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Western Digital Black SN850 NVMe SSD Review

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Western Digital’s NVMe SSD with PCI Express 4.0 support, designed for PC and console gamers, the WD Black SN850 is an SSD with a 96-layer TLC 3D NAND flash chip using a four-lane PCI Express 4.0 interface. Is. The SSD design in the M.2 2280 standard (80mm long, 22mm wide) is referred to by some users as a “stick”. Using the NVMe 1.4 protocol, the product comes with Western Digital’s own WD G2 (SanDisk 20-82-10035-A1) controller.

Click for current price of WD Black SN850.

With or without cooler

The SN850 can be purchased in two variants, with or without a cooler. The model tested had a heatsink. In this context, we removed our motherboard’s SSD cooler when installing it.

So why are there two different versions? Actually, the reason is simple. If you are going to choose SSD for desktop and PS5 then you should choose models with cooler, but if you are going to buy laptop, you should choose models without cooler because SSD So it is not possible to fit under the laptop cover. Its cool

Is the SN850 compatible with the PS5?

The SN850 industrial cooler is very sleek and has a relatively low profile. So is it compatible with Playstation 5? Previously, we installed an SSD on the PS5 whose cooler didn’t meet Sony’s announced standards. On the other hand, the WD Black SN850, with its lower profile cooler, does not prevent the cover from being reattached to the PS5 SSD slot. So the product is fully compatible with PlayStation 5.

Let’s be clear: you don’t need to reattach the cover, and it’s not a problem for the console. Note that the console’s M.2 slot allows for up to 11.25mm of total headroom, and WD’s solid-state drive heatsink is also about 8.8mm tall.

Western Digital Dashboard App

The Western Digital Dashboard application operates on a different interface to the Black Series.

Western Digital Dashboard is an application that helps Western Digital drives maintain optimal performance on Windows operating systems with a user-friendly graphical interface. The software includes tools for disk analysis (including disk model, capacity, firmware version and SMART) and firmware updates.

We always update the firmware of SSDs before starting our tests. A firmware update was also available for the WDBlack SN850 and we did it easily through the software. The SN850 also has RGB lighting, which you can also control from the WD dashboard.

SSD firmware update can be done easily with the Western Digital Dashboard.

Price and capacity options

Capacity cost TBW value maximum speed (reading / writing)
500GB $ 169.99 300 7,000Mbps / 4,100Mbps 1TB
$ 249.99 600 7,000Mbps / 5,300Mbps
2TB $ 449.99 1200 7,000Mbps / 5,100Mbps / 5,100Mbps / 500Mbps / 500Mbps / 500Mbps / 500Mbps / 500Mbps / 500Mbps 1TB $189.99 600 7,000MBps / 5,300MBps 2TB $389.99 1200 7,000MBps / 5,100MBps

Compared to other high-performance PCI Express 4 drives equipped with heatsinks, the SN850’s list price is near the upper end. The MSI Spatium M480 charges 23 cents per gigabyte for 1 TB and 22 cents for 2 TB, while the ADATA Gammix S70 charges 20 cents per GB for both 1 TB and 2 TB capacities. The ADATA Gammix S70 Blade offers the best F/P ratio on paper at 16 cents per gigabyte for both the 1TB and 2TB versions. The TeamGroup T-Force Cardea Zero Z44Q, on the other hand, costs just 13 cents per GB (2TB), but as a drive with QLC-based memory, it has lower endurance and moderate speeds.

How durable is the SN850?

The terabytes written (TBW) endurance rating for the WD Black SN850 is average for a TLC-based drive. The Crucial P5 Plus offers 600 TBW for the 1 TB model and 1,200 TBW for the 2 TB drive. The 1TB Samsung SSD 980 Pro is also rated at 600TBW. The Kingston KC3000 has a slightly higher rating of 800 TBW for the 1 TB version and 1,600 TBW for the 2 TB.

Some PCIe 4.0 drives offer even higher throughput rates. Corsair Force MP600 Series and Silicon Power US70 are rated at 1,800 TBW for 1 TB and 3,600 TBW for 2 TB. QLC-based drives like the Muskan Delta and Sabrent Rocket Q4 promise just 200 TBW for 1TB, 400TBW for 2TB, and 800TBW for 4TB.

The “terabytes written” specification is the manufacturer’s estimate of how much data can be written to the drive before some of the cells fail and are taken out of service. (TBW scales 1:1 with capacity, as does the SN850.) WD’s warranty, whichever comes first: five years or until the drive reaches its rated TBW on data writes. On the other hand, in our tests, we’ve seen SSDs easily exceed 10 times these values. Of course, there were models that broke within three months.

WD SN850 test results

We tested the SN850 in both simulated and real-world conditions. In our first test, CrystalDiskMark, the SN850 achieved a massive 6903 MB/s sequential read and 5300 MB/s sequential write.

The SN850 comes close to the 7000 MB/s it claims in the CrystalDiskMark test.

We reached 5980 MB/s sequential read and 5467 MB/s sequential write on the AS SSD. The SSD showed an access time of 0.016ms in this test.

If you’re going to do I/O-heavy tasks, the SN850 achieved IO values ​​of 726,335 reads and 721,603 writes in the 4KB 64-thread test, which we’d say is pretty good.

Copying ISOs, programs and games

For more realistic results, ISO, program and game copy tests are available in AS SSD. Here are the results in order:

ISO: 1847MB/s
Program: 510MB/s
Game: 1398 MB/s
When we tested it with the ATTO disk benchmark, we saw 4.83 GB writes and 6.58 GB reads per second.

Content creators are among the customers who may prefer the SN850. Today, RAW video files from cameras are taking on huge dimensions. They also require fast SSDs to work with them. We use AJA System Test to test the performance of SSDs when working with video files. In the first test, we look at the speed of working with 10-bit YUV video at 5K resolution and we get 5361 MB/s writing and 6201 MB/s reading.

With AJA System Test, it is possible to see the performance of SSD in video files.

In the next test we increase the file size to 64GB. Again, we choose 5K resolution but the ProRes 4444 (XQ) codec. In this test, we get 5464 MB/s writing and 6030 MB/s reading.

So how long can the WD Black SN850 maintain these values? That is the real question. To test this, we put the SSD through a test marathon lasting more than 10 minutes. At the end of the test, we get a value of 2000 MB/s write and 3000 MB/s read. At this time, the SSD temperature reaches 84 degrees. 84 is obviously a high price. In this context, if you are going to use the SSD under constant load, make sure that there is good air circulation where it is installed. On the other hand, this situation does not occur in common usage. The SSD dropped to 61 degrees after a while. Although this is a relatively high temperature, it is not a problem.

With continuous operation, the SSD space can reach 84 degrees in a growing system.

We also performed real-world copy testing on an SSD. Here too, we copied the 120 GB RDR2 from the 970 EVO Plus SSD to the SN850. During the 53-second process, the SSD was able to deliver stable write speeds of over 2 GB/s.


Unlike hard drives, there are products in the SSD market, which we can unfortunately call the bottom of the stairs. It is possible to find models without firmware updates on the market, but when it comes to data, reliability becomes one of the most important factors.

There is a Corsair MP600 Core model on the market with PCIe 4.0 support, but it’s worth noting that the SSD uses short-lived QLC NAND. The SN850 competes mostly at the upper end with models like the 980 PRO, where we see the 980 PRO. Although the Cooler 980 PRO sells for 2940 TL, it doesn’t come close to the SN850, which offers 6903 MB/s in read and 5300 MB/s in write. On the other hand, MSI’s Spatium M480 model, which we reviewed earlier, can offer more speed for 450 TL cheaper. Of course, it’s debatable how experienced MSI is in SSD. More importantly, MSI doesn’t have SSD controller software available.

Another alternative is the Gigabyte Aorus 7000S GP-AG70S1TB model. This can be found for the SSD 3050 TL, but the sequential read IOPS value and the AS SSD may fall behind the SN 850 in the sequential write test.

As a result, if you really need high speed and IO performance, the WD SN850 Black with a cooler selling for around 3250 TL can be a good choice.