Tested: Latest WD_BLACK P40 portable SSD lights up your game storage with custom RGB

WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive review

Today we are taking a closer look at the new WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive. This one was unveiled back in May of this year alongside the brand’s new WD_BLACK SN850X internal NVMe SSD as the latest entries in Western Digital’s gaming focused storage lineup. This time around packing solid-state technology, WD’s P40 Game Drive sports some impressive speeds and quite a robust build alongside some additional features to make it stand out from the range of more general use portable SSDs out there. But it’s now time to dive in and see if the gaming focused solution is worth your hard-earned dollars in our Tested with 9to5Toys WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive review. 

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Hands-on with the new WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive

The WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive features NVMe solid-state internals in a portable 4.21- by 2- by 0.51-inch package. It is backed by a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 interface, and is rated for pushing speeds up to 2,000MB/s alongside USB-C connectivity with cables for both Type-C and USB-A (in the form of an adapter for the latter) gear included in the box. 

Covered with a five-year warranty, the P40 solid-state Game Drive is built with “WD_BLACK toughness.” The shell features a forged aluminum top cover with a shock-resistant structure designed to “survive” a drop of up to two meters. 

Alongside status and performance analytics and other tools, the companion WD Dashboard software is also where you control the quite extensive RGB lighting functionality of the P40 (note this is unfortunately only available on Windows). Alongside the entire customizable rainbow of possibilities in terms of colors, the drive also supports a range of preset lighting effects including everything from static and color cycle to breathing, strobing, flashing, starry night, and others. 

Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet:

  • 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • USB-C connection
  • Up to 2000MB/s
  • Compatible with PS4/PS5, Xbox One/Series, Windows, macOS
  • Includes USB Type-C to Type-C cable and USB Type-C  to Type-A cable
  • LED light display WD_BLACK dashboard (Windows only)

9to5Toys’ Take

While I am not the type to have colorful lights all over my spaces, whether it’s my office, gaming room, or otherwise, and am not particularly impressed by any of that kind of thing in most cases, the lighting here is pretty cool. I must admit, it is really nice to have the colorful lights shimmering on the table top here. WD presents what are essentially a pair of thin multi-color RGB light strips on each side of the bottom of the shell, leaving a vibrant glow on either side of your P40 – it’s about as novel as it is fantastic. 

While you can see the BlackMagic speed test above, in terms of a real-world look, as far as just dumping some files or a large folder of assets on to the WD_Black P40 Game Drive, it worked out as follows. It took just under three minutes time to copy 32.78GB over. 

These gaming-focused drives that, in many cases, carry a bit of an up-charge by comparison to more general portable SSDs out there. While these WD Game Drives are compatible with PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows, and Mac right out of the box, so are, for the most part, many of the other portable SSDs on the market when it comes to game storage in my experience. And considering most folks on current-generation consoles are simply using these drives for cold storage, not actually running the games directly from the drive, it would seem that it makes more sense to simply go with a more affordable solution. 

However, there’s no denying how sweet the RBG lighting action is here (as well as the customization possibilities) and some folks just prefer to go with something that’s specifically made for the task at hand (I certainly do anyway), instead of taking the chance with some of the more affordable brands out there.

To put this in real-world perspective, you could go with a 1TB Samsung T7 Shield general use portable SSD, for example, and save $70, but you won’t get the industrial-style design, custom lighting, and it comes in at about half the speed as the P40. The comparable Lexar model without the custom lights is the same price and a 1TB Seagate Firecuda gaming model is even more expensive. In the end, the WD P40 Game Drive delivers a competitive $180 price tag for what it is, speeds far faster than the HDD counterparts, and an impressive lighting array.  

Buy the WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive 

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