Know your USB 3.2 Gen 2 1x2 from your 2x1 and your 2x2? No? Well, don't worry. Because all you actually need to know is that the WD Black P50 Game Drive 2TB is currently as fast as an external USB SSD gets. And it's the biggest version of the P50 offered at its lowest ever price of an incredible $299 on Amazon, fully $200 cheaper than it was earlier this year. Think of it as the ultimate in external game storage for both PC and console and you won't go far wrong.
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As a USB 3.2 Gen 2 2x2 drive with USB Type-C connectivity, the WD Black P50 Game Drive is theoretically good for the maximum bandwidth available to any USB peripheral, namely 20Gbps. It's also worth noting that all future USB 4 should be compatible with the WD's maximum performance mode given 20Gbps is the minimum specification for USB 4.
Anyway, WD reckons the combination of that interface with the NVMe M.2 SSD on which the P50 is based delivers up to 2GB/s of raw bandwidth. That's obviously not as quick as the best internal M.2 drives. But it;s about four times faster than an SATA SSD.
WD Black P50 Game Drive | 2TB | 2GB/s |
$499.99 $299.99 at Amazon (save $200)
This is as good as external USB storage currently gets thanks to a 20Gbps interface, NVMe M.2 drive hidden behind a USB bridge and TLC rather than QLC NAND memory. Five-year warranty makes this a great long-term and high-speed game storage solution.
What's more, the longevity of the WD Black P50 Game Drive bodes well, both in terms of sustained performance and write durability thanks to the TLC rather than QLC NAND flash memory for which WD has opted. QLC memory is cheaper, but it's also slower, which may not be obvious at first but becomes apparent when an SSD runs out of write cache.
Likewise, TLC comes with fewer concerns regarding long-term reliability than QLC. Perhaps that's why WD is happy to stick a full five year warranty on the P50, which comes is a very sturdy and purposeful black chassis. It's a lot of money to spend on an external SSD. But this is the cheapest this drive has been offered by far and as a long term and high speed solution to your game storage, it could make a lot of sense.