April 22, 2024

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A Strong SSD Choice For PC & Console

The WD_Black D30 Game Drive SSD is another rock-solid product from the company that more than performs as a storage device for PC & console gamers.

As console gaming becomes more demanding and PC players’ Steam libraries overflow with potential options for a weekend of adventure, the need for storage across all platforms has increased. Western Digital has been among the best in terms of producing high-quality hardware that helps alleviate these issues, and the WD_Black series is the company’s attempt at a more niche sub-genre of digital storage: gaming. The WD_Black D30 Game Drive SSD is yet another release under the WD_Black brand name that helps strengthen its ties to good value digital storage options for consumers, though there are a few minor issues that prevent it from becoming best in class.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

One of the more striking elements of the WD_Black D30 is its design, which looks something like a cross between a shrunken shipping container and the sort of military storage that decorates the background of some battle royale titles. It’s certainly not for everyone, and will clash with setups that aren’t largely monochromatic, but it’s definitely got the appearance of gaming hardware – and not the kind that sticks out so badly it becomes a talking point for every visitor. The SSD is also quite small, not much bigger than a wallet on a desk, which makes adding it to an entertainment unit or a PC gaming setup simple.

Related: Best PS5 SSD Options: What M.2 SSD You Should Buy

The WD_Black D30 is available at 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB storage specifications, and its overall build quality feels sturdy, though its lightweight nature doesn’t feel as rugged or protected as other SSD drives with heftier, bulkier designs. For console users, the WD_Black D30 allows PS4 and Xbox One titles to be played straight off the device, which is especially crucial for those still navigating between titles on both previous- and current-gen. With console storage a hot topic among users and many current-gen owners already running up against their chosen device’s storage limits, the WD_Black D30 acquits itself admirably in providing speedy, efficient performance and flexibility.

The WD_Black D30 isn’t quite as big a selling point for PC owners, who will have plenty of options for SSD storage that performs better in the price range or is available cheaper. That’s especially prominent for those with Thunderbolt ports, who can achieve speeds in SSD usage that far outstrip the capabilities of the WD_Black D30. For that reason, this product is a better fit for console gamers, though it’s still a fine product for those looking to upgrade their PC storage or for those who are unsure of when they’ll need console or PC help.

In terms of performance, the WD_Black D30 is fairly quick, with good launch speeds for games and a healthy amount of storage in the higher-priced versions of the product. In testing, PS4 and Xbox One games launched quickly and without issue, while PC games performed similarly. In practice, using a USB 3.2 Gen 2 and USB 2.0, the WD_Black D30 achieved above average or consistent speeds with its competitors, with copy speeds in the mid-500MB/s range for USB 3.2. T he drive stayed cool during use, even while playing games, which is a major bonus for those who’ve had to deal with the unnecessary heat emissions of some lesser SSD products.

It’s also worth noting that those planning to use the SSD with their consoles may want to upgrade the USB cable as soon as possible – it’s pretty short, and limiting given the setup of a given entertainment space. It’s certainly not a deal breaker and, given the nature of many console setups, can simply be placed alongside a console wherever it is stored, but it’s definitely something to consider for consumers with limited physical space or already demanding setups without much flexibility.

Ultimately, the WD_Black D30 is a solid choice for anyone, especially in its 1TB and 2TB variants, which offer much more value for their price. While it’s somewhat limited by the nature of PS5 and Xbox Series X/S technology, it’s a great avenue to play and store PS4/Xbox One titles on current-gen consoles, and performs above average on PC, too. The flexibility offered, the unique aesthetic, and the quality behind the WD_Black name brand definitely makes this a solid pick-up – and with the 2021 holiday season coming quickly, it’s worth keeping an eye on for any storage-starved consumers.

Next: How PS5’s New M.2 SSD Storage Expansion Works

The WD_Black D30 Game Drive SSD is available now from Western Digital. Screen Rant was provided with a WD_Black D30 2TB model for the purpose of this review.

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