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Western Digital unveils its first PCIe 4.0 SSD, an SSD gaming dock with RGB, and more

Western Digital today announced its first PCIe 4.0 supporting SSD called WD_BLACK SN850 that promises up to 7000MB/s read and 5300MB/s write speeds. The read speeds are twice as fast as that of its predecessor, the SN750. The company also unveiled a couple of other storage offerings that include a fast PCIe 3.0 x8 based SSD Add-in Card and a Thunderbolt 3-based SSD dock.

The BLACK SN850 is an NVMe M.2 SSD aimed at gamers and the company says that it helps them “achieve supreme PC performance”. The claimed performance is applicable on the 1TB model, and is similar to the performance of Samsung’s latest offering, albeit with slightly higher write speeds. The company explicitly notes that the SSD is not intended for “NAS or server environments”, adding that the optimized G2 controlled in the SSD is best suited for “high-intensive gaming”. The firm will also offer an RGB sporting model with a heat sink in Q1 2021.

The WD_BLACK SN850 will be available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. The 500GB model without a heat sink starts at $149.99, identical to the price of Samsung’s 500GB 980 Pro SSD. There is no information about the price for the RGB variant with a heat sink that is set to arrive next year.

The other product announced today is the WD_BLACK AN1500 PCIe Gen3 x8 based add-in-card that boasts of read speeds of up to 6500MB/s and write speeds of up to 4100MB/s for the 2TB and 4TB models, thanks to the dual internal SSDs in RAID 0 configuration. It also comes with customizable RGB lighting supported on Windows machines and is available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities. The starting price for the 1TB version is $299.99.

The WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD is the third product being announced today, which is aimed at laptop gamers. The dock allows for gamers to not only expand storage, but also use the dock for connecting to a host of peripherals using the in-built ports, all through just one Thunderbolt 3 port from the laptop. The ports include multiple 10Gb/s Type-A ports, DisplayPort for connecting external monitors, ethernet and 3.5mm audio jack, and much more. It also lets users control the RGB lighting through the WD_BLACK Dashboard on Windows.

The WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock is available in a 1TB capacity for an asking price of $499.99. The company will also be selling a non-SSD variant for $319.99.

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