It’s been a while since SSDs based on NAND flash memory became mainstream as the first storage device to be used in a computer. The SSD had an initial size of 2.5 inches and was connected to a SATA3 port, achieving continuous reading speeds of up to 560 MB/s. However, as M.2, a specification created for the small size and thinness of notebooks, began to be seriously supported in desktop computers, M.2 storage was no longer limited to notebooks.
Although M.2 has different specifications according to its length, it can be seen that the M.2 2280 standard is in a standard position according to the logic of market production.
▲ Standard M.2, SATA3 and PCIe support
And there are also changes depending on the gold finger part connected to the M.2 SSD. Strictly speaking, depending on the number of pins, the SSD M.2 2280 supports SATA3 or PCIe lanes, which are divided into M.2 KeyB and M.2 KeyM. . And there is even M.2 KeyE which has the same M.2 Goldfinger but supports network equipment, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth.
If we turn the subject back to the M.2 2280 SSD, it has the same interface, but speed also depends on the protocol version The initial M.2 2280 SSD was released at speeds such as PCIe 3.0 x4 or PCIe 3.0 x2, The suffixes “x4, x2” indicate the number of PCIe lanes used. So, there will be the current 12th and 13th generation core processors and Ryzen 5000 series processors and Ryzen 7000 series. If you choose the board, you can use up to PCIe 5.0 x4 SSD. Unfortunately, however, there are no SSD products that support PCIe 5.0 x4 yet.
■ Western Digital WD DU SN850X M.2 NVMe (2TB)
▲ Brief specifications: internal SSD / M.2 (2280) / PCIe4.0x4 (64 GT/s) / NVMe 1.4 / 3D NAND / PS5 compatible / [성능] Sequential Read: 7,300MB/s / Sequential Write: 6,600MB/s / Read IOPS: 1,200K / Write IOPS: 1,100K / [지원기능] TRIM / SMART / dedicated S/W [환경특성] TBW: 1,200TB / A/S period: 5 years, limited warranty / without heat sink / thickness: 2.38mm / 7.5g
The product package is not much different from the existing WD Black series products, but the product body and simple installation instructions are included in the inner box made of transparent PVC material.
Most of the SSDs released by WD are all “in-house”, that is, they still use NAND flash and controllers that they can make in-house. And the common part is that it is made of “one side”, and the capacity of the whole SSD includes the capacity and number of NAND flashes on the board.
■ What are the advantages and disadvantages of double-sided and single-sided?
The composition of the NAND flash on the SSD board is divided into single-sided and double-sided, but of course, “single-sided” is advantageous in terms of heat dissipation. In addition, since the entire SSD capacity consists of one or two NAND flash components, manufacturers can configure a high-capacity product with a small number of NAND flash components.
▲ Appearance of WD Black SN850 with native heat sink and WD Black SN850X presented in today’s article
The advantages of both sides include a large number of NAND flashes, which are configured when low-capacity NAND flashes are relatively cheap, and this configuration is a common method used by non-flash third-party SSD manufacturers NAND. However, this method also has an advantage, and since each NAND flash has separate read and write pin numbers, it had advantages in the past in terms of speed. However, these days, when the stacked NAND flash manufacturing method has become common, it is not a big advantage.
However, the biggest reason why single-sided SSDs are good is heat processing. In other words, since the elements that make up the SSD and various capacitors are on one side only, the overall heat can be cooled with a single passive heat sink at the top. Therefore, not only computers, but also laptops and the recent PlayStation 5 contain single-sided SSDs, which are excellent in terms of monthly heat treatment. Therefore, in the case of the bottom surface, there are no components attached.
If the SSD cannot handle the fast heat production, due to throttle, which many people know, it cannot achieve all the speed of the product and it reduces the read and write speed to a certain level. It’s for system protection and won’t crash your computer or anything, but it will keep performance slow.
The total capacity of this product is 2TB, and as you can see in the picture, each NAND flash has a capacity of 1TB, and two units are a total of 2TB.
The cache memory used in the WD Black SN850X is a used DDR4 MICRON FBGA96 DDR4 memory, which operates at 1.2V and has a total capacity of 1Gb.
