WD_BLACK P10 Game Drive review: Backing up 6TB of my Xbox library has my ISP breathing a sigh of relief

Western Digital now offers up to 6TB of storage for Xbox and PC gamers in a 2.5-inch mechanical form.

WD_BLACK P10 Game Drive
(Image: © Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Windows Central Verdict

Western Digital already manufactures external drives with specific "Xbox" branding on the chassis, but the P10 is ironically a better solution despite lacking this minor piece of flair. The drive is advertised for PC and console gamers, and up to 130MB/s of transfer speed is fast enough when you get up to 6TB of storage space. Xbox Series X owners will love it, keeping the biggest, most egregious games stored safely off their consoles, ready to reinstall at any time.


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    Up to 130 MB/s transfers on PC, as advertised

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    112.5 MB/s to 118.75 MB/s average speeds on Xbox Series X

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    Affordable 6TB maximum capacity, with smaller options available at more great prices


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    Outdated USB Micro-B cable with a slightly loose connector

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It's easy to fall into a "designed for gamers" trap when looking for PC and console accessories, as plenty of manufacturers use this tagline as a catch-all to imply fast enough speeds and high enough capacity to hold today's AAA titles.

Western Digital, at least, is a well-known manufacturer in the hard drive category. Its WD_BLACK subbrand, aimed at gamers, has been around for a few years, manufacturing a range of storage solutions. I've used a few of its offerings and found that some differ in real-world testing from their advertisements.

So, if you're considering buying the WD_BLACK P10 Game Drive at a $99.99 starting price from places like Best Buy, how do you know it's worth the investment? I took a 6TB variant of the drive for a test run with some game installation transfers and storage benchmarks to see if it's worth the money.


This review was made possible with a review sample provided by Western Digital. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.

WD_BLACK P10: Price, availability, and specs

The WD_BLACK P10 only includes a 46cm USB-A to USB Micro-B cable, but that's likely all you need. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

• Price: From $99.99 at Best Buy
Capacity: 2TB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB
Port: USB-A to USB Micro-B
Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 1
Sequential read: Up to 130 MB/s
• Transfer rate: Up to 5Gb/s
Compatibility: PC, Xbox, PS5
• Dimensions: 4.65 x 3.46 x 0.91"
• Weight: 0.55lbs (0.24kg)

Western Digital sells the WD_BLACK P10 Game Drive external 2.5" hard drive through its official storefront at $89.99 for a 2TB model and offers 4TB, 5TB, and 6TB variants.

Third-party retailers carry a handful of capacity models of the P10, with Best Buy offering 2TB for $99.99 and 5TB for $149.99. In addition to the Western Digital official store, Amazon also offers the 6TB model for $189.99.

Western Digital includes a 46cm USB-A to USB Micro-B cable and a small quick-install booklet in the box with the WD_BLACK P10. However, no extraordinary setup instructions are necessary for most devices. Essentially a 2.5-inch hard drive in a USB-powered enclosure, the P10 weighs precisely 239g, matching its specifications.

WD_BLACK P10: Design and compatibility

USB Micro-B might be one of the worst-looking ports still in use in the industry, but it does the job. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Even with a rugged-looking enclosure, the WD_BLACK P10 is nothing fancier than a 2.5-inch hard drive adapted to be portable storage. Nevertheless, it feels solid and is light enough to travel thanks to its ultra-tight shell design around the internal drive. Besides a small LED that pulses white during transfers, there aren't any other frills outside of the almost military stylings of Western Digital's gaming subbrand. It's subtle enough to avoid looking garish, assembled with a set of four accessible hex screws along the top side, should you ever need to disassemble it and shuck the drive.

Tiny rubber feet keep the P10 held in place on a desk or table next to your Xbox or PC. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

My only genuine concern with the design of the WB_BLACK P10 is that the USB Micro-B connector isn't completely flush when connected. It's already an ugly cable, trumped in every way by USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 alternatives, but they're pretty standard with external hard drive enclosures. If you plan to regularly disconnect this drive from your gaming PC or Xbox Series X|S, please don't bend or twist the chassis or cable when handling the P10; it doesn't have the most robust port in the world. If treated with common sense and care, you won't have any issues with this drive.

