As the world of professional gamers grows, one of the brands that has grown the most in this segment is Western Digital, which with the new WD_Black P40 wants to repeat the success of the previous generation with a very special model, but that does not focus only on aesthetics.
The new WD_Black P40 comes in a simple package: the box is made of cardboard with a soft plastic profile inside to hold the disc and cable.
The box offers graphics that invoke the style of the interior, with key features like disk capacity, ranging from 500GB to 2TB, well shaded: Oddly enough, the new Western Digital logo (which we previewed here) appears only small, on the back of the box, Which leaves room for WD_Black font paint on the front.
Inside the package only the disk and USB-C / USB-C cable with USB-C / USB-A adapter for those with older ports: Dimensions 106.98 x 50.82 x 13 mm, which is too small for an SSD.
For PCs and Macs too, better if they are modern
To make it work, just connect it to a computer: the original format is ExFAT, and therefore it is fully compatible with both macOS and Windows in their latest versions.
If desired, a Mac user can also format it in APFS, which would be the ideal format for an SSD of this type, but it clearly loses the ability to use it even on Windows and in return gets very small performance gains, according to the author. It’s worth it, it’s better to leave it that way.
The dial is made entirely of metal, fixed to the handle thanks to the shaped straps and very attractive in appearance, black except for the large inscriptions on the top, which bear the name and some characteristics.
On one of the short sides there is a USB-C (USB 3.2 Gen2x2) connector with a wide opening, which indicates that in addition to the included cable, we can use any USB-C cable (which complies with the speed canons) or even a Thunderbolt cable.
Better in the dark
But, despite the shape and ease of connection, the disk has a truly unique advantage in this sector, which also distinguishes it from its predecessor WD_Black P50 (which was also larger and heavier).
At the base of the disc, at the bottom, two small strips of bright RGB LEDs are installed on the right and left. LEDs are most noticeable during light hours, but appear most prominently after sunset, when the harsh nighttime lighting and lights on this disc are most prominent.
It must be emphasized that the effect is purely aesthetic, but very beautiful and useful in any case for many other devices from a gaming perspective: here, for example, we saw a similar solution in the WD_BLACK D50 to stay at home, or even in other products such as the Razer mouse. Basilisk V3 Pro, Razer Leviathan V2 and above all a set of RGB Razer Chroma lighting strips.
Inside the disc (but you can also download it from the parent company’s website) there is an application, unfortunately only for Windows, which allows you to specify all the parameters of the disc, including brightness (in a range of different rhythms and colors).
However, managing the lights does need some attention: for example, the lights only work on powered USB-C ports, while they don’t when used on USB-A ports (but the disk still works properly).
Once you connect to a Windows PC and select your preferred lighting pattern, you need to turn it off before unplugging the disc, otherwise the light control stays off the next time you connect (which can be activated on a PC via the app, on a Mac not): Parallels Desktop 18 with Windows 11 Pro unfortunately did not detect the disk.
How it works
Inside the disk is a Western Digital NVMe SSD, which delivers real speeds far from those advertised by the parent company, but still quite satisfactory for its intended use.
In fact, if advertised sequential read performances hit 2,000MB/s, in our daily use tests we found speeds of up to half, which is still a good result, slightly above the WD_Black P50 model and behind the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD, which is still cost more.
The disk, in its 1TB or 2TB form that we recommend due to the price/performance factor, presents itself as a very good unit for hosting complex files such as Parallels Desktop virtual machines and high-resolution image archives, even in RAW, vectors and in general, all those documents that should The operating system is able to quickly access metadata to create previews or for quick access.
In detail, for those who play, this unit is designed to host full-fledged video games, also taking into account a wide range of compatibility, which see PlayStation 4, 4 Pro, 5 or Xbox Series X | S or One and obviously also Windows 10, 11 and macOS 10.11 or later. We refer readers to consult the full list on the parent company’s page for all details.
The writer is a player, certainly not a professional, but still a user who loves to do a slaying of demons with Diablo or Starcraft in the evenings after business hours with friends, and sees in this record the true essence of what he is asking. Enthusiastic.
A quick, convenient unit to use, powerful (because it can be carried without fear) and such a habit of lights that leave friends and colleagues in disbelief at the sight of it, especially in the dark.
But the writer is also a daily life professional who uses Photoshop, Illustrator, Word, PowerPoint, archives, uses a lot of RAW footage, and uses four or five virtual machines frequently.
For all of these areas, the WD_Black P40 proved to be more than ready, fast, even if not as fast as possible (but at this point it would be necessary to continue with Thunderbolt connections, with other costs), very good responsiveness, at a price anyway. Interesting (because some SanDisk drives, from the same family and with similar features, cost more).
And after a few days, a few evenings, the habit of RGB LEDs is a true thing that in practice isn’t essential, but perhaps for that very reason it’s really irresistible.
• Bold look and ergonomic design
• RGB LED
• Good price/performance ratio
• Via USB-A LEDs do not light up
• Driver for Windows only
• Caution should be exercised when using between different operating systems
• 129.99 EUR (500 GB)
• 182.99 euros (1 TB)
• 305.99 euros (2 TB)
The WD_Black P40 is available from the Italian website of the parent company but the same is also on Amazon.it in the 500GB or 1TB category.