Western Digital hits the gas with first PCIe 4.0 SSDs

Western Digital Wdblack Sn850 Nvme Ssd Lifestyle
Western Digital Wdblack Sn850 Nvme Ssd Lifestyle (Image credit: Western Digital)

Western Digital Wdblack Sn850 Nvme Ssd

Source: Western Digital (Image credit: Source: Western Digital)

What you need to know

  • Western Digital launched its first PCIe 4.0 SSD for gamers today.
  • The WD Black SN850 can hit read and write speeds up to 7000 MB/s and 5300 MB/s, respectively.
  • The company also launched a new add-in card and game dock.

Western Digital is breaking into the PCIe 4.0 scene, announcing a new line of SSDs today. The company took the wraps off of the new WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD, which sports incredibly fast read and write speeds across three capacities. What's more, you'll be able to get it with a little RGB action on board.

The WD Black SN850 can hit read speeds of up to 7000 MB/s and write speeds upward of 5300 MB/s on the 1TB model. That's very similar to speeds we've seen in other recent PCIe 4 SSDs, and Western Digital says it has optimized the G2 controller inside to excel at gaming tasks.

"Built with the WD_BLACK G2 controller and optimized for top-tier and high-intensive gaming (not intended for NAS or server environments), the WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD will help gamers achieve supreme PC performance," Western Digital said in a press release (opens in new tab). "It reduces game load times and transfers files faster than its predecessor while using brand new cache technology."

The WD Black SN850 is expected to go on sale by the end of October in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities starting at $150. A version with an RGB-enabled heatsink is expected to launch in Q1 2021.

Beyond the new PCIe 4 SSD, Western Digital also launched the new WD Black AN1500 NVMe SSD add-in card and the WD Black D50 Game Dock. The add-in card lets you hit read and write speeds of up to 6500 MB/s and 4100 MB/s, respectively, with RGB lighting on board. The Game Dock, meanwhile, works over Thunderbolt 3, allowing you to easily plug and play with a laptop.

The WD Black AN1500 add-in card is available now starting at $300 (opens in new tab). The WD Black D50 Game Dock is available starting at $500 (opens in new tab) for the SSD model.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

2 Comments
  • ZOMG so expensi.... oh wait, that seems to be the common price. Hmm...
  • What is the add-in card using? Why are the speeds lower than the SN850? They're both PCIe NVME, right? The slots they go into may be different, but PCIe is PCIE. Is the add-in card not PCIe 4.0?