WD Black P40: the review of the portable gaming SSD also ideal for consoles

Small and versatile, the WD_BLACK P40 external SSD is a fast drive that can be used in many situations: here is our review.

The WD Black P40 is a Portable SSD with strong gaming features: high reading speeds, compact dimensions and an RGB lighting system that we gamers like so much. Under the solid black body with raised bands we find an NVMe SSD that supports USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps), it is sold in the list at € 129.99 for 500 GB, € 182.99 for 1 TB and 305.99 € for 2 TB, and in tests it proved to be an excellent device, even if obviously far from the latest NVMe with PCI Express interface in speed.

The parent company claims sequential read and write performance of 2000 MB/s and, while we’re nowhere near these numbers, the P40 didn’t perform badly at all. We tell you about it in ours WD Black P40 review in the 1TB version.

Technical features


WD Black P40 with its sales package
WD Black P40 with its sales package

The WD Black P40 SSD, we said, promises technical features excellent for a portable SSD. We are talking about 2000 MB/s in sequential reading and sequential writing, while random reading and writing are not declared. The SSD, of the NVMe type with USB Type-C Superspeed USB 10 Gb/s interface, is sold in denominations of 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB, with RGB light.

The dimensions are very compact: 106.98 x 50.82 x 13 mm. Although the design recalls the classic lines of Western Digital disks, there are 2 RGB LED bands on the bottom that give a touch of color to the desk.

The system has no major limitations compatibility: Works with PlayStation 5 (play and save PS4 games, store PS5 games), Xbox Series X|S (play and save Xbox One games, store Xbox Series X|S games); PlayStation 4 Pro or PS4 with system software version 4.50 or later; Xbox One; Windows 11, 10, 8.1; macOS 10.11+. The package includes a USB-C cable and a USB-A to USB-C adapter, which allows the disk to work immediately on any device: it is in fact also compatible with all USB standards, including USB 2.0, clearly with consequences on speed of data transfer.

WD Black P40 data sheet

  • Typology: USB 3.2 2×2 NVMe SSD
  • Maximum Sequential Read: 2000MB/s
  • Maximum sequential write: 2000MB/s
  • Dimensions: 106.98 x 50.82 x 13mm
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Price and storage:
    • 500GB | €129.99
    • 1TB | €182.99
    • 2TB | €305.99

Performance


The case size of the WD Black P40 is not too much larger than that of an M.2 SSD with heatsink
The case size of the WD Black P40 is not too much larger than that of an M.2 SSD with heatsink

PC tests (an ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531) showed excellent peak speeds on the laptop’s USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port. With CrystalDiskMark we are consistently at 870 MB/s in sequential read speeds and 750 MB/s in sequential write speeds.


The WD Black P40's CrystalMark performance
The WD Black P40’s CrystalMark performance

The temperatures remain at 20-30 degrees even under stress, while the Western Digital Dashboard allows you to see its health status and other useful information, as well as offering some additional tools and options. Among these, the one to adjust the RGB lights stands out, with many customization possibilities.


The Western Digital Dashboard screen that allows you to control RGB lighting
The Western Digital Dashboard screen that allows you to control RGB lighting

On PS5 the disk, connected to the USB-C port of the console, allows you to archive PS5 games in a few minutes, quickly moving them from one disk to another: to transfer 140 GB from the console memory to the extended USB one, it takes just over 7 minutes, while the reverse route takes less than 20 minutes.


Detail of the WD Black P40 RGB lights
Detail of the WD Black P40 RGB lights

PS5 games can’t boot from here, but backwards compatible PS4 games run times similar to faster M.2 SSDs: The Last of Us Remastered for PS4 boots in 34 seconds and takes 12 seconds for loading a save file. Really not bad. On PS4 Pro the difference compared to the internal HDD is not abysmal: to use the same example, The Last of Us Remastered starts in 40 seconds, against the 47 seconds required by the internal HDD. Load times remain on the other hand on 15 seconds.

Comment

The WD Black P40 Game Drive is a great portable SSD, combining respectable speeds with a compact design that winks at gamers even with RGB lights. Given the price, it may make sense to wait to find it on offer, also because products that are slightly inferior in terms of performance are now around 50 euros cheaper in the same denominations.

PRO

  • Compact
  • RGB lights
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 support
  • Adapter included

VERSUS

  • Performance below expectations

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WD Black P40: the review of the portable gaming SSD also ideal for consoles


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