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Samsung 980 Pro vs WD Black SN850: The Best Gen4 NVMe SSD?

Samsung 980 Pro is one of the best PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs out there. One of its main competitors is the WD Black SN850. The data read/write speed of both these SSDs is almost similar. So, if you are looking to get a PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD and are confused between these two both, I am going to help you pick the right one here in this article.

First of all, let’s discuss the theoretical read/write speeds of both.

So, the Samsung 980 Pro can reach up to 7000MB/s and 5000MB/s sequential data read/write speed.

WD Black SN850 can reach up to 7000MB/s and 5300MB/s sequential data read/write speed.

Theoretically, the WD Black SN850 is offering a better data write speed while the read speed of both is the same. But, there are several other things to consider before you buy an SSD. Especially these PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSDs which are way too expensive, you should pay close attention to each detail.

So, let’s compare everything which is important and by the end of this article, I will give my genuine opinion on this comparison.

First of all, let’s compare all the main specifications that the brands are offering with their products. So, let’s do a quick Samsung 980 Pro vs WD Black SN850 theoretical specs comparison below.

SpecificationSamsung 980 ProWD Black SN850
Storage Variants250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Theoretical Read Speed (Max.)7,000 MB/s7,000 MB/s
Theoretical Write Speed (Max.)5,000 MB/s5,300 MB/s
Random Read (4K, QD32) (Max.)Up to 1,000,000 IOPSUp to 1,000,000 IOPS
Random Write (4K, QD32) (Max.)Up to 1,000,000 IOPSUp to 1,000,000 IOPS
Form Factor/InterfaceM.2 (2280)/PCIe® Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe™ 1.3cM.2 (2280)/PCIe Gen 4.0 x 4, NVMe 1.3
MTBF (Reliability)1.50 Million Hours1.75 Million Hours
Warranty5 Years5 Years
T.R.I.M.SupportedSupported
S.M.A.R.T.SupportedSupported
EncryptionAES 256-bit EncryptionNo hardware encryption
Heatsink OptionAvailableAvailable
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PriceCheck AmazonCheck Amazon

Almost all the specifications are similar in both the SSDs. So, we can’t come to any conclusion here. Now, let’s compare other things to make this comparison much clear.

Before starting, I would like to say that all the benchmark scores are taken from UserBenchmark’s website. I have taken the latest scores and created a comparison table below.

ParameterSamsung 980 Pro (1TB)WD Black SN850 (1TB)
Sequential Read Speed (Avg.)3,635 MB/s3,314 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed (Avg.)3,545 MB/s3,706 MB/s
Random 4K Read (Avg.)75.6 MB/s74 MB/s
Random 4K Write (Avg.)195 MB/s223 MB/s

You can see that the difference is not that huge. But, we can’t rely solely upon these results because they can vary depending on your overall PC specifications. For example, these SSDs are going to offer almost double the speed of a PCIe 4.0 system as compared to a PCIe 3.0 system.

Here, I would like to recommend you watch this great comparison video from the SkuezTech YouTube channel. You will find how long these SSDs are taking to load some software and games. So, make sure to watch this comparison.

It is very important to know the overall endurance ratings of your SSD before buying it. Here, we are talking about two of the most popular SSDs out there in the market. So, it becomes important to discuss how long there are going to last with you. So, let’s see and compare.

ParameterSamsung 980 ProWD Black SN850
TBW250GB: 150 TBW
500GB: 300 TBW
1TB: 600 TBW
2TB: 1,200 TBW
500GB: 300 TBW
1TB: 600 TBW
2TB: 1,200 TBW
Warranty5-Years Limited Warranty5-Years Limited Warranty
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure)1.50 Million Hours1.75 Million Hours

The TBW ratings of both these SSDs are the same. Also, both come with the 5 years limited warranty period. However, the WD Black SN850 has got a little higher MTBF.

If you don’t know what MTBF is, it stands for Mean Time Between Failure. It indicates the estimated time for how long your SSD is going to work.

In my point of view, this is the most important part of this comparison. If you are aware of your SSD’s technical specifications, you can easily say whether it is going to work well for you or not. Here, we are going to compare both Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850’s technical details.

Technical SpecificationSamsung 980 ProWD Black SN850
NAND Flash TypeSamsung 3-bit MLC V-NANDSandisk’s TLC 3D
NAND Flash Layers128/136
ControllerSamsung Elpis ControllerWD Proprietary Controller
Controller ConfigurationsNot SpecifiedNot Specified
CacheDDR4 SDRAMDDR4 DRAM
Heatsink OptionAvailableAvailable
T.R.I.M.AvailableAvailable
S.M.A.R.T.AvailableAvailable
EncryptionAES 256-bit Encryption (Class 0)Not Available
WebsiteSamsung 980 ProWD Black SN850

Another thing to discuss here is that Samsung 980 Pro comes with the SLC Write cache which enhances the data write speed more than the actual limits. They call it the Intelligent TurboWrite Technology. The size of this SLC cache is different in different SSD variants but it actually helps a lot when you are writing data. You can know more about it here.

The WD Black SN850 has also got the SLC Cache which you can know more about here. but, the total size of this SLC cache is a little lesser as compared to that of the Samsung 980 Pro.

Price is the next big factor here. Although, these SSDs are not easy to afford and the users only with a good budget will be looking for these. But, still, you should check the current prices because there could be a substantial difference sometimes.

In my opinion, you will not regret buying any of these SSDs. But, if you want the best performance in longer runs with the server-level storage performance, just go for the Samsung 980 Pro.

However, if you are going to buy your SSD for personal usage, the WD Black SN850 is a good pick for you.

Again, the Samsung 980 Pro is the one which will fit in any criteria. So, if you want the best, you should definitely pick the Samsung 980 Pro.

Thanks for reading!

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