WD_BLACK P10: Transfer speed tests

Formatting an external hard drive for Xbox game storage renders it unusable with a PC, but changing the format at any time isn't difficult. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

So, what's actually inside the WD_BLACK P10? Investigating the hardware shows a 2.5-inch WDC WD60NPZW-59C1LS0 mechanical drive running at up to 4800 RPM with a reported capacity of 5,723,134 MB (6,001 GB.) The enclosure supports up to USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports to enable its fastest transfers, claiming 130 MB/s on the box, and PC testing proved that to be accurate. Western Digital isn't pushing any unrealistic metrics on its advertising and tells no lies with the P10, though console performance usually fares slightly worse than desktop PCs and laptops.

Setting up the WD_BLACK P10 on an Xbox Series X allows for media or game transfer, with the latter generally the primary reason for buying a backup drive like this. You can't play Xbox Series X|S games directly from an external drive, but you can back them up to make space on your internal drive or play backward-compatible games from the Xbox 360 era, which have a lower minimum drive speed requirement. Copying 80.79GB of Alan Wake 2 from a Series X to the P10 maintained steady write speeds of just over 900Mbps (112.5 MB/s) while the opposite held around 950Mbps read (118.75 MB/s.)

WD_BLACK P10 benchmark test with CrystalDiskMark shows 130MB/s speeds on PC as advertised. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

While the Xbox Series X never reached its maximum potential of 130 MB/s transfers, a PC benchmark with CrystalDiskMark shows that the drive can absolutely reach those speeds. The slight difference between faster reads and slower writes is evident here, too, which is typical for almost any storage drive. Naturally, we're hitting realistic limits of 4800 RPM mechanical drives with the P10 anyway, so this performance matches typical high-end HDDs before moving onto solid-state equivalents.

WD_BLACK P10: Competition

The P10 runs comfortably at around double the speed of Western Digital's smaller WD_BLACK D30 external NVMe drive. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Western Digital itself has a broad range of external drives aimed at gamers, and the WD_BLACK range might seem confusing when you're looking to store backups from an Xbox or gaming PC. For example, while the WD_BLACK D30 contains an NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), it doesn't perform as well as the WD_BLACK P10 reviewed here. So, looking for an SSD doesn't guarantee faster performance than a high-quality mechanical HDD.

If you crave ultra-fast transfers over capacity, see our WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive SSD review for a USB-C option with subtle RGB lighting. However, the Xbox Series X will never fully utilize the maximum potential read and write speeds provided by the P40, so it is possible to overspend on an external drive that exceeds your needs. For reasonable speeds and a wide range of storage capacities, the WD_BLACK P10 is my top recommendation for an external drive, at least for Xbox Series X|S games.

WD_BLACK P10: Should you buy it?

The P10 is one of the easiest recommendations I can make for Xbox Series X|S owners who have gigantic game libraries. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

You should buy it if ...

You play multiple Xbox Series X|S games with large installs

Even with an Xbox boasting 1TB of internal storage, modern games will soon eat up that space. Offloading the largest installations to the P10 is fast enough to be convenient and means you don't have to keep downloading huge titles.

You shouldn't buy it if ...

You're a PC gamer craving the fastest backup speeds

The P10 is essentially a fancy enclosure that contains a traditional 2.5-inch mechanical hard drive, inherently restricted by its technology. Solid-state drive alternatives will offer faster transfer speeds, but the price regularly increases to match.

My ISP allows me around 500Mbps downloads, which is nothing to sniff at, but even I shudder at the thought of repeatedly downloading 120GB+ installations for the latest games on my Xbox and gaming PC. Offloading the largest titles to a drive like the WD_BLACK P10 means I can reinstall whenever I feel like it, with speeds fast enough that it doesn't feel like a chore.

Sure, it's not a solid-state drive offering the fastest speeds in the world, and the USB Micro-B cable is an ugly eyesore, but 6TB of backup space practically holds my entire library of oversized AAA games for whenever I feel like playing them. 950Mbps transfers are plenty for my Xbox Series X, and I'll be leaning on the P10 to manage my library from now on. It's exactly as fast as it needs to be and ranks as one of the best Xbox external hard drives to date.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @trzomb@mastodon.online to ask questions or share opinions.