Western Digital’s WD_BLACK NVMe Solid-State Drives will be crucial to gamers as titles get more demanding

With gaming only getting more demanding, and titles only larger, it’s time to think long and hard about storage expansion. That’s the most widely discussed issue surrounding the next-gen gaming right now, and will likely be the main concern for gamers as we move into a world where Microsoft and PlayStation have both levelled up, and a high-end gaming laptop has never been more popular. The powerful SSD’s of both will still need a lot of help, which is why it’s so important to look at the new range Western Digital recently launched for the market.

Spanning three new and upcoming products, the WD_BLACK portfolio of storage solutions includes the company’s very first NVMe SSD with next-gen PCIe Gen4 technology, a fully bootable Gen3 x8 add-in-card, and a Thunderbolt 3-powered NVMe SSD gaming dock, each offering eye-catching RGB lighting options.

“As game developers move towards creating immersive titles that require higher performance, consumers need to equip themselves with the best tools to stay up-to-speed,” explained WD’s senior vice president of consumer solutions Jim Welsh. “Innovative, high-performance storage solutions are essential to keep up with this ever-changing landscape”.

WD’s new products have been purposely designed to meet the high standards of modern gaming platforms, optimised to not only provide more storage for gamers, but to elevate the gaming experience as a whole.

The range peaks with the WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD starting at $849 for 1TB and fetching even more for 2TBs, offering a compact, high-performance gaming dock SSD with heatsink design that can transform a Thunderbolt 3-compatible laptop into an integrated and immersive gaming station. It’s an optimal solution for gamers looking to streamline their setup, with dock offering superfast speeds with NVMe technology, more capacity for games, and multiple ports for accessories – all powered by a single Thunderbolt 3 cord. A non-SSD option, the WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock, is also available for purchase for $549.

Only the mid-range WD_BLACK AN1500 NVMe SSD Add-in-Card is available right now, for an RRP starting at $399 and going up to 4TB in capacity). This option is a fully bootable plug and play add-in card is one of the fastest PCIe Gen3 x8 solutions on the market. Powered by two internal SSDs in RAID 0 and PCIe Gen3 x8 technology, gamers can experience read speeds up to 6500 MB/s1 and write speeds up to 4100MB/s1 (2TB and 4TB models), giving them lightning-fast gameplay so they can spend less time waiting and more time playing. Customisable RGB lighting complements your current rig while an integrated heatsink combats thermal throttling to help maintain peak performance.

The entry-level of the range is the WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD, designed to feature the unprecedented performance of PCIe Gen4 technology. this future-ready product will deliver fast read/write speeds up to 7000/5300MB/s1 (1TB model). Built with the WD_BLACK G2 controller and optimised for top-tier and high-intensive gaming (not intended for NAS or server environments), the WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD will help gamers achieve supreme PC performance. It reduces game load times and transfers files faster than its predecessor while using brand new cache technology3. In addition to high performance, the WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD also delivers improved low queue-depth performance over its predecessor, allowing both gaming and everyday users to experience smoother loading of applications. And, for the ultimate in aesthetics and customisation, there will be an optional RGB-enabled heatsink model that cuts down on thermal throttling. This one starts from just $225 and can go up to 2TB.

Both the WD_BLACK AN1500 NVMe SSD Add-in-Card and the WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD will be available from the usual retailers and online starting December 2020.

For more info head to westerndigital.com.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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