The WD SN850 is one of the most reliable and speedy NVMe SSDs you can plonk in your gaming rig and your PlayStation 5. So if you’re wondering what the X stands for and what it brings to the table, then you’ve come to the right place.
WD SN850X review
X marks the spot
mdcomputers website price for 1TB without heatsink
The X brings more speed and RGB. That’s the short of it but there’s a lot happening under that heatsink. Firstly, you get an RGB light on the heatsink which may or may not feel of any use. Lights tend to generate heat but the WD SN850X doesn’t heat up as much with or without the lights on. We prefer to keep things cool inside our reference PC and with the Nvidia RTX 4090 sitting inside, much of the motherboard is covered anyway.
That said, the WD SN850X starts the lineup with 1TB as opposed to the 500GB on the WD SN850. This is more like a mid-cycle refresh. Think of it as a T upgrade that most Android smartphones follow or a Ti refresh that Nvidia follows for its GPUs. The SN850X brings a new controller and flash memory along with 7300MB/s read and 6300MB/s write performance. There’s also Game Mode 2.0 and Microsoft’s DirectStorage support for Windows games.
The SN850X clearly is a welcome upgrade over the predecessor and the price bump isn’t massive. The 1TB without heatsink is going for ₹11,599 on mdcomputers website (Amazon pricing is slightly higher) which means you’re getting a slightly faster drive for the same price as before. Albeit, with a heatsink, it’ll set you back a pant-soiling ₹22,966.
However, Game Mode 2.0 is a bit of a letdown. There was barely any difference in the drive’s performance with Game Mode 2.0 enabled. We couldn’t test the Microsoft DirectStorage because there aren't any games that officially support it at the time of writing. Forspoken will be launching on 24th January and it will bring Microsoft DirectStorage. We’ll update this review with the details when we get our hands on the game for review.
The recorded drive speeds were around 6919MB/s read and 6453MB/s write during our tests which is closer to what is advertised. However, we never reached the 7300MB/s read speeds during our tests. The SN850X is still on the Gen 4 which means Western Digital is saving the Gen 5 compatibility for the SN950. Whatever may be the case, the WD SN850X is closely matched with the Seagate FireCuda 530 SSD, price and all. The PlayStation 5 performance on the WD SN850X is great too. It works blazing fast and the heatsink sits within the PS5 M.2 slot easily.
The WD SN850X is a quick attempt to stand shoulder to shoulder with Seagate’s FireCuda 530 and it does. The mid-cycle refresh is an incremental upgrade and if you’re in the market for a fast and reliable Gen 4 SSD, the WD SN850X is that and more.
Rapid and reliable, the X stands for an incremental upgrade but a much-needed one.