Western Digital competes against Samsung with WD Black SN850

In the area of PCI Express 4.0 SSDs, Western Digital has always lagged somewhat behind. Now WD has launched a competitor for the Samsung SSD 980 Pro, the Black SN850.

The comparison

The new WD Black SN850 SSD comes out with a custom-designed controller and TLC flash memory that reaches up to 7GB/s and a million IOPS. The 1 TB version reads data sequentially at a maximum of 7 GBytes/s and writes at up to 5.3 GBytes/s. According to WD, the one million IOPS are to be achieved with random accesses. The controller, which was specially designed by Western Digital, is to be called WD Black G2 according to marketing and is to achieve higher performance values than the currently available PCIe 4.0 SSDs with Phison E16 controller. The TLC Flash NAND writes three bits per cell on the memory side (Triple Level Cells). The SSD 980 Pro recently introduced by Samsung reads 7 GByte/s sequentially and writes 5 GByte/s sequentially. With random accesses, the Samsung SSD 980 Pro reaches a maximum of 850,000 IOPS. This puts the WD Black SN850 SSD somewhat ahead, at least here. The rest of the competition Galax (KFA2) and Sabrent are also ready with their second Phison controller generation E18. The SSDs have already been announced by both of them, but delivery is not yet planned. The performance of both is similar to the Western Digitals WD Black SN850 and the Samsungs SSD 980 Pro.

Availability and price

The new WD Black SN850 is expected to be on sale later this month. Depending on the storage capacity, the price will of course vary: the 500 GByte version is around 140 euros, the 1 TByte version is 220 euros and the 2 TByte version is around 500 euros. All without cooler. A version with its own cooler and RGB lighting will follow in early 2021. Until then, users should switch to a third-party cooler so that temperature-related throttling can be avoided under sustained load.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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