WD Black SN850 SSD looks to steal the PCIe 4.0 limelight from Samsung’s 980 Pro

By



Darren Allan

08 October 2020

New NVMe SSD looks like a superb value proposition overall

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(Image credit: Western Digital)

Western Digital has unleashed a new PCIe 4.0 SSD offering seriously speedy performance levels for gamers, along with an NVMe SSD add-in-card, plus a game dock.

The PCIe 4.0 drive is a WD Black series NVMe

SSD

which takes the baton from the SN750, ramping up speeds a long way. The WD Black SN850 makes use of what the firm describes as brand-new cache technology, and is rated for read speeds of up to 7,000 MB/s and writes of up to 5,300 MB/s.

That’s the claimed performance for the 1TB model, and there will also be a 2TB SSD, as well as a smaller 500GB drive. Western Digital further noted: “[The] SN850 NVMe SSD also delivers improved low queue-depth performance over its predecessor, allowing both gaming and everyday users to experience smoother loading of applications.”


The SN750 was well-liked and very competitively priced

(it’s the drive we are currently saving this article on, incidentally), and the SN850 will be too, starting at $130 (£130) for the entry-level 500GB version (the SN750 was pitched at that same level).

Maintaining that compelling price-performance ratio, the SN850 will likely prove a potent challenger for Samsung’s 980 Pro when WD’s drive goes on sale before the end of October (a heatsink-equipped version of the SN850 will follow in Q1 2021, costing a bit more).

The SN850 offers theoretically slightly better performance than the 980 Pro – although we’ll have to test the claimed speeds, of course – for a little less cash (Samsung charges $149 for its 500GB drive).

Given that the Samsung 980 Pro already represents an excellent value proposition, as we concluded in our

review

, it’s easy to see why folks might be getting excited over the freshly revealed SN850.

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(Image credit: Western Digital)

Add-in board

Western Digital also unveiled the WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD Add-in-Card, which is a drive you can plug into a PCIe Gen3 x8 slot to still get blazing speeds. The board, which has two SSDs configured in RAID 0, boasts read speeds of up to 6,500 MB/s and writes of up to 4,100 MB/s (with the 2TB and 4TB versions). There’s also a 1TB add-in card and pricing starts at $300 (£229) with the AN1500 now on sale.

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(Image credit: Western Digital)

The final product aired was the WD Black D50 Game Dock, which gives you an integrated NVMe SSD and a load of connectors for accessories and monitors (including two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a DisplayPort). You can plug the D50 into a laptop via a Thunderbolt 3 port.

The Game Dock with a 1TB SSD costs $500 (£430), but it’s also available as just a straight dock with no additional storage for $320 (£280). The D50 is now available for pre-order.

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Article source: https://www.techradar.com/news/wd-black-sn850-ssd-looks-to-steal-the-pcie-40-limelight-from-samsungs-980-pro/