Overall and Final Verdict
As much as I love the bright colors of some of Western Digitals other external product lineups. I do really like the look that they have gone for with their new WD Black lineup. The all blacked out look with the industrial or almost military look of the aluminum top is sharp. I do think the drive would be a little cooler if it was fully decked out in the aluminum, not just with it on top with a plastic bottom. But they did design it to hang out with your PC or game console so I can see why they would avoid those extra costs. Beyond the styling, the drive is simple with just one LED light that lights up when it is powered on and a USB 3.2 connection to hook to your PC or console. That connection uses a micro-USB connection at the drive which seems like an odd choice given how USB Type-C has started to take off and how much easier Type-C is to use. That also can cause issues in the future if you need to replace the cable, USB 3 micro-USB cables haven’t exactly ever been super popular.
Now as far as performance goes, the P10 is actually the slowest of the external WD Black lineup with a 5400 RPM 2.5 inch hard drive inside. But even still I was happy with its performance. Read and write speeds were actually as fast as 7200 RPM drives were 5 or 6 years ago and I noticed they made a big improvement on the write performance when it came to multithreaded and high queue depth tests being 10 times as fast as the last 5400 RPM external drive I tested just last year.
Like any hard drive, it all still comes down to pricing. The P10 is available in three capacities. The 2TB model has an MSRP of $89.99. It also is a thinner drive than the other two models. The 4TB P10 has an MSRP of $129.99. Then the 5TB P10 which I tested has an MSRP of $149.99. You do seem to be paying a significant “Gamer” tax with this lineup with more cost-effective regular drives being closer to $100 for a 5TB for example. But you are getting a much better warranty with the P10 with its 3-year warranty where those cheaper drives seem to be hit and miss on quality and only have a 1-year warranty. There is always the option of going with an internal drive as well and for your PC that might be the better option unless you need the portability of an external. But for the game consoles replacing the hard drive with a 5TB is going to run about the same amount not to mention you are losing your current capacity where the external just adds on to what you already have.
So should you get a WD Black P10? WD didn’t skimp for quality with the drive offering a hard drive they could warranty for 3 years and performance when it comes to high queue depths seems to be much better than you are going to get on other similar externals. You are paying a premium over those other drives and that is the main issue with the P10, but I do think it is a great drive. I would keep a close eye on pricing, if it drops this could be a really good pickup. The Xbox branded model with white trim is an even better deal because it includes a free 2-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. It’s a shame the regular model doesn’t have something similar. More than anything the WD Black P10 gets me excited about the other external drives they are bringing out though. The D10 has a much faster 7200 RPM drive and even higher capacities and the P50 is an ultra-fast SSD based drive that they say will have read speeds up to 2000 MB/s.
Live Pricing: HERE
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