It is time to face facts. No matter how a company tries to spin it, external hard drives are not sexy. That’s okay though, because they don’t need to be, they just need to get the job done. This is what the new WD_Black P10 HDD from Western Digital does.
For those of you unfamiliar with this arm of the storage solution brand, it is designed with gamers in mind. While that might trigger some eye rolling, we have to say that we quite like the look of the WD_Black range, but looks alone are not going to get people buying one.
That’s why we were recently sent the 4TB model of P10 HDD to test out for ourselves. This is what that review period yielded.
First up full disclosure, our interest was piqued in reviewing the WD_Black P10 (which we will be referring to as the P10 for brevity’s sake), following Sony’s recent announcement of adding extended storage support on the PlayStation 5. When the P10 was first launched, Sony had not added that functionality to the mix, so this is simply a case of good timing.
First we wanted to check whether the P10 is compatible with the PS5 as a storage option, with only the PS4, Xbox One, Windows and macOS listed as supported platforms. On that front, everything is good, with the HDD connecting on one of the rear USB 3.0 slots on the back of the console.
In order to work as extended storage on the PS5, it required a quick reformatting though, which was easy enough to carry out. Once done, you’re now able to transfer PS5 and PS4 titles, apps and content from the console’s storage onto the P10 and vice versa.
For those who think that you won’t be needing storage for the PS5, you will. Our own review model of the console only features 825GB worth of internal storage. Given that next-gen titles range from between 60GB to 100GB, such as the PS-exclusive Returnal that we are currently playing, it only takes 10 to 12 games before you start worrying about space.
Sure, you could delete and download the digital version of games as needed, but that can quickly become an expensive exercise given the cost of data in SA.
So that pretty much settles it, you’re going to need an external hard drive eventually.
How did the WD_Black P10 perform in our testing? Solidly, if not all that rapid in our books.
Western Digital’s literature on the HDD claims up to 130MB/s transfer speeds. For our testing we took two titles of varying sizes to transfer from the console to the HDD and vice versa.
The first was the amazing God of War, which is 45.92GB in size. To transfer to the P10 took nine minutes and 30 seconds, with it taking nine minutes and 27 seconds to do the other way around. By our calculations that’s roughly 80.56MB/s to download and 80.98MB/s to upload. That’s not anywhere close to the listed time, so if you’re looking for something faster, you may have to look elsewhere.
The one thing that the P10 is, however, is consistent. We conducted the same test, but with the massive file for Red Dead Redemption 2 which weighs in at a beefy 110GB on the dot. Here it took 22 minutes and 36 seconds to transfer to the P10 and 22 minutes and 41 seconds back onto the console, which is not the quickest, but again is consistent.
Looks the business
Now that we’ve dealt with performance, let’s touch on design. As we have noted, we’re fans of the design of the WD_Black range. The Black military-inspired casings, which are metal in the case of the P10, certainly makes the drive looks likes its purpose built. The fact that there is absolutely no crazy colour schemes or a hint of RGB hidden somewhere is also welcome.
Sure, it may not match the architectural aesthetic of the PlayStation 5, but next to the PS4, Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S, it looks subtle and refined in our opinion.
Western Digital has quite a few other options in its Black range for PC players that should match their speed and size needs, but for someone who needs a bit of jack of all trades storage, the P10 is more than adequate, not to mention feeling like it could take a few knocks if needed.
That said, despite the military-inspired design, the hard drive is not officially drop or shock rated, so don’t do thinking you can do something silly with it.
Prices on the WD_Black P10 4TB HDD range from R2 100 to R2 800 depending on the retailer, with stock availability seemingly being the issue on that front. That’s likely because it is a popular all-around option that offers enough storage, a pleasing design and a high degree of portability to be used outside of its intended gaming billing.
If it packed a bit more speed, the P10 would come even more highly recommended from us, but for now it is more than capable of getting the job done.
WD_Black P10 4TB HDD
Western Digital's WD_Black range is military-inspired and designed with hardcore gamers in mind. The P10, however, is more suited to causal gaming needs given its transfer speeds, but is at least well sized and priced for what's on offer.
Gets It Done