With games getting bigger and bigger with each passing update, adding some extra storage to your next-gen console might be necessary in the near future. While the Seagate Expansion Card is hands down the best performing option for Xbox, one of the latest from Western Digital, the WD Black D30 SSD game drive is a nice bridge and can also be more versatile than what the Seagate drive has to offer. Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
WD Black D30: Overview
WD Black is the gaming-focused arm of Western Digital. There are drives for consoles, desktops, and laptops. WD_Black has dedicated NVMe SSD drives, or you can get external storage that can easily be transferred between devices.
The D30 can be formatted for use on Playstation, Xbox One, Series X|S, or PC. This sets it apart from the dedicated Xbox Series X|S expansion card from Seagate, which can only be used on the new Xbox consoles.
WD Black also offers a version of the D30 with Xbox branding, just like the P10 that we took a look at back in 2019.
While it doesn’t matter for performance, WD Black’s line-up is pretty great looking. With military-styled text branding and a rugged-looking matte black body, the D30 is a drive that you won’t feel like you have to hide away tucked behind an Xbox. It does still have a longish USB cord attached to the console, so it’s not nearly as seamless as the Seagate expansion card.
WD Black D30: Video
WD Black claims that the D30 Game Drive can deliver speeds at up to 900MB/s. To reach those speeds, though, you will need to connect via USB 3.2 Gen 2. While my PC doesn’t have any Gen 2 ports, I was able to reach speeds up to 446MB/s read and 404MB/s write when using CrystalDiskMark through a USB 3.2 Gen 1. That’s a pretty huge upgrade over the standard spinning disk speeds that usually top out just over 100MB/s like that of the P10 drive we took a look at last year.
Doing some real-world transfer tests on the Xbox Series X, I was able to transfer a 3.27GB game to the D30 in just over ten seconds. Surprisingly, transferring a 38.6GB game from internal storage to the D30 took 7:41, while transferring it back to the internal storage took only 2:28.
With the Xbox Series X using USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, it’s unlikely you’ll see the maximum speed potential of this drive as well.
You also won’t be able to play Series X|S optimized games from the D30 drive. Those need to be transferred to internal storage or to a Seagate expansion card if you have one of those installed as well.
Other WD_Black options
If you want even more performance, check out the WD Black P50 SSD game drive. With stated speeds up to 2000MB/s and up to 4TB storage, it’s packing twice the speed of the D30 for those who want more.
WD Black D30: Pricing
Pricing for the WD Black D30 starts at $90 for the 500GB version, with the 1TB coming in at $150, while the top-of-the-line 2TB capacity drive will set you back $270.
For comparison, the Xbox only Seagate expansion card is available at $220 for 1TB of high-speed performance that acts just like the internal storage.
All in all, the D30 seems to be a great way to add some more storage with some decent speeds to back it up. Of course, I wasn’t able to reach the advertised speeds due to my lack of USB 3.2 Gen 2, but if you’re used to using a standard spinning HDD, you’ll definitely see some speed increases with the WD Black D30 game drive.
What I like about these drives is that they can also be repurposed if your needs change. Done with your Xbox? Format the drive and use it for files on your PC. Switching over to Playstation? Format it and give it a new life.
If you are on Xbox Series X|S and don’t need a drive that also works on Playstation or PC, then I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Seagate expansion card. With speeds matching those of the internal storage, it’s a seamless way to double or triple your storage without any compromises.
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