SN850X vs 990 Pro
SN850X vs 990 Pro

Remember this: When it comes to fast SSD storage, two popular options are the SN850X and the 990 Pro. These are both NVMe PCIe M.2 SSDs and are known for their top performance, perfect for gaming and work. Both drives work well with the latest platforms, including the PS5. It can be tough to choose between these two SSDs. The Samsung 990 Pro is praised for its fast read and write speeds, while the Western Digital (WD) Black SN850X is also fast and offers larger storage options. Another important factor to consider is their endurance ratings, warranty, and price points. They can handle intense workloads and have different guarantees on total bytes written over time, showing their reliability and expected lifespan.

Duel of the Titans: A Comparative Review of SN850X and 990 PRO SSDs


The SN850X and 990 PRO are both top-tier NVMe SSDs, but their performance characteristics differ slightly.

  • Sequential Read/Write Speeds: Both drives offer blazing-fast sequential read speeds, essential for quickly loading large files or games. The SN850X edges out the 990 PRO in sequential write speeds, which can be beneficial for tasks like video editing or content creation.
  • Random Read/Write Speeds: Random read/write speeds are crucial for everyday tasks and responsiveness. The 990 PRO excels in this area, making it a great choice for general use and gaming.
  • Gaming Performance: While both SSDs deliver excellent gaming performance, the SN850X’s Game Mode 2.0 feature can provide a slight edge in specific scenarios. This mode optimizes the drive for gaming by prioritizing certain data streams.


Both drives come with a suite of features designed to enhance their performance and longevity.

  • Thermal Management: The 990 PRO has a nickel-coated controller and a heat spreader label to help manage thermals. The SN850X relies on its controller design and firmware optimizations for thermal management.
  • Software: Both drives come with software tools for monitoring drive health, updating firmware, and optimizing performance.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for both drives is competitive, with the SN850X generally being slightly more affordable. Availability can vary depending on the retailer and region.

Comparative Table

FeatureWD Black SN850XSamsung 990 PRO
InterfacePCIe Gen4 NVMePCIe Gen4 NVMe
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280
CapacityUp to 4TBUp to 2TB
Sequential Read SpeedUp to 7,300 MB/sUp to 7,450 MB/s
Sequential Write SpeedUp to 6,600 MB/sUp to 6,900 MB/s
Random Read SpeedUp to 1,200K IOPSUp to 1,400K IOPS
Random Write SpeedUp to 1,100K IOPSUp to 1,550K IOPS
Warranty5 years5 years

Choosing the Right High-Performance SSD: SN850X vs 990 PRO

Both the WD Black SN850X and the Samsung 990 PRO are top-tier NVMe SSDs offering exceptional performance for demanding users. Picking the right one for your needs requires understanding their differences.

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Specifications and Features at a Glance

Let’s look at a quick comparison of their key specifications:

FeatureWD Black SN850XSamsung 990 PRO
Capacity Options1TB, 2TB, 4TB1TB, 2TB, 4TB (Coming Soon)
InterfacePCIe Gen4 x4PCIe Gen4 x4
Sequential Read Speed (Max)Up to 7300 MB/sUp to 7450 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed (Max)Up to 6600 MB/sUp to 6900 MB/s
Random Read (4K QD32)Up to 1,200,000 IOPSUp to 1,400,000 IOPS
Random Write (4K QD32)Up to 1,100,000 IOPSUp to 1,550,000 IOPS

Where the Samsung 990 PRO Excels

  • Speed: The 990 PRO holds a slight edge in both sequential and random read/write speeds, important for applications that require rapid data transfer.
  • Power Efficiency: Samsung claims the 990 PRO is more power efficient, which could benefit laptop users.
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Where the WD Black SN850X Excels

  • Potential Cost Savings: The SN850X can sometimes be found at a slightly lower price point.
  • Gaming Optimization: WD markets the SN850X with specific optimizations for reducing game load times.


The SN850X and 990 PRO are both exceptional SSDs that offer top-tier performance and features. The choice between them ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget. If you prioritize sequential write speeds and gaming performance, the SN850X might be a better choice. If random read/write speeds are more important, the 990 PRO is the way to go.

Both the SN850X and 990 PRO are fantastic SSDs. Here’s how to choose:

  • Maximum Performance: If you need the absolute fastest speeds and power efficiency is a priority, the Samsung 990 PRO is slightly better.
  • Budget-Conscious Performance: If saving some money is important and you primarily focus on gaming, the WD Black SN850X is still an excellent choice.

Important Note: Regardless of your choice, make sure your system supports PCIe Gen4 SSDs to take full advantage of these drives’ speeds.

Key Takeaways

  • Both SSDs offer cutting-edge performance, with the 990 Pro edging ahead in speed.
  • The SN850X and 990 Pro have distinct endurance and warranty benchmarks.
  • Understanding each drive’s specifications aids in making an informed purchasing decision.

Comparative Analysis of SN850X and 990 Pro

In this section, we will look at key differences and similarities between the SN850X and the 990 Pro, specifically their performance metrics, design features, and compatibility considerations for various usage scenarios.

Performance Metrics

WD Black SN850X and Samsung 990 Pro are two NVMe SSDs that stand out in the market. For sequential read speeds, the 990 Pro has a slight edge, with benchmarks showing it performing 3% better. It boasts speeds of up to 7,000 MB/s compared to the SN850X’s performance. When we focus on sequential write speeds, a similar edge is observed for the Samsung model.

For random read and write speeds, which often reflect real-world use, the 990 Pro maintains its lead. It achieves 1,400K IOPS for random reads and 1,550K IOPS for random writes. On the other hand, the SN850X reaches up to 1,200K IOPS for random reads and 1,100K IOPS for random writes. These metrics are especially relevant for heavy workloads and gaming where quick access to data can significantly affect performance.

Design and Technology

Both SSDs are designed with a focus on speed and reliability. They come with a five-year warranty, which shows the manufacturers’ confidence in their product longevity. The Samsung 990 Pro is made for high-performance tasks and heavy workloads, benefiting from its company’s expertise in memory technology. The Western Digital WD Black SN850X shines in gaming environments, thanks to its ability to handle quick data transfers effectively.

Talking about the design, the Samsung 990 Pro and WD Black SN850X both support the PCIe 4.0 interface, but they have different controllers which affect their performance. They also feature different heatsink designs to ensure thermal management during intense operations. The SSDs offer DRAM cache, which helps with speed, and NVMe technology, giving them a substantial speed advantage over SATA SSDs.

Compatibility and Usage

Compatibility is key for users looking to upgrade their internal storage with an NVMe SSD. Both the Samsung 990 Pro and WD Black SN850X are compatible with laptops and motherboards supporting the PCIe NVMe standard. Users should check their system’s specifications for potential bottlenecks that could prevent these SSDs from performing at their top speeds.

When