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WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD review: Perfect for PS5

WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD review: Perfect for PS5

WD Black SN850

If you're looking to add more space for your PlayStation 5, the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD is perfect. It meets all the requirements, including having a heatsink. There's also a LED light on the heatsink, but you probably won't see it glowing in the PS5. If you just want to use this on your PC, then save your cash and get a non-heatsink version.

Quick specs

  • 500GB/1TB/2TB models
  • PCIe Gen4 x4, M.2 connector
  • Sequential read (7,000MB/s), sequential write (5,300MB/s)

When plugged into the PS5, the SN850 reported read speeds of 6,544MB/s. It took about 1 minute 13 seconds to transfer Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, which checks in at around 103GB. That works out to be a write speed of around 1,410MB/s. It's a far cry from the advertised write speeds of 5,300 MB/s, but that's probably due to how the PS5 handles write speeds on the console.

WD Black SN850
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

To be sure it wasn't just the SSD, I plugged it into my PC, which only has PCIe 3.0. That said, it capped out the write and read speeds. This means it's probably intentional on Sony's part to have the PS5 with slower write speeds. Games running on the NVMe drive were loading as quick as the PS5's internal SSD. It was almost impossible to test loading times on PS5 games, since they are mostly instant, especially in games such as Ghost of Tsushima. I didn't bother with testing game startup times, since in-game performance is usually where you'll spend the bulk of your gaming at.

WD Black SN850
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

I did not notice any lag, but that's a given since the SN850 is way above Sony's minimum requirements of 5,500MB/s. On PS4 games running in emulated mode, the speeds seem to be the same as the PS5's internal SSD. I wasn't able to test temperatures — the PS5 does not have temperature monitoring software, and I did not have any temperature probes. I did not notice any slowdowns or frame drops associated with overheating, though.

The WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD is a worthy add-on, whether you're using it for a new PC with support for PCIe 4.0, or to add more storage for your PS5. The problem, though, is availability. The SSD with the heatsink attached is mostly sold out everywhere at the time of publishing this review. You can still get the non-heatsink version, but that's not recommended to be used with the PS5. You can buy an aftermarket heatsink to use though, just make sure it's slim enough (below 11.25mm) to fit into the PS5's NVMe slot. Check it out on Lazada with prices starting at S$229 for the 500GB model with a heatsink. Meanwhile, the non-heatsink version costs S$179 for the 500GB model on Shopee.

See Also
Keychron Q5 Max

Note: Review unit provided by WD.

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A speedy upgrade, especially for your PS5.

Get from Lazada (500GB)
Shop it at Shopee (No Heatsink)

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