WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock is a Thunderbolt 3 HUB with integrated SSD memory, designed for the gaming world and, consequently, for those who need high performance but also want to have a device that stands out for its look.
Although the Thunderbolt 3 format is now established, especially in the high-end of computers and in the world of eSports, the characteristics of the WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock make it very special if not unique for several reasons, which were what we wanted. take a closer look at this product.
Aesthetics of the WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock
The WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock looks like a kind of sturdy plastic brick. Due to its size (119.89 x 119.89 x 55.12 mm) and shape, the dock can be placed in a lying position or standing, depending on the user's preferences: but although the position does not affect operation, it is understood both from the graphics and from the LED lights that WD would like us to hold vertically.
We had a preview of the pleasant design, along with other Western Digital innovations: on the other hand, the WD_Black line has now been a consolidated reality for a couple of years and here we have already talked about the WD_Black P10 mechanical disc and the state one. solid WD_Black P50.
In addition to the Dock, however, in the box there is also a Thunderbolt 3 cable with the external power supply, equipped with a European and English socket.
The WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock, here with the WD_Black P10 disc
Let's try it
For the installation you don't need anything, as it is enough to connect the HUB Thunderbolt yes with the cable to the computer and all the rest (mouse, keyboard, video, external hard disk etc) to the HUB and you can take advantage of the available power.
On Windows 10 there is an App to install, which offers a monitoring of the data flow and also the possibility to change the color of the LEDs; nothing essential, of course …
The WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock offers two Thunderbolt 3 ports (one for the computer and another for another device which could be a display (like this one from LG, which offers a compatible USB-C port), an external hard drive or a other Thunderbolt 3 chain HUB.
In addition to this we find: a DisplayPort 1.4 port, analog jack, Gigabit Ethernet, USB-A 10 Gb / s (very convenient for those who use a MacBook or MacBook Pro, which do not have one) and two USB-C. We have connected a display, a microphone, a webcam, mouse, keyboard, headphones and an external SSD drive.
All the flow, in addition of course to the Ethernet connection, goes through the single Thunderbolt 3 cable which, during our review, also supplied power to our MacBook Pro 13 ″ thanks to pass-through charging up to 87W, sufficient for any portable Mac.
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In addition to all these available ports which, remember, are very convenient because they convey all the data through a single Thunderbolt 3 port, there are some really interesting features.
Inside the HUB we also find an NVMe SSD memory which in our case reached 1 TB but also exists from 2TB. The availability is of units with internal memory or bare, but beware, the internal memory cannot be added at a later stage.
Obviously a brand like Western Digital does not hold back in this type of challenge and in fact the SSD, formatted in ExFAT, gave really excellent results, going well over 2.66 GB / s in reading, much faster than the internal memory of the Mac. mini we are writing to you from.
The speed of the internal memory drive is very good
The availability of an internal memory, in fact, allows you to save a port to be allocated to a Hard Disk and increases the storage speed. On the official page WD says that in this way a user can directly store and use many games, and it is true, but nothing prevents us from saving even “serious” data such as Parallels virtual disks, RAW images or other projects that need high speeds. to work optimally.
In addition to this, we really liked the presence of a front USB-A port that works well even with the computer turned off: this means that we can use it to recharge the iPhone, the iPad or the spare battery at night, for have it ready the following morning.
Always the internal memory, here calculated on a 4K data stream
In particular, this port works great with mouse models that use the charging base as a wireless antenna (such as the Razer Mamba) and which can only be recharged with a computer switched on or with a port like this.
The last gem is the LED light, positioned at the bottom. We are always in a gamer perspective; the WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock brings to mind Razer products, such as the Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro mouse or the Razer Huntsman Mini.
Although purely ornamental, WD's RGB system can be synchronized with other systems, including that of Razer, through the Synapse drivers (this only on Windows) in order to have a synchronized frame between mouse, keyboard and WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock .
1 of 3 the control panel of the WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock Razer's Synapse drivers intercept the HUB and can control some aspects of it (only on Windows)
According to the writer, this WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock is the most interesting accessory seen in the world of video games in the last period: to a further extent, it appears as a very comfortable and productive accessory even from a professional perspective due to the extreme flexibility of the ports available. and built-in memory, a very special and very welcome feature.
The price, we admit, cannot be defined as popular but if we consider the possibilities (and the integrated memory, a very important part) everything appears relatively cheap, also and above all considering what is the competition.
If we wanted to find a fault, we would have preferred an extra pair of USB-A ports, because the accessories to be connected never end and here the ports are not many, but this is a personal opinion because a lot depends on the set-up that each of them we do it in the workstation, in addition to the fact of the lack of compatibility with Mac, which in any case can be survived. Furthermore, under stress it tends to heat up more than expected, even if the cooling system is very efficient.
It remains a very high quality for an important brand that, despite just now entering this sector, manages to do so with an experience and inspiration that immediately transform it into a reference.
• Interesting look, with LED lights • Charges a laptop • Integrated 1TB SSD
• Also works with Mac, but light drivers are missing • A few more USB-A ports would have been welcome • Tends to get hot under load
• 311.99 Euros (without internal memory) • 492.99 Euros (1 TB model) • 673.99 Euros (2 TB model)
WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock is available directly from the Western Digital website, (here for units without memory) but you can also find it directly on Amazon.it in 1 TB, 2 TB or even without HD.