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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  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    The good thing about this is it has the ability to achieve >10 Gbps speeds while still being backwards compatible with older USB. Up to now there are too few portable drives that use JHL7440 to provide single port TB3/USB compatibility.
  • Dragonstongue - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    it may or may not be compliant due to power restrictions etc.

    also...I truly 1000000% despise them using big numbers such as Gbps speeds (or as has been done with memory since forever when it comes to storage, internet etc)

    as the makers always use "up to" but often enough in the real world, perfect case, rare is this seen

    I digress, who knows until it gets proper reviewed and the like.

    so far, Sandisk as well as WD (overall) not been the "best" when comes to much of anything

    my opinion of course, but backed with enough real world numbers.

    not worst, certainly far down the ladder from the best....I imagine however, that being usb 3.2 ASmedia chip, likely it will perform quite well, durability, reliability, proper connectivity time will tell, as will how hot it runs and/or how well it handles sustained usage, many things via USB do not "quite" live up to the "big sticker numbers"

  • eek2121 - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    I don't know, most products I buy worked as advertised. Samsung didn't lie to me about my m.2 SSDs, my ISP (Comcast) didn't lie to me about my gigabit internet, etc.
  • rory187 - Friday, December 6, 2019 - link

    Does this work with TB3 ports?
  • AdditionalPylons - Friday, December 6, 2019 - link

    As far as I know no TB3 controllers support 2x2. It should still be compatible and negotiate as gen2 with 10 Gbps rate in a TB3 port though.
  • AdditionalPylons - Friday, December 6, 2019 - link

    Can’t help thinking of “2x2, hands of blue”. They missed out giving a Firefly reference for the fans out here. =) But I guess WD Blue doesn’t deserve a 2x2 interface.
  • stux - Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - link

    Its a P5.0 GameDrive. So obviously the PS5 is going to support this standard, and it will look like this drive ;)

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