Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD 1TB Review (Page 1 of 10)

Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD 1TB Review

By: Jonathan Kwan
July 2, 2021

Have you ever met someone who is so low in intelligence that they actually think they are smart? If so, psychology has a name for it: It is called the Dunning-Kruger effect. According to Verywell Mind, the Dunning-Kruger effect is "a type of cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are. Essentially, low ability people do not possess the skills needed to recognize their own incompetence. The combination of poor self-awareness and low cognitive ability leads them to overestimate their own capabilities." Now, I am not here to debate the scientific merits of the validity of the Dunning-Kruger effect, but anecdotally, I have a friend who no doubt fits the definition given. In fact, he fits the definition so well, nobody I know takes him seriously with real problems even though he is a great guy. However, he is convinced otherwise no matter what people tell him. His proof? Someone recently told him he broke up with his girlfriend. The disconnect here is not only the fact someone telling him about their breakup is not evidence to people taking him seriously -- many people already know about this in our friend group, because the guy told way more people than my friend thought -- but also the fact he thinks trivial and semi-public information like this is categorically similar to solving corporate politics. If there is anything that is as categorically dissimilar as knowing semi-public gossip and having public trust in conjunction with the cognitive ability to solve corporate politics, it would be the difference between an HDD and SSD. But even within the SSD world, there are categorically dissimilar performance categories, like SATA and NVMe. Today, we will go even further and look at the categorically dissimilar hardware interfaces among NVMe SSDs, where the Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD 1TB is a whole different level. The SN850 is a PCIe 4.0-based model that promises to deliver up to 7000MB/s. Will it obliterate anything we have seen in the past? Read on to find out!

Our review unit of the Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD 1TB arrived in a medium-sized brown corrugated cardboard shipping box from a local print shop in Tustin, California, USA. Tustin is a city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The first time I have ever heard of this city of 80,000 was when I wrote the WD_BLACK AN1500 2TB review. Using UPS Standard, the package arrived on our doorstep here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in excellent condition for our review today.

Similar to other WD_BLACK series SSDs I have reviewed from the company like the Black SN750 NVMe SSD 1TB, the SN850 1TB came in retail packaging. Its retail box comes in a name-appropriate black and white color scheme. The company's branding can be seen subtly displayed in courier font in the background. In the foreground, you will find the product name and description at the bottom left corner in the same font. It looks quite unconventional for a traditional and conservative company like Western Digital, which is a great thing in my opinion. On top of it, you can see a 3/4 shot of the SSD itself. You can see its 1TB capacity specification and up to 7000MB/s rate read speed near the bottom right corner. Feature highlights and a list of contents can be found at the back of the box.

Before we move on, let us take a look at the specifications of the WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD 1TB, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:

Sequential Read: 7,000MB/s
Sequential Write: 5,300MB/s

PCIe Gen4 x4

Length: 80 ± 0.15mm
Width: 22 ± 0.15mm
Height: 2.38mm
Weight: 7.5g ± 1g

Length: 80 ± 0.20mm
Width: 23.40 ± 0.20mm
Height: 8.80 ± 0.20mm
Weight: TBD


Operating Temperature: 32°F to 158°F (0°C to 70°C)
Non-operating Temperature:-67°F to 185°F (-55°C to 85°C)

Backward compatible with PCIe Gen3 x2, PCIe Gen3 x1, PCIe Gen2 x4, PCIe Gen2 x2, and PCIe Gen2 x1
Windows 8.1, 10

5 Years

Opening the box reveals the Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD 1TB itself placed on a black plastic tray behind a clear plastic shell. This is it -- out of the box, you will get nothing more than what you need; not even a manual or any type of product literature. Not that we need them anyway, of course.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 8.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 5.70
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 10
9. Benchmark: PCMark 10
10. Conclusion