Western Digital has launched its first PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD – the WD Black SN850.
The new drive boasts super-fast read and write speeds of up to 7,000MB/s and 5,300MB/s, respectively.
This is a significant improvement over the company’s previous-generation SN750 drives, which were capable of achieving read and write speeds of up to 3,100MB/s and 1,600MB/s.
This should result in noticeably faster data transfer and loading times for applications and games, granted that the user’s motherboard supports PCIe Gen4 x4.
Gamers can also benefit from increased performance by disabling low power mode on the WD Black SSD Dashboard.
The SN850 is available in three capacities – 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB – and can be purchased with an optional heatsink that adds fully optimisable RGB lighting.
The drives are now available for pre-order on the Western Digital site, with prices starting at $149.99 for the 500GB option without a heatsink and topping off at $469.99 for the 2TB drive with heatsink.
The SN850 is poised to compete with Samsung’s recently-launched PCIe 4.0 980 Pro SSDs – which support equivalent read speeds of up to 7,000MB/S and slightly slower write speeds of 5,000 MB/s.
Western Digital noted the heatsink models are intended for use in desktop PCs only, while the standard versions should be suitable for laptops with M.2 NVMe bays.
Theoretically, the SN850 could also be compatible with the PlayStation 5, which will support expansion with off-the-shelf NVMe SSDs.
However, this would be subject to Sony certifying the drive in terms of its physical size and performance requirements.
PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny previously said certifications for compatible NVMe drives will likely start happening after the PS5’s launch.
Below are the specifications and images of the WD Black SN850.
|Capacity||Sequential Read/Write Speeds||Price (without/with heatsink)|
|500GB||7,000 / 4,100MB/s||$149.99 / $169.99|
|1TB||7,000 / 5,300MB/s||$229.99 / $249.99|
|2TB||7,000 / 5,100MB/s||$449.99 / $469.99|