I picked up a Sony PlayStation 5 game console earlier this year. And in just a few months, I have filled up almost all the usable storage (667GB) on the PS5’s solid-state drive (SSD). The biggest culprits are usually games released for the PS4, though there are also huge PS5 games. An egregious example is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which can occupy over 200GB. Of course, this is a first world problem — I could simply uninstall some games. But there’s another solution. I could offload my PS4 games to an external drive, such as the WD Black D30 Game Drive SSD.
- Speeds of up to 900MB/s
- Available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacity
- 3-year limited warranty
- Works with latest and last-gen Xbox and PlayStation consoles
The D30 comes in a black rugged case that is thicker than it should, given that it is an SSD. I like the cute little stand that keeps it upright. The drive itself claims to offer read speeds of up to 900MB/s, which is fairly average for a portable SSD. Samsung’s T7 SSD, for example, is rated at up to 1,050MB/s. The D30 has only a single USB-C port rated at 10Gbps, but a short USB-C to USB-A cable is included. Hence, you’d want to connect the D30 to a USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 2 port so as to utilise its full 10Gbps bandwidth.
My laptop lacks a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port that’s required to test the D30 at its full potential. When connected to my notebook’s USB 3.2 Gen 1 port (5Gbps), the D30 produced speeds of around 460MB/s in benchmarks. This is in line with expectations, seeing as the USB port is the bottleneck here. But this shouldn’t be a problem for the PS5. It has three fast 10Gbps ports — two rear USB-A ports and a front USB-C port.
To test the D30 as an external storage drive for my PlayStation games, I moved the PS4 version of Final Fantasy VII Remake from the console storage to the D30. Then I recorded the time taken to boot the game to its title menu. It took around 17 seconds, which turned out to be two seconds faster than using the console’s SSD. Of course, the PS5 version of Remake was even faster, taking just nine seconds to load. I repeated this with the Nier Replicant remaster. It loaded in eight seconds on the D30, which is similar to console storage. In short, PS4 games on the D30 appears to have similar load times compared to the console storage.
For PS5 owners, the WD Black D30 Game Drive SSD looks like a good storage saver for PS4 games. It’s just too bad that native PS5 games cannot be played off an external storage drive. Meanwhile, an older console like a PS4 with its slower hard drive will also benefit greatly from the D30’s fast SSD speeds. It starts at S$259 for the 500GB version. My 1TB review unit is priced at S$359 while the 2TB version is S$699. They can be found on Shopee and Lazada. If you are comfortable buying from Amazon US, the D30 is available there at a much lower price (around S$122 for the 500GB model).
Note: Review unit provided by WD.