Best 5TB External Hard Drive
File sizes are getting bigger and bigger every single day in today’s digital world to the point that the internal hard drives on our desktop computers and laptops may no longer be enough. That’s why a lot of people nowadays go for 5TB external hard drives when it comes to maximizing their needs for that extra storage space. With a 5TB external hard drive, you can save plenty of different movies, videos, and games all without worrying whether or not you still have room left for your other files. And the best part is that you can carry it around with you without feeling all of that extra weight
So, when it comes to getting a 5TB external hard drive for your different media and gaming needs, only the best ones should make the cut. And here are the ones we believe are the best 5TB external hard drives the market has to offer.
WD Black P10 Game Drive – Best Overall
When you look at the WD Black P10 5TB Game Drive, you might wonder how an external hard drive made and designed for gaming was able to garner our favorite when it comes to the best 5TB hard drives available in the market today. Well, that’s because it checks all the boxes right when it comes to what you want from a good external hard drive.
In terms of its design, the WD Black P10 5TB Game Drive departs from the usual vanilla design you often see in most external hard drives in the sense that it doesn’t come with a simple boxy look that is quite common in most other hard drives. While it still is shaped and designed like a box primarily because of how it is merely taking up the shape of the hard drive encased in it, the WD Black P10 adds a lot of aesthetic appeal with its container-like look that makes it look rugged and tough.
Looking like a shipping container rather than your usual standard vanilla design, the WD Black P10 gives gamers an appealing external hard drive that looks great together with their consoles and gaming PCs. It may not be the best for those who want a more “chic” or professional look but the departure from the usual design is what really got us to love this external hard drive.
Of course, because the shipping container look comes with a ribbed enclosure, you can expect the WD Black P10 to be more durable than most of the other products on the market. The ribbed texture also allows you to get a good grip on this external hard drive, which only means that it is less likely to slip off of your hands than the other external hard drives that come with the smooth exterior. The P10 probably isn’t shock-proof as we felt like it was a waste to try it but we can assure you that it feels and looks more durable than its counterparts on the market.
With dimensions of 4.7 x 3.5 x 0.82 inches and an eight-ounce weight, the P10 isn’t the smallest and lightest option available for you but it is still relatively compact compared to the 5TB choices. In any case, it was designed to be able to park nicely on your desk, so the fact that it isn’t the smallest and lightest external hard drive available at the 5TB range didn’t turn us off. Creators and gamers would actually love the fact that it can sit nicely on your desk without taking up too much space. That was the case for us.
The WD Black P10 Game Drive was meant to be compatible with a lot of different devices. It can be used with your PC and Mac as well as with your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. And while, in most cases, standard external hard drives are versatile enough to be compatible with the PS4 and the Xbox One, what makes the P10 stand out is that, depending on the variety you are planning on buying, you can simply plug and play this external hard drive on the consoles without the need to format it.
In our case, however, we have the all-around version of the WD Black P10. Used with a PC, it is a simple plug and play external hard drive. However, we were unsure of whether it needs further formatting when used with a PS4 or an Xbox One. Still, you can opt to go for the Xbox One version of the P10. That version is already formatted with the Xbox One and also gives you a choice to crank up the storage to 12TB, which comes with faster writing speeds thanks to its 7,200rpm drive mechanism.
But, even if you simply stick with the all-around version 5TB of the P10, you are going to love what it offers you in terms of how versatile and compatible it is with plenty of different computers and consoles. The only knock on it is that it doesn’t come with a USB-C connector, which would require you to buy an adapter. This can be a turnoff for those who are using newer laptops and computers that have Type-C USBs but, because this was made to be a game drive for your consoles, it really doesn’t bother gamers that much.
Performance-wise, the WD Black P10 performs at an above-average level when compared to other 5,500rpm drives. When we tested it out, the hard drive came out with write and read speeds of somewhere close to 130 Mb/s, which isn’t too far off from the 140 Mb/s maximum speeds that the faster choices have.
But what we really loved about the P10 is that it operates silently and can be quite cool to the touch especially with how it was designed to operate without producing a ton of heat. This allows you to use it for extended periods of time for your gaming or daily computing needs.
When compared to the 5TB options that are closer to its price range, the P10 performs remarkably better. This means that it would be a good option for gamers who often store and play their games from their external hard drives. But, take note, it might be better for console gamers to stick with the P10 or any other external hard drive (except for portable SSDs) as a way of storing games instead of playing and loading games from them because of how the speed of the games might be affected.
Overall, it is the style and the all-around appeal that got us to love the WD Black P10 5TB Game Drive. Sure enough, there are faster options that come with pre-installed software that can be quite useful. But the amazingly rugged and durable design that the P10 comes with as well as its versatility, above-average performance, and acceptable price make it an external hard drive that stands out from the rest of the pack.
WD Elements Portable External Hard Drive – Budget Pick
The WD Black P10 5TB Game Drive really isn’t all that expensive. But, if it is a little over what you are willing to pay for, then the WD Elements Portable 5TB External Hard Drive should be a good alternative for you as it is our favorite when it comes to those who aren’t willing to spend a lot on external hard drives. It is also one of the best-selling hard drives on the market particularly because of how it already does well given how affordable it is.
Expectedly the WD Elements Portable External Hard Drive does come with a vanilla design that doesn’t truly stand out. But it is this simple and portable design that makes it one of the more versatile external hard drives on the market because of how its minimalistic approach makes it quite appealing for any person regardless of his or her sense of style. Its enclosure is primarily made of plastic though so you might want to make sure that you don’t get too rough with it or else you might end up damaging the hard drive inside.
