Out with the old and in with NVMe everything, part of Western Digital’s latest gaming NVMe launch that included their new WD_BLACK SN850 Gen4 NVMe SSD, also focuses on the new WD_BLACK D50 Thunderbolt 3 Game Dock. A TB3 docking solution with built-in SSD targeted for dedicated gamers looking for a setup with a smaller footprint but powerful features.
Quite similar to the approach that Seagate took, Western Digital has also joined the realm of TB3 and NVMe with a multi-port solution that allows a gamer to break their laptop out into every connectable accessory/solution they could possibly need to get their game on with, like a full fledge desktop experience. From monitors to mice and from sound to storage, it has the ability to make it all happen.
Where TB3 dock solutions from companies like OWC are themed around the slick/neat design approach of brushed silver aluminum, WD’s WD_Black series is focussed on a look of ruggedness and something that Call of Duty just drop-shipped to your door via an AC-130.
There is also a focus on power when it comes to connectivity. There isn’t a single USB port that offers less than 10Gbps. There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports and the one connecting to your laptop can also supply power (up to 87 watts) to the laptop as well (assuming your laptop can take power via its TB3 USB-C connection). There are also two regular USB-C ports (non-TB3 devices) and three USB-A ports, all of which that supports 10Gbps. Then you have a DisplayPort 1.4, Headset (audio in/out), and a gigabit Ethernet to go wired with.
Then, inside of the dock is an NVMe SSD to help store all of your precious gaming content within, with the option of either a 1TB (or 2TB model. It isn’t the new WD SN850 NVMe, but it will still have speeds of up to 3000MBps (read) 2500MBps (write).
Of course, you can’t have a gaming accessory with customizable LEDs, right? The dock does feature a small strip of LEDs that can be customized using their custom software (WE_Black Dashboard). Eventually, all of these companies are going to agree upon using a single format for LED control (like aRGB), but
Pricing starts at $499 for the 1TB model and moves up to $679 for the 2TB, so they aren’t for the weak of heart. These are for serious gamers only–with a big budget available to them. You can, however, pick up the hub without an NVMe as well for the price of $319.99–sorry, but TB3 still comes with premium pricing (although this makes OWC look affordable).
The WD_Black D50 Dock will be launching in the near future and is available for pre-order on WD’s website now (link below).