewEgg, was curious what drive was inside to see if maybe I can toss it into my laptop. Looks like a 15mm thick drive which is incompatible with the internal mounting solution but the Helios 500 is thick enough for modding. At that price, it’s a literal steal.

    I wonder if the 3v SATA power pin needs to be covered in order to work like a standard 3.5″ shucked drive.

    Reply
  7. Could you not use Bitlocker or Truecrypt (if you want to risk it) to encrypt the drive? I mean for general files, not games. The 5TB price seems reasonable from the WD shop.

    Reply
  8. what is the model of the internal hdd? (tip: using cristaldiskinfo, you can get this information. You get a number at this format: wd50xxxxxxxxx).

    Reply

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