As games continue to grow in size, so does the need to contain it all. 1-4TB drives aren’t looking so big anymore when singular games are starting to grow past 250GB in size (zoinks!). This is where products like the WD_Black D10 series comes into play. For those who can’t stop buying into new games, don’t want to let go of their old, and clearly can’t afford to go NVMe with all of that data.
The Western Digital WD_Black D10 12TB USB 3.0 Game Drive is a perfect blend of maximum (modern) capacity mixed with a boost in speed. It isn’t SSD-like speeds, but it is faster than your average spinning drive.
This drive is a literal beast, with its 12TB of storage. This means even the largest games can be stored by the many. Inside the case is a 7200rpm WD Black drive with speeds greater than your average 130-150MB/s HDD.
In our tests, our average write speed was around 230MB/s, making it one of the faster (consumer) HDD options out there, which is to be expected out of the Black series. It’s all about speed and performance with no care for energy savings.
The only catch with the Black series is noise. The drive is a tank and although it doesn’t drive like one, it does sound like one. This has led to some interesting reviews on platforms like Amazon coming from customers complaining about the noise coming from the drive as it is seeking/working. Some would refer to it as a clicking or grinding sound, which is true, and there is nothing abnormal about that. The Black series are a bit more rugged and due to their power and design, they do make noticeable noises compared to your average energy-efficient alternative.
If you want your cake, with all the icing, and want to eat it too, then you have the option of going SSD. With SSD you get speeds far greater (depending on the model) and without a single noise from the drive. However, the price for 12TB of capacity is going to run you thousands. So you have to balance your pros and cons and determine what works best for your budget.
In this case, you want 12TB of affordable yet fast storage, you get a little noise from the drive. You’ll just have to deal with that.
That being said, the drive is still $299, despite a price drop over time. So even in the realm of affordable, 12TB in HDD-form still isn’t for just anyone. Thankfully, it did drop noticeably during the two-day Amazon Prime Day promotion, so you can bet it will do the same during Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday as well.
The overall design of the enclosure is perfect for gamers and enthusiasts. It is a rugged military-like design like the rest of their WD_Black lineup of products. It screams durability, although in the end it is still an HDD, so don’t drop it or knock it around. The quality of materials is great. The only cheap part of it is the small plastic stand it pops into. The fact that it just looks amazing for an HDD is a big plus, but in the end, it’s what’s inside that matters.
On the backside, you also get two USB ports for the purpose of charging devices. This could be controllers, phones, or anything else you plug into it. On the inside, you have a small fan to help keep the drive cooled with.
We love the WD_Black D10 series 12TB External Gaming Drive. It makes for a great external solution for both PCs as well as past gaming consoles. I say past because the ones launching next month are going to work best with NVMe SSD solutions when it comes to taking advantage of the proper load times and frame rates. This also makes for a great general external storage solution for everything else, although there are a few more affordable 12TB solutions if you don’t need the boost in speed this has to offer. The only thing that dropped the score on this one is how expensive it is. The price makes sense competitively speaking, so not much of a drop. However, there is still a drop as it does alienate a lot of consumers (and we are price snobs).
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
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