Western Digital has started sales of its WD_Black P50 SSDs that were announced earlier this year. The drives are aimed at the high-performance market and are among the first peripherals to support USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, which offers a full 20Gbps over a USB-C cable.

The WD_Black P50 Game Drive is an external storage device containing an internal NVMe SSD, with capacities of 500 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB. The device offers a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C interface via ASMedia’s ASM2364 USB-to-PCIe bridge, driving peak interface transfer rates of up to 20 Gbps (2.5 GB/s).

As one of the fastest consumer-grade external SSDs available today and among the first 2x2 devices, the WD_Black P50 SSD is on the cutting edge for USB devices. However, as with the launch of any new USB standard, the market starts at 0 for both hosts and peripherals; so the number of hosts that can actually use the drive at its full interface speed is still very limited. The number of hosts will grow over time – we're already seeing 2x2 controllers show up in new Threadripper motherboards – but for those who do not want to pay extra for the USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 technology, Western Digital does also offer the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD, which uses a more common USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface at 10 Gbps.

Western Digital’s WD_Black P50 external SSDs are currently offered by the company’s own online store with ETA between one and two weeks in the US. The 500 GB version is priced at $149.99, the 1 TB SKU costs $239.99, and the 2 TB model carries a $399.99 MSRP. It remains to be seen whether the drives will make it to retailers like Amazon or Newegg this holiday season, but it makes a great deal of sense for the company to start sales of its high-end product as soon as possible.

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Sources: Western Digital, PC Watch

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  • Supercell99 - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    Me thinks getting this through the TSA could raise some eyebrows Reply
  • mckirkus - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    Would be great if we could see USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 support on prosumer video equipment. You can now get a PCIe card with a 2x2 port so you could make workflows much smoother when editing 4k. Reply
  • Ej24 - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    Is that dumb text really printed on the drive... *facepalm*
    Why is it called "game drive" if no consoles and very few pc's support the standard yet? Who's putting games on it? Personally I'd use it for work, as a scientist I need lots of fast storage. But pulling this out in a meeting with my boss, no thanks. At least it doesn't have red gamer accents?

    Also is this new usb standard compatible with Thunderbolt? Or rather why is this just not a Thunderbolt interface?
    Reply
  • GreenReaper - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    You could always argue that you work hard, and you play hard... Reply
  • crimsonson - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    Because of TB3 devices will work with computers with TB but not work with devices strictly USB.
    USB3 via USBC port will work with both TB and USB-only hosts.
    Reply
  • eek2121 - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    Hey, Hey, don't blame us for Intel being a generation behind (at least) on everything technology related. PCIE4, USB 3.2 gen ANYTHING, 7nm, etc...

    On a more serious note, I agree that putting 'gamer' on the device is cheesy. However outside of that I see no other issue with this product. It works on basically any system with USB (including Thunderbolt).
    Reply
  • Thunder 57 - Saturday, December 7, 2019 - link

    Gaming mobo, gaming RAM, AMD has "GameCache". It's so damn annoying. Reply
  • TheSkullCaveIsADarkPlace - Friday, December 6, 2019 - link

    What could be seen as dumb is printing "game drive" on it and then not doing the obvious thing associated with "game" (or "gaming" for that matter): Drenching the drive in an excess of infantile RGB blinken lights. On the other hand, perhaps some people with a shred of dignity managed to discourage WD's marketing dept. from doing precisely that, and calling it "game drive" was the compromise. A better world in small steps, or so me thinks... Reply
  • chrnochime - Friday, December 6, 2019 - link

    I certainly would not expect ANY scientist to use the term dumb text, at least no self-respecting scientist I know(and I know quite a few) would use such basic vocabulary.

    And would it be that hard, as a scientist to use a sharpie and write over the word gamer? LOL
    Reply
  • Ej24 - Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - link

    Sharpies are like currency in the lab, highly protected. I wouldn't waste my sharpies on something like this, I'd just wipe it down with some acetone to remove the "juvenile text". There, better? Reply

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