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WD Black SN850 Combats Samsung 980 Pro For PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Supremacy

WD recently released their first PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD that would take on Samsung’s 980 PRO Gen4 SSD – the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD. WD’s first Gen4 SSD offers sequential read/write speeds of up to 7,000MB/s and 5,3000MB/s respectively. Samsung’s 980 Pro NVMe also offers similar speeds, but the 980 Pro’s “up to” write speed is short of 300MB/s than WD’s. Aside from the SN850, the company also released the WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD AIC and WD Black D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD. For now, let’s learn more about the SN850 below.

wd black sn850 pcie 4.0 nvme ssd

UPDATE: Check out our WD Black SN850 Gen4 SSD review here.

WD Black SN850 vs Samsung 980 Pro Gen4 NVMe SSD – Which One Is Faster?

WD and Samsung only released their respective Gen4 NVMe SSDs just recently. They are a bit late to the Gen4 NVMe SSD party but their drives are definitely faster and quite different from the early Gen4 NVNe SSDs.

Gen4 NVMe SSDs like the Corsair MP600, Aorus NVMe Gen4 SSD and Seagate FireCuda 520 have things in common; especially the speeds that they could achieve. These (early) Gen4 NVMe SSDs can reach sequential read speeds of up to 5,000MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 4,400MB/s. But their respective 500GB capacity variant can only reach up to 2,500MB/s of sequential write.

samsung 980 pro gen4 nvme ssd

Now, Samsung’s 980 Pro is based on PCIe 4.0 x4 with NVMe 1.3c interface. It’s also using a new in-house Samsung Elpis controller, paired with Samsung 1xx-layer V-NAND 3-bit MLC NAND flash. Thanks to this, the 980 Pro can reach up to 7,000MB/s of sequential read speed and up to 5,000MB/s of sequential write speed (1TB capacity).

On the other hand, WD’s SN850 NVMe uses the same interface and form factor. And they also use their in-house WD_BLACK G2 controller with SanDisk 3D TLC. The SN850 can reach sequential read speeds of up to 7,000MB/s and up to 5,300MB/s of sequential write speed for the 1TB capacity. These two drives are much faster than their Gen4 NVMe SSD predecessors, at least based on paper.

wd black sn850 gen4 nvme ssd

The Samsung 980 Pro comes with security features like the AES 256-bit full disk encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0 and IEEE1667. I’m not sure what security features WD has, since it wasn’t mentioned in their marketing materials. But WD will release an optional RGB-enabled heatsink model that cuts down on thermal throttling.

I’m still waiting for both drives to arrive for our review. The Samsung 980 is already on its way, while the WD Black SN850 may arrive a few weeks from now. I’m very curious to see which drive is faster, or perhaps they would behave and perform similarly.

Update: You can check out or review of the Samsung 980 Pro here.

wd black sn850 heatsink gen4 nvme ssd

WD Black SN850 Gen4 SSD Pricing and Availability

The WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD non-heatsink version will be available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. The 500GB comes with an MSRP of $149.99; the 1TB is priced at $229.99 and the 2TB at $449.99. The heatsink variant is only $20 more than their non-heatsink variant.

Just like the Samsung 980 Pro, WD is also offering a limited 5-year warranty for their SN850 NVMe SSDs. For latest pricing and availability, kindly check out the link(s) below.

WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD latest pricing and availability:
For US: available on here or here

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Peter Paul
Peter is a PC enthusiast and avid gamer with several years of hands-on experience in testing and reviewing PC components, audio equipment, and various tech devices. He offers a genuine, no-nonsense perspective, helping consumers make informed choices in the ever-changing world of technology.

6 thoughts on “WD Black SN850 Combats Samsung 980 Pro For PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Supremacy”

  1. So what i’m wondering is, is the life expectancy different for the WD Black compared to the Samsung 980 Pro? I know the 980 is half the durability of the 970. How does that compare to the SN850?

    • Based on paper/spec sheet, they have the same TBW and warranty.
      500GB – 300TB
      1TB – 600TB
      2TB – 1,200TB
      However, MTBF of the 980 Pro is 1.5M hours, while the SN850 is 1.75M hours.
      I don’t think that would make a big difference though. Looks like they have similar life span.

      Our review for the SN850 is coming up, and performance is pretty much similar with the 980 Pro.


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