As a 35-year-old writing this it sounds slightly preposterous to say the following statement, but: “back in my day an external hard drive was a massive brick which only housed 250GB max and required its own power cable just to turn on’.
Thankfully, in 2022 we don’t have these worries anymore, as external hard drives and solid-state drives (SSDs) are now far smaller, lighter, and convenient for everyday use, requiring nothing more than a single cable to plug in and get running.
With game files getting bigger every passing year, there's still an undeniable need to own a dedicated drive to store your gaming files. That's why we've been putting the new WD_BLACK P40 SSD through its paces to see how much it can elevate our own storage troubles.
Just to put it into perspective for you, here are a few of the current file sizes for some of the top titles currently on Steam:
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 - 125 GB available space required.
- Elden Ring - 60 GB available space required.
- Destiny 2 - 105 GB available space required.
- FIFA 23 - 100 GB available space required.
- Apex Legends - 56 GB available space required.
- Final Fantasy Online - 80 GB available space required.
- Lost Ark - 50 GB available space required.
- The Elder Scrolls Online - 85 GB available space required.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 - 150 GB available space required.
The above collection of games is only small, and yet, it would eat through a whopping 811 GB from your laptop or PC. In this day and age, it's only smart that you get yourself an external SSD to store these files without putting the whole burden on your gaming laptop or desktop.
We also realise that some people might have a game library that is far bigger than the 9 titles we mentioned. Thankfully, the WD_BLACK P40 SSD comes in a variety of sizes, from 500 GB to a whopping 2 TB, so you'll have plenty of space regardless of the scale of your gaming library.
Undeniably though, the real benefit to having these games on your external storage is that you can take this library wherever you go. You can quite literally throw it in your bag and take your collection with you to the furthest edges of the world if you really fancied it.
Better still, because the WD_BLACK P40 is pretty robust and rugged, you *can* toss it in your bag without fear of it shattering into a thousand pieces and losing all your precious data; as this idiot once did when he dropped his rucksack and decimated his own hard drive as a kid.
To be more specific, the WD_BLACK P40 is designed with a shock-resistant structure that allows it to survive a drop of up to two meters. That being said, the form factor of the drive is so tiny that you could comfortably slip it into a coat pocket and carry it around without it becoming an issue.
We've focussed a lot on PC storage so far, but it's also worth noting that you can also use this for your console gaming needs.
The P40 will work with your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S and allow you to play PS4 and Xbox One games from the drive natively. Although you can't play your PS5 games from the drive, it does thankfully have blazingly fast speeds to transfer those games onto the M.2/Internal storage of your console in no time at all.
You might be better with a WD_BLACK SN850 if you're looking to bulk up your PS5 storage, but if you're simply looking to avoid re-downloading games all over again, then the P40 is certainly fit for purpose.
Not least when it runs at a blazingly fast speed of up to 2,000 MB/s. For the less techy of readers, it more or less means you’re guaranteed to be using one of the fastest external SSD drives on the market, especially when paired with a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Port, which can be found on the back of both the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Also, we know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but the P40 also has customizable RGB lighting, which means those on PC can control using a downloadable Dashboard for when you're feeling a little flash (you know who you are!).
With prices ranging from £109 to £252 on the WD Store, it's certainly a small price to pay to reduce any storage issues you might be having. The fact it's available in a rather convenient portable pocket-sized frame is arguably the biggest bonus.
Ultimately, this is a neat solution for anyone who wants the option to take their gaming laptop and library with them whilst out and about, as well as those looking for extra storage at home on a desktop PC or console. You could even use it with a Steam Deck for maximum portability of your gaming library.