WD Black D10 external drive review: top-tier backup for consoles and computers

When it comes to the best external hard drives, the WD Black D10 is up there

T3 Platinum Award
WD Black D10
(Image credit: Western Digital)
T3 Verdict

One of the best options out there if you're in the market for a high-capacity, external hard drive that can switch between Windows, Mac, Xbox and PlayStation.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Appealing, versatile design

  • +

    Good read and write speeds

  • +

    Quiet in operation

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not particularly cheap

  • -

    SSD drives are quicker

  • -

    Needs its own power supply

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Western Digital has been churning out some of the best hard drives in the business for many years now, and even in our brave new world of cloud computing there's still a place for fast, reliable, external storage – which brings us neatly to the new WD Black D10.

This mammoth 8TB drive is designed for Xboxes, PlayStations, PCs and Macs, and is of the old-school, traditional mechanical hard drive type, with platters and everything. That enables that huge 8TB capacity, but it also means the drive needs its own power cable.

We've been putting the WD Black D10 to the test on our Windows and Mac computers, and found it lives up to Western Digital's already impressive reputation – it's hard to go wrong with any of the drives from the company, and the Black D10 external drive is no exception.

Whether you're looking to free up space on a games console or a laptop, the WD Black D10 is worth considering, especially if you've got a serious amount of data to shift. Here's how the drive scores in all the categories that matter, and how much you'll have to pay for it.

WD Black D10 review: design and setup

WD Black D10

(Image credit: Future)

If you want a gigantic 8 terabytes of storage, then you're not going to get it in a svelte, compact form factor – but despite its (relatively) large size, the WD Black D10 brings with it its own style. It's black, and chunky, and vaguely military-esque in its appearance, but it's also tasteful. and will slot away on any desk or in any cabinet fairly easily.

Rubber feet on one side of the box and a simple plastic stand included with the drive mean you can have it positioned either vertically on its size or flat on a surface. Around the back are power and data ports, together with two USB-A 7.5W ports for charging your other gadgets (like gamepads), if you need to.

Setup is simple – you just plug it in and it's ready to go, at least as far as Windows or Mac computers go. Getting everything configured on a PlayStation or Xbox is a little bit more involved, but it's not difficult to do, and the WD Black 10 is no different to any other external hard drive in that respect.

It's tricky to make a chunky external drive like this look attractive, but Western Digital hasn't done a bad job here. The little extra touches like the rubber feet for horizontal placement and the extra charging ports mean it scores highly as far as the aesthetics of the drive go.

WD Black D10 review: features and performance

WD Black D10

(Image credit: Future)

Western Digital says the WD Black 10 is capable of a 250MB/s read and write speed, which while not record-breaking, is certainly good enough to be getting on with. You're not going to find many drives that go much faster at this price and with this much storage included.

We weren't able to get those speeds on our creaking old Windows machine, but that's to be expected. What we can tell you is that the drive picked up file transfers almost instantly, never skipped a beat in terms of read and write operations, and was very quiet in operation – not as quiet as a solid-state drive, but nothing that's going to distract you from your computing or your gaming.

The drive spins at a standard 7,200rpm and comes with active cooling technology to make sure it doesn't overheat (reassuring if you're going to be working or gaming directly from it). That huge 8TB capacity is good enough to store 200 games on average, Western Digital says, though obviously it depends how massive your games are.

You don't get any software bundled with the drive, but you can download Western Digital's usual suite of tools from the web for free, including a basic backup tool – it's nothing to write home about particularly, but it'll do the job of backing up files from a Windows or Mac computer if you don't have anything else to use.

WD Black D10 review: price and verdict

We were impressed with the WD Black D10 during our time with the drive, though we were only able to test it as a computer peripheral, rather than as a backup device for an Xbox or a PlayStation (we'd expect the same level of performance  whatever the device you connect it up to, however).

That 8TB of capacity is ample for just about everything and gives you a lot of head room when it comes to storage, and there are a lot of nice touches that we like on this drive – the charging ports, the design, the way it can be positioned flat or on its side... even the white read/write indicator light is tastefully done.

Add to that the heritage and reputation you get with Western Digital as a hard drive maker, and this is obviously going to be near the top of your shortlist if you're in the market for an external drive at the moment – just make sure you check prices on other drives first, and consider whether you'd be better off with a portable, USB-powered device.

Speaking of prices, the widgets on this page should give you some idea of how much you'll have to spend to get your hands on the WD Black D10, but at the time of writing you can get it for £199.99 direct from Western Digital, with 8TB the only capacity option.

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.