Model: Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 1TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 Solid State Drive
Manufacturer: Western Digital
Provided By: Western Digital

As one of the biggest names in the storage industry, Western Digital doesn't need much of an introduction. Founded in 1970, the company got its start by manufacturing calculator chips. As time went on, Western Digital expanded into the PC market, adding floppy and hard disc controllers to its product lineup. It wasn't until 1988 that it introduced its "Centaur" series of hard drives. Since then, the company has grown to become the world's second largest manufacturer of hard drives. Western Digital currently offers a wide range of internal and external hard drives as well as a growing number of multimedia devices, SSDs and network storage solutions.

Western Digital recently introduced three new WD_BLACK NVMe SSDs. In addition to the AN1500 add-in-card and the D50 game dock, the company released its first NVMe SSD with next-gen PCIe Gen4 technology, the WD_BLACK SN850. Optimized for top-tier and high-intensive gaming, this single-sided M.2 form factor drive is powered by Western Digital's new G2 controller and is available with up to 2TB of the company's 96-layer BiCS 3D TLC NAND flash. The WD_BLACK SN850 is also available with or without an RGB-enabled heatsink and is equipped with an ultra-fast PCIe Gen4 x4 interface to deliver up to 7,000 MB/s read and 5,300 MB/s write speeds. Last, but not least, users can customize and control their gaming experience with the downloadable WD_BLACK Dashboard software.

The WD_BLACK SN850 is available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. For this review, Western Digital sent us the heatsink-less 1TB version of the drive, which is capable of delivering up to 7,000 MB/s sequential read and 5,300 MB/s sequential write speeds as well as up to 1,000,000 IOPS.

Needless to say, this is only a taste of what the WD_BLACK SN850 has to offer. To give you an idea of what to expect, we'll take a closer look at Western Digital's new PCIe 4.0 SSD and then see how well it performs. Does the WD_BLACK SN850 have what it takes? Can it deliver the performance and features that we've come to expect from Western Digital? Keep reading as we find out.

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