As one of the more compact external hard drives on the market, the Elements measures at 4.35 x 3.23 x 0.82 inches and weighs a little over eight ounces. It is smaller than the WD Black P10 and most of the other options on the market. The Elements might feel a bit bulky though especially when compared to other 5TB options. Still, the rounded edges make it comfortable to carry around with your hands while all of the other choices you have tend to have sharper edges are less than ideal for some hands.
The WD Elements Portable is a simple plug and play external hard drive that was already formatted to be compatible with Windows. You just simply insert it and the Windows computer will accept it without any problems at all.
However, the Elements would certainly need to be reformatted for it to be able to accept a Mac computer. However, if you have software that will allow your Mac to read and write on an NTFS hard drive, you will be able to use the Elements on both your PC and your Mac. But for consoles, it needs to be reformatted first so you might end up losing any data you have on this if you previously used it for your other computers.
The biggest downside to the Elements is probably that it comes with a blank slate. This external hard drive is as blank as any hard drive can be and does not have any additional software that comes with it. That can be a problem for people who value security when it comes to their external hard drives but it won’t be too much of an issue for those who are simply using the Elements in the safety of their own homes.
Using the same standards for testing the WD Black P10, we were able to test the writing and reading speeds of the WD Elements Portable. It gave us remarkably surprising results that are actually almost on par with the P10 because of how it stayed somewhere close to the 130 Mb/s range.
The Elements is understandably slower than the P10 given that it is relatively cheap but the fact that it performed better or at the level of other external hard drives that are more expensive than it makes it an over-achiever at its price range.
WD wasn’t kidding when they said that this bad boy is fast, simple, and portable. It lives up to its billing as a compact, easy-to-carry, and simple external hard drive. Even though it doesn’t do a lot, it still does its job well enough because of how fast and easy it is to use. And at a price that is usually under the $100 range depending on where you get it (we got ours for $93 on Amazon), it certainly is the steal of the century especially when all of the other options are somewhere close to the $120 range.
Other good 5TB external hard drive
If neither the WD Black P10 nor the WD Elements Portable fits what you are looking for in a 5TB external hard drive, here are some of the other good options you can go for:
As one of the most versatile and one of the toughest external hard drives on the market, the LaCie Rugged 5TB External Hard Drive is a workhorse that will deliver a good combination of durability, versatility, and functionality. It was designed to be tougher than the other options on the market because of how it can withstand rough conditions, drops, and even water. The LaCie Rugged certainly is bigger and bulkier than the other 5TB options but it is quite understandable considering the fact that it was made to be durable and rugged.
Another feature that we liked about the LaCie Rugged is that it was made to be quite versatile especially because it makes use of USB-C while all of the others are still stuck with the older USB connectors. This allows it to connect easily with Windows and Mac users.
In terms of speed, the LaCie Rugged is in the middle of the pack because of how it stays somewhere in the 130 Mb/s range. It isn’t the fastest but it gets the job done well enough.
Overall, the LaCie Rugged was certainly designed for the person who is always on the go whether he or she might be an active outdoor person or simply a traveler who is always in the middle of rough conditions. It might be more expensive than the other options on the market but its rugged design and its overall functionality make it a choice that you won’t regret if you are willing to pay more.
The My Passport Portable 5TB is a notch above the Elements in WD’s lineup of external hard drives. And what makes it a standout option at the 5TB range is that it comes with all of the features of the Elements plus a bit more in terms of its design and additional software.
First off, the My Passport Portable comes with a design that is marketed to be more stylish than the Elements especially when you consider that WD placed a bit more detail on its enclosure. You can also choose between different color options but we stuck with the standard black design to truly get a good comparison between it and the Elements. It is not as bulky as the Elements but it is slightly taller. Still, it will fit nicely in your pockets.
Performance-wise, there aren’t a lot of differences between the My Passport and the Elements because of how they come with writing and reading speeds that are nearly identical. However, we liked the fact that it comes with 256-bit AES hardware encryption in its password protection software and other additional WD software that you cannot find in the Elements.
Still, even though the WD My Passport Portable 5TB is supposed to be better than the Elements, it is a lot more expensive. But if you can afford it, we would actually recommend it over the Elements because of the added features.
The Seagate Portable 5TB is another splendid addition to the list of good alternatives at the 5TB range of external hard drives. It is supposed to be Seagate’s entry-level external hard drive but it is a bit more expensive than the WD Elements and is closer to the price of the WD My Passport Portable. But that doesn’t take away the fact that it comes with the same standard features you would expect from a good external hard drive that does its job well.
In terms of its design, the Seagate Portable is as vanilla as any other external hard drive can be but it does have a simplistic appeal to it. It also is comparable to the My Passport when it comes to its size, so we don’t have any qualms about it. This makes it a good option for those who want a versatile drive that can be used for PCs, Macs, and consoles.
When it comes to its speed, the Seagate Portable was marketed to have 120 Mb/s writing speeds but we were surprised to see that it was fast enough to reach 130 Mb/s from time to time. Seagate may have been a bit too modest when it came to the Portable’s performance.
Of course, we were also able to test it out well enough as the games we played off of it from a PS4 didn’t feel slow. It might still be better to use it as a backup storage device for your gaming consoles but it doesn’t perform marginally slower even if you play your games off of it. After all, Seagate is the official external hard drive for both the PS4 and the Xbox One.
Basically, the Seagate Portable is a vanilla entry-level external hard drive that doesn’t come with a lot of features but still does its job well enough as a backup storage device for your computers and as an additional storage device for your gaming consoles. And, at the price level, it comes with, it certainly is a good option for professionals and gamers alike.