Western Digital adds three new products to its WD_Black family including a PCIe 4.0 NVMe...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,441   +132
Staff member
Editor's take: Western Digital on Thursday added a trio of new devices to its WD_Black portfolio of storage solutions for gamers including its first PCIe 4.0 NVMe solid-state drive. The SN850, which will be sold bare or with a passive cooling solution (your choice), looks fast enough on paper to meet the needs of most speed freaks.

The WD_Black SN850 NVMe SSD is an M.2 2280 storage device that delivers sequential read speeds up to 7,000MB/s and sequential writes up to 5,300MB/s (on the 1TB model). Speaking of capacity, it’ll be offered in sizes of 500GB, 1TB and 2TB both with and without a pre-installed heatsink.

Western Digital said the heatsink variant is intended for desktop PCs and should help prevent thermal throttling when the action ramps up. Naturally, it’ll also include RGB lighting. The bare model should be useful in a variety of environments including inside the PlayStation 5’s storage expansion bay. Both are backed by a five-year limited warranty.

Western Digital also announced the AN1500 NVMe SSD add-in card, a PCIe Gen3 x8 part that is powered by two internal SSDs running in RAID0 to deliver read and write speeds of up to 6,500MB/s and 4,100MB/s, respectively. It’s available in capacities of 1TB, 2TB and 4TB with pricing starting at $299.99.

The WD_Black D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD, meanwhile, is a game dock with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity that lets users connect to a “base station” and utilize an array of accessories, all via a single cable.

Western Digital’s also happens to include integrated storage, 1TB or 2TB of speedy flash memory, to be exact. It’s available to pre-order now starting at $499.99

Non-heatsink versions of the WD_Black SN850 NVMe SSD will be available in capacities of 500GB, 1TB and 2TB by the end of October starting at $149.99. Models sporting a heatsink will be offered sometime in the first quarter of 2021, Western Digital said.

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Posts: 1,388   +2,455
I was looking at drives commanding premiums with these passive heatsinks but honestly how effective can they be, or even need to be?

You clearly need one to sustain extreme loads on these PCIe 4.0 drives but surely any old finned lump of aluminium will suffice. I'm tempted to just buy a bare drive and fit my own. Hell I could even make my own from bits of metal, old heatsinks and some of this thermal pad replacement paste I have lying about.

The Sabrent one seemed enormous and elaborate, so big taking up this space above the drive. I really don't want that. It's less than 10 watts for goodness sake.
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Posts: 270   +133
The WD_Black D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD will make for a nice addition to my next gaming laptop that has Thunderbolt 3.

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,727   +2,044
TechSpot Elite
And their PCI-Express v3.0 line, the WD Blue SN550 starts at under $50.

I'll take triple the capacity while still getting amazing read and write rates.