And the controller used was made by SanDisk, but since SanDisk and WD are the same company, as seen in the picture, except for the Micron DDR4 memory used as cache memory, all other important core parts were made by WD .
■ WD Black SN850X Benchmark System Environment
● Processor : AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
● System memory: SK Hynix DDR4-3200 16GB x2
● Motherboard : ASUS ROG STRIX X570-E Gaming
● Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
● OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
First of all, let’s measure the performance of WD Black SN850X 2TB through Crystal Disk Mark, which can measure SSD performance simply.
As can be seen in the test results, it showed quite fast performance, and the improvement in performance is evident even in the current SN850. It can be seen that continuous reading performance is also performance, but continuous writing performance is also quite large. Looking at the chart, first of all, the SN750 product has PCIe 3.0 x4 specifications, and the FireCuda 520 case has PCIe 4.0 x4 specifications. Among products with PCIe 4.0 x4 specifications, it can be seen that the performance corresponds to the highest level.
Finally, through the dirty test of this SSD, we checked how much the speed decreases from the capacity. Let’s see the result below.
First of all, the part where the product maintains constant performance is about 30% of the total capacity, and the performance degradation occurs. Since the capacity of this product presented in today’s article is about 2TB, the performance degradation occurs from around 600GB in the 30% part. . If you use the 1TB model, performance degradation starts at around 30%, but given that the capacity is around 300GB at that point, the 2TB model is slightly more advantageous for video editing work where reading and writing large video files takes place at the same time. can
■ Load games faster, use the WD dashboard
In the WD Dashboard, which can be used on all SSDs sold by WD, you can check the temperature of the SSD, the capacity used, a simple performance check, the remaining life span, and the interface speed connected to the main board all at once. And it supports game mode 2.0, but in the past, you had to turn it on or off, but there is an option called “auto”. This option automatically sets game mode 2.0 when a game is running. If you are using a WD Black product, it is best to set this game mode 2.0 automatically.
In order to check the test results caused by this option, I checked the difference in the running speed of the game.
▲ Main screen of the WD Dashboard
▲ Game load test – the lower the better, unit seconds
As can be seen from the results, there was an improvement in the loading speed of the game, but when game mode 2.0 was activated, it showed a faster performance of 0.4 seconds / 0.3 seconds depending on the resolution. If you play games on your computer often, we recommend that you set the game mode 2.0 option to automatic if possible.
▲ WD Black SN850X 2TB storage space in Windows 11
■ NVMe1.4 fastest PCIe4.0x4 M.2 2280 SSD, WD Black SN850X
Now let’s summarize the protagonist of today’s article, the WD Black SN850X. First of all, as can be seen from the test results, it showed the best continuous read and write performance among products with PCIe 4.0 x4 specifications. This level of performance is an increase of around 3% from the 7,000MB/s continuous read speed of most current products. And a little more hidden spec is to improve the speed of continuous writing part. Compared to the WD Black SN850, which can be seen as a lower model, the speed of 6,648 MB / s increases by about 24%, so the improvement in the continuous writing speed is more obvious than the continuous reading speed . This increase in sustained write performance may or may not be meaningful, but it is meaningful as Western Digital has created a product with the highest sustained write and read performance among PCIe 4.0 x4 supported SSDs currently on sale when will he be able to give
WD Black SN850X SSD is a product that has improved continuous read and write performance from the current SN850, and is a product required by high-end users and industries that require the best performance. The continuous reading speed is the same, but since the improvement in continuous writing speed is greater, it shows excellent performance when transcoding large capacity videos, that is, converting video files through Premiere or Vegas. Of course, to create such an environment, it is essential to use a high-end processor. In such a computing environment, faster results can be produced. So, if you need faster gaming speed and faster video editing environment in a single drive computer environment, it can be the best choice. Therefore, if possible, choosing a product with a capacity of 2TB, even if it is slightly larger than a 1TB model, will give you the best efficiency with one WD Black SN850X SSD.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Intel and AMD always create new standards, and computer peripheral manufacturers make the best products by melting their technologies according to this standard. The biggest reason for making the best products this way is that the meaning of the title is quite important. In other words, after having a product with the best performance, it seems that the value of this product can be found in it.
If you need slightly faster SSD performance, it would be nice to think about buying the newly released WD Black SN850X.