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WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review

 WD finally updated its flagship and crowd-favourite SSD. Today, our WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review will discuss the SN850X. 

This SSD is an updated version of the SN850, which we reviewed sometime in 2021. It has enhanced and optimised features and the improved 8nm proprietary controller from WD. 

The company improved the flash memory and integrated a 112-layer BiCS5 TLC NAND. Plus, it offers speeds of almost 7,300MB/s sequential read and close to 6,600MB/s of write speed. 

Can the SN850X catch up and compete with similar products even with these improvements? Continue reading this WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review to find out. 

WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Packaging

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The product arrived at the right time for this review, and its packaging is no different from before. It still sports the all-black theme with hints of orange and white for most of its text. Simply put, its package style is similar to the non-X models.  

The back of the box also features a window to check out its sticker label. 

WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review – Design and Functionality

The SSD is in a one-sided M.2 2280 format. We learned this while writing our WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review. 

Beneath its full-length compact heatsink is an 8-channel Gen4 PCIe 4.0 controller from WD. You will find two 112 BiCS5 3D TLC NANDs and one 2GB DDR4 cache chip. 

Integrated into the top edge of its heatsink is one cover. It is over the LEDs for RGBs. 

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We love its subtle use of RGB since the cover is only 12 x 2mm and only supports three effects. These include Breathing, Static, and Strobing. 

When observing the SSD for this WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review, we saw its chips covered by the label. You can find these at the top-front area of the PCB. 

The company does not include a passive cooling solution for this SSD. There are no copper heat spreaders or aluminium sheets. Its sticker label at the top is only a paper sticker. 

Key Features of the WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD

Why is the SN850X a good PCIe 4.0 SSD? We will discuss the primary features of the product to answer this question.

Ultimate X Factor for Gaming 

Take advantage of the top-notch gaming speeds of the SN850X. It will help end lagging, load times, texture pop-ins, and slash throttling for a smoother and faster experience. 

The SN850X is an ideal product to let you compete at your best. 

Optional Heatsink for Better Gameplay

In our WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review, we are featuring the version with a heatsink. It is optional for the 2TB and 1TB drives to sustain top-quality performance so you can enjoy consistent gameplay. 

Game Mode 2.0

This specific feature is for Windows only. However, the WD Black Dashboard automatically switches on this advanced element. 

The SSD delivers optimised performance to you while streaming, gaming, recording, and dominating with ease. 

Forward-looking

We learned about a new collection of features while writing this WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review. These help optimise the SSD to give you excellent and immersive gaming. These are the following: 

  • Overhead Balancing
  • Predictive Loading
  • Adaptive Thermal Management. 

DirectStorage Supported

The SN850X supports the DirectStorage technology of Microsoft, guaranteeing optimised loading times for future games. 

Specifications

  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Capacity: 2TB
  • Connector: M.2
  • Random Read: 1200K IOPS
  • Sequential Read Performance: 7300MB/s
  • Random Write: 1100K IOPS
    Sequential Write Performance: 6600MB/s
  • Compatibility:
    – PlayStation 5
    – Windows 11, 10, 8.1
    – Computers with M-key (M.2) port
  • Endurance (TBW): 1200
  • Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C – 85°C
  • Non-Operating Temperature: -40°C – 85°C
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited Warranty
  • Dimensions: 80 x 23.4 x 8.8mm (L x W x H) 
  • Weight: 24gms

Hands-on with the WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD 

Before focusing on how the SSD performed, our WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review will discuss the WD Dashboard. It is an essential element to improve your use of the SN850X. 

The WD Dashboard is the proprietary software for WD storage solutions. Here, you can monitor the status of your SSD, its temperatures, and performance. You will also need it for standard maintenance, optimisation, and firmware updates.

The WD Dashboard is comprehensive and user-friendly. Aside from monitoring, optimisation, maintenance, and updating, you can perform secure erasures. However, it is currently available only by creating a bootable USB device.

WD Dashboard includes the Game Mode for reducing latency. It activates when low-power mode is disabled via the firmware. 

One page on the SSD Dashboard is exclusive for controlling and managing RGBs, which is standard for the SN850X. The page allows you to switch between the three effects and change the colours behind these effects. 

WD Dashboard has no cloning tool. Fortunately, you can download Acronis True Image WD Edition from the official WD site.

Moreover, the Dashboard is necessary for enabling Game Mode 2.0. 

Its new Game Mode 2.0 gives your PC performance-boosting features thanks to its management software. These help optimise in-game loading speeds. 

The bundled software lets you set it to on, auto, or off. The system detects launched games and switches on gaming features in auto mode. Game Mode 2.0 will switch off when you exit the game. 

You can optimise auto-launch detection by commanding it to monitor specific folders, which is very convenient. You can activate three features when enabling Game Mode 2.0.

Predictive Loading

It is an advanced read-look-ahead algorithm for preemptive caching and predicting what is in the game. Enabling controllers is necessary to detect incoming low queue depth and sequential workloads that improve game load times. 

Enabling it will also result in faster in-game loading of levels, scenes, or areas. 

Overhead Balancing 

It provides optimised latency and gameplay experience since it prioritises reads over writes. It also helps modulate other background functions. 

The algorithm can alter the scheduling of background functions like garbage collection. It happens when you actively play games to maximise gaming performance when necessary. 

Adapting Thermal Management

These enhancements optimise energy efficiency while keeping high data throughput even during high ambient temperatures.

Instead of keeping a full burst performance, you can get this by smoothing out thermal throttling step functions. It will aggressively reduce throughput to decrease temperatures. 

Its optimised algorithm allows you to enjoy increased performance while experiencing better drive cooling.  

During our tests, the performance of the SN850X stood out, proving itself to be one of the fastest NVMe SSDs.

The SN850X was an excellent performer in copy yet slightly slower on random access tests. 

The SSD was consistent during large file transfers, averaging 532MB/s. 

WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review Summary

The SN850X is an impressive PCIe 4.0 SSD from WD Black. It is an affordable alternative to its predecessor, the SN850, but offers a higher capacity.

During our tests in this WD Black SN850X 2TB SSD Review, the SN850X delivered satisfying performance. Its transfer speeds were fast and did not get alarmingly hot. 

WD Dashboard was user-friendly and had everything we needed for updating and optimising the SSD. We also liked the implementation of Game Mode 2.0 since it improved our overall gaming experience.

We highly recommend the SN850X to anyone who wants a high-quality PCIe 4.0 SSD.

Visit the official product page of WD Black to learn more about the SN850X 2TB SSD.