WD_BLACK D50 1TB Thunderbolt Dock Review

WD may have the best gaming-focused NVMe Thunderbolt 3 dock available on the market in the D50. Here's our look at the 1TB model.

Published Tue, Mar 2 2021 8:18 AM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Western Digital (WDBA3U0010BBK-NESN)

WD released a bevy of products last year to completely revamp their WD_BLACK gaming brand. We reviewed many of these solutions, including the D10 Game Drive and P50 Portable SSD. Today, we look at the 3rd solution in the new lineup, the D50 Game Dock, that offers additional storage and features in one attractive package.

The D50 Game Dock is a direct competitor to solutions like the FireCuda Gaming Dock from Seagate. That said, WD has foregone the 3.5" storage option that Seagate embraced, opting for a smaller footprint and increased connectivity.

Connectivity options include two Thunderbolt 3 ports; one capable of supplying 87W of power, DisplayPort for additional monitors, and 5x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports split between Type-A and USB-C. WD has also included Gigabit ethernet on their dock and a 3.5mm audio jack. Internal storage options include either a 1 or 2TB NVMe SSD; the model sent for review is the 1TB option.

MSRP of the 1TB WD BLACK D50 Thunderbolt Dock comes in at $499.99 with a five-year warranty.

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Packaging follows the WD_BLACK theme we have seen on past P50 and D10 solutions-capacity listed bottom right with connectivity listed to the left.

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The back goes into a good amount of detail on package contents and compatibility.

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Unboxing, we have a rather nice power supply and Thunderbolt 3 cable.

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The dock shares the same enclosure design as the past two devices, an almost industrial look to the enclosure.

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The I/O section of the D50 offers power top left next to networking and two Type-A ports. The bottom includes Thunderbolt, DP, USB-C, and fan to keep the internals cool.

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The front offers quick access to a Type-A port and USB-C along with 3.5mm for audio output.

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Internally, we have the WD BLACK SN730 1TB NVMe in a pretty spacious enclosure.

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The performance of the internal NVMe was quite good, 3000 MB/s read and 2500 MB/s write in sequential.

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Using our P50 Portable SSD, we were able to check the performance of the included USB-C ports. In this scenario, we picked up 1000 MB/s read and 976 MB/s write.

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Sustained performance of portable storage is something we have taken seriously over the years; because of this, we developed a sustained write test to push drives a little harder than any canned benchmark will.

In this case, the D50 was very impressive, bringing in the best performance we have seen to date at 1700MB/s over the 200GB operation.

In use, the D50 works great as a game drive, and moving my steam library to the drive ended up being quick and painless. As a dock, the additional connectivity made setting up a secondary monitor and accessing USB ports much quicker and more convenient than trying to dive behind my chassis, searching for a port often with a flashlight in hand.

I was equally impressed with the performance of the D50, more so with the internal drives sustained performance that far exceeded anything we have seen in the past. That said, USB performance was on par with expectations for Gen 2 USB 3.2 ports, reaching a touch over 1000 MB/s.

Pricing of the D50 Game Dock, at $499 MSRP, is a touch over $100 more than the comparable FireCuda Gaming Dock. With that, the D50 offers increased connectivity with networking and USB-C ports and NVMe storage out of the box, making it a worthwhile option for those wanting something near turnkey in operation.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

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The Bottom Line

WD impresses with a full featured NVMe storage dock that offers the best connectivity possible backed by Thunderbolt 3.

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WD_BLACK D50 1TB Thunderbolt Dock

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* Prices last scanned on 5/16/2021 at 12:56 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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