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WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD Review: Truly NextGen Gaming Storage Solution
If PC gaming is your thing, then you might already know about the PCIe Gen 4 technology. We now have motherboards, CPUs, and GPUs which support PCIe Gen 4. Not just that we also have PCIe Gen 4 based SSDs. Even the latest generation of gaming consoles from Sony use PCIe Gen 4 SSD for faster game loading and game switching.
- Excellent read and write speeds
- Backwards compatible
- Works with laptops and desktops
- Slightly expensive
Coming back to the gaming storage solutions for PC, WD has been the front-runner. The company makes SSDs of a different class, where WD Black is the most powerful of the lot. We reviewed WD Black SN750 last year, and we were thoroughly impressed by the performance of the same.
This year, we are testing the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD on our latest gaming RIG, powered by a PCIe Gen 4 CPU, GPU, and motherboard. Here is the full review of the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD, the latest and cutting-edge gaming storage solution available in India with a starting price of Rs. 14,450 for the 512GB model.
WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD Specifications
Capacity -- 1TB
Antarmuka -- PCIe Gen4 x4
Dimensions (L x W x H) -- 80mm x 22mm x 2.38mm
Sequential Read Performance -- 7000MB/s
Sequential Write Performance -- 4100MB/s
WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD Design
The WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD looks similar to the WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD. It can be availed as a regular version and it also comes with a heatsink. It uses M.2 form factor and can be fitted to most modern gaming PCs and laptops with ease.
We tested the non-heatsink variant. However, the SSD shield on our test bench does act as a heatsink and helps to maintain low temperature. Hence, depending on the motherboard type, you can either choose between the two. Also note that, if you intend to use the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD with a laptop, then go with the regular edition.
PCIe Gen 4 Is Leaps And Bounds Ahead PCIe Gen 3
The market is currently filled with SSDs that claims to improve gaming performance. However, a storage device has nothing to do with the performance, as it is completely dependent on CPU and GPU. A storage device like an SSD will help with the load time.
A typical HDD with 5000rpm offers a peak read/write speed of 140MB/s, which is going to take minutes to load a game like Cyberpunk 2077, which is easily over 70GB. Here, an SSD with a faster read/write speed will load the game much quicker, allowing users to spend more time on the actual gameplay rather than waiting for the game to load.
A PCIe Gen 4 SSD, in theory, is much faster than the PCIe Gen 3. However, if you have a PC that's a few years old, then, it is unlikely to support PCIe Gen 4. This means, even though you can use the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD, you won't be able to achieve the claimed speeds.
WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD Is The Fastest Storage Solution We Have Ever Tested
On paper, WD claims that the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD can offer a peak read speed of 7000 MB/s, which is almost equivalent to 7GB/s. At this speed, you can copy a Blue-Ray Quality movie (15GB) in less than two seconds.
To our surprise, the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD outperformed the company's claims, and we noticed a peak read speed of 7068.53 MB/s and a peak write speed of 5246.44MB/s on CrystalDiskMark 7. These numbers make the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD the fastest storage solution we have tested so far, and nothing even comes close.
WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD Real World Performance
After those overwhelming synthetic benchmark results, we just wanted to test how much of it can translate to real-world-performance. We recently reviewed the WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD, where we obtained a peak real-world write speed of 1.9GB/s.
When we tried to copy a game installation file, which was around 40GB, we were able to complete the task in less than 20 seconds and noticed a peak write speed of 2GB/s and it would hover around 1.9GB/s on an average. Again, we obtained these speeds while copying a file from a PCIe Gen 3 NVMe SSD. While copying a file from an external SSD, we noticed an average write speed of 368MB/s, which is a limitation on the external SSD.
The trend continued even while opening games like GTA: V and the Shadow of The Tomb Raider. While opening these titles, the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD was a few seconds faster than the WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD. However, one might not notice a difference between the two, unless they use a precision stopwatch to measure the difference.
Tailormade For Gaming
The current trend in gaming, in general, is making games graphics intensive, with rich scenes and elaborative storyline. Making a game of that scale will drive up the size of the game. Hence, a gaming PC even with the latest CPU and GPU might take a lot of time to load when paired with an HDD. Not just gaming, it will also load the OS and any software installed on it much quicker.
The WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD in this case is a great companion for a modern gaming PC and the performance talks for itself. Not just gaming, if you are a video/photo editor, the WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD will also help with that workflow as well. It also has a lot of headroom, hence, down-the-lane, even after three or four years, the WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD will still be faster.
If you already have the WD Black SN750, you might not see much of a difference when it comes to real-world performance. However, if you are building a new PC, or even upgrading storage on the already existing PC, the WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD is going to making your computer faster and snappier for sure. The WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD is a must for a gaming PC of class 2020.