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SSD storage has reached an all-time low when it comes to pricing, with the majority of Gen4 and Gen3 SSDs sitting well below their respective MSRP price points, compared to when they all initially released. There is a huge abundance of NAND flash storage right now, so the majority of manufacturers are facing huge drops in demand from regular consumers and enterprise customers. Which means all of these drives are ripe for the picking, especially if you’re on a budget, and wanting an upgrade, or you’re building from scratch.
Western Digital’s Black SN850X 1TB drive is a particularly compelling option, based on its incredibly low price point. At the time of writing, consumers can expect to pick this SSD up for just under the $70 mark, which is extremely reasonable for a 1TB option.
The SN850X is one of the more capable drives utilising Gen4 bandwidth. Sequential read and writes sit at 7300MB/s and 6300MB/s respectively, which are some of the best speeds you’ll see at this price point. This makes it ideal for consumers looking to build a workstation system. The blazing-fast read and writes will help you move files back and forth quickly, which is perfect for video editors, or photographers.
From a gaming point of view, this drive is excellent. A Gen4 option is not a requirement for modern gaming at all, but it does help with loading screens. Those with Gen4 and Gen3 drives will also reap the benefits of DirectStorage as it becomes implemented in more titles over time. This technology could change the face of gaming, so we’re hoping to see more titles utilise it. But as we’ve said, don’t buy a Gen4 drive purely for gaming, as there are cheaper options that will be perfectly suitable and may even offer stronger capacities.
One of the other benefits of this drive, is that its supported by the PlayStation 5. If you’re planning on upgrading your PS5’s storage, this heatsink version can easily be plugged in, allowing you to install more games without any problems. It is worth noting that you’ll need a Gen4 motherboard for this drive. It is backwards compatible with Gen3 capable options, but you won’t be able to utilise the full speeds of the drive. Both AMD and Intel boards support this, and you won’t have to spend a fortune to find a board that supports this standard.
Just keep in mind that there could be potential clearance issues with this SSD, based on the fact that its a heatsink model. If you’ve got a particularly big graphics card, these larger drives might have to be moved down to a lower slot, to ensure there’s no installation issues.
At $69.99 at the time of writing, this Gen4 drive is a worthwhile pickup:
WD_Black SN850X Specs