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WD_BLACK P40 Sport Drive USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Transportable SSD Evaluation: Balanced Storage

The What’s Next Western Digital event again in Could 2022 noticed the introduction of recent merchandise within the WD_BLACK lineup. On the moveable SSD (PSSD) entrance, the WD_BLACK P40 Sport Drive SSD augmented the corporate’s robust set of choices within the gaming market. As a complement to the favored WD_BLACK P50 Sport Drive SSD, the brand new PSSD retained the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) hyperlink whereas including RGB lighting to the case.

The P40 was launched at a a lot lower cost level in comparison with the P50. To be able to obtain the lower cost level and make the P40 a mid-range providing, the corporate has lower some corners whereas nonetheless promoting the drive as a 2GBps-class one. The evaluation beneath presents an in depth analysis of the WD_BLCK P40 Sport Drive SSD and compares it towards a number of different PSSDs in the identical capability class. Our evaluation reveals use-cases the place the P40 does make sense to make use of with out spending far more for the premium-class P50.


Exterior bus-powered storage units have grown each in storage capability in addition to speeds over the past decade. Due to fast developments in flash know-how (together with the arrival of 3D NAND and NVMe) in addition to quicker host interfaces (akin to Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.x), we now have palm-sized flash-based storage units able to delivering 3GBps+ speeds. Whereas these speeds might be achieved with Thunderbolt, mass-market units should depend on USB. Inside the USB ecosystem, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) is quick turning into the entry stage for thumb drives and moveable SSDs. Premium units sporting the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) interface have been making it to the market over the past couple of years, with host help in desktops and different computing platforms beginning to choose up. Broadly talking, there are 5 distinct efficiency ranges on this market:

  • 2GBps+ drives with Thunderbolt 3 or USB4, utilizing NVMe SSDs
  • 2GBps drives with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, utilizing NVMe SSDs or direct USB flash drive (UFD) controllers
  • 1GBps drives with USB 3.2 Gen 2, utilizing NVMe SSDs or direct UFD controllers
  • 500MBps drives with USB 3.2 Gen 1 (or, Gen 2, in some circumstances), utilizing SATA SSDs
  • Sub-400MBps drives with USB 3.2 Gen 1, utilizing UFD controllers

The PSSD we’re taking a look at at the moment – the WD_BLACK P40 Sport Drive – belongs to the second class within the above listing. Western Digital’s WD_BLACK lineup of merchandise targets the gaming market, with deal with efficiency numbers in addition to industrial design / RGB lighting. The corporate has additionally been utilizing the lineup to carry new know-how to the market – such because the WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD back in 2019. It was one of many first 20 Gbps PSSDs to hit the market when it was launched. This allowed the corporate to cost a premium for the high-performance product that continues to today. In an try to broaden the lineup with a mid-range providing, WD launched the P40 Sport Drive SSD with very related specs (as much as 2000 MBps) earlier this yr at a a lot lower cost level.

The WD_BLACK P40 Sport Drive SSD retains the commercial design and look of its premium sibling, whereas being barely extra compact. One of many key updates appreciated by the goal market is the addition of RGB lighting (controllable through WD’s dashboard software program) to the case. As a substitute of supplying two separate cables, WD is offering a single Sort-C to Sort-C cable with an hooked up Sort-C to Sort-A adapter.

WD_BLACK P40 Sport Drive SSD – Bundle Contents

The strong aluminum steel casing lends a rugged look to the drive, and lays to relaxation any potential thermal considerations throughout operation.


CrystalDiskInfo offers a fast overview of the PSSD as seen by the host system. The P40 help S.M.A.R.T passthrough and TRIM, as proven within the screenshot beneath. In comparison with the DRAM-equipped SN750E used within the P50, WD is utilizing a DRAM-less SN560E within the P40. The fee-savings translate to the lower cost on the P40 in comparison with the P50.

S.M.A.R.T Passthrough – CrystalDiskInfo

The desk beneath presents a comparative view of the specs of the completely different storage bridges introduced on this evaluation.

Comparative Direct-Hooked up Storage Gadgets Configuration
Downstream Port 1x PCIe 3.0 x4 (M.2 NVMe) 1x PCIe 3.0 x4 (M.2 NVMe)
Upstream Port USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Sort-C USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Sort-C
Bridge Chip ASMedia ASM2364 ASMedia ASM2364
Energy Bus Powered Bus Powered
Use Case Mid-range 2GBps-class, compact, and durable moveable SSD in a gumstick form-factor concentrating on the gaming market Premium 2GBps-class, compact, and durable moveable SSD in a gumstick form-factor concentrating on the gaming market
Bodily Dimensions 107 mm x 51 mm x 13 mm 118 mm x 62 mm x 14 mm
Weight 79 grams (with out cable) 115 grams (with out cable)
Cable 30 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Sort-C to Sort-C

Hooked up Sort-C feminine to Sort-A male adapter (resultant Sort-C to Sort-A cable size : 33 cm)
30 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Sort-C to Sort-C

30 cm USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-C to Sort-A
S.M.A.R.T Passthrough Sure Sure
UASP Assist Sure Sure
TRIM Passthrough Sure Sure
{Hardware} Encryption Not Out there Not Out there
Evaluated Storage Western Digital SN560E PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD

SanDisk / Toshiba BiCS 5 112L 3D TLC
Western Digital SN750E PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD

SanDisk / Toshiba BiCS 4 96L 3D TLC
Worth USD 130 USD 210
Evaluation Hyperlink WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive SSD 1TB Review WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD 1TB Review #1 (2020)

WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD 1TB Review #2 (2021)

Previous to wanting on the benchmark numbers, energy consumption, and thermal resolution effectiveness, an outline of the testbed setup and analysis methodology is supplied.

Testbed Setup and Analysis Methodology

Direct-attached storage units are evaluated utilizing the Quartz Canyon NUC (primarily, the Xeon / ECC model of the Ghost Canyon NUC) configured with 2x 16GB DDR4-2667 ECC SODIMMs and a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD – the IM2P33E8 1TB from ADATA.

Essentially the most enticing side of the Quartz Canyon NUC is the presence of two PCIe slots (electrically, x16 and x4) for add-in playing cards. Within the absence of a discrete GPU – for which there isn’t a want in a DAS testbed – each slots can be found. In actual fact, we additionally added a spare SanDisk Excessive PRO M.2 NVMe SSD to the CPU direct-attached M.2 22110 slot within the baseboard so as to keep away from DMI bottlenecks when evaluating Thunderbolt 3 units. This nonetheless permits for 2 add-in playing cards working at x8 (x16 electrical) and x4 (x4 electrical). Because the Quartz Canyon NUC does not have a local USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port, Silverstone’s SST-ECU06 add-in card was put in within the x4 slot. All non-Thunderbolt units are examined utilizing the Sort-C port enabled by the SST-ECU06.

The specs of the testbed are summarized within the desk beneath:

The 2021 AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration
System Intel Quartz Canyon NUC9vXQNX
CPU Intel Xeon E-2286M
Reminiscence ADATA Industrial AD4B3200716G22

32 GB (2x 16GB)

DDR4-3200 ECC @ 22-22-22-52
OS Drive ADATA Industrial IM2P33E8 NVMe 1TB
Secondary Drive SanDisk Excessive PRO M.2 NVMe 3D SSD 1TB
Add-on Card SilverStone Tek SST-ECU06 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Sort-C Host
OS Home windows 10 Enterprise x64 (21H1)
Due to ADATA, Intel, and SilverStone Tek for the construct elements

The testbed {hardware} is just one section of the analysis. Over the previous few years, the standard direct-attached storage workloads for reminiscence playing cards have additionally developed. Excessive bit-rate 4K movies at 60fps have turn out to be fairly widespread, and 8K movies are beginning to make an look. Sport set up sizes have additionally grown steadily even in moveable recreation consoles, because of excessive decision textures and art work. Preserving these in thoughts, our analysis scheme for direct-attached storage units includes a number of workloads that are described intimately within the corresponding sections.

  • Artificial workloads utilizing CrystalDiskMark and ATTO
  • Actual-world entry traces utilizing PCMark 10’s storage benchmark
  • Customized robocopy workloads reflective of typical DAS utilization
  • Sequential write stress check

Within the subsequent part, we’ve got an summary of the efficiency of the WD_BLACK P40 Sport Drive SSD in these benchmarks. Previous to offering concluding remarks, we’ve got some observations on the machine’s energy consumption numbers and thermal resolution additionally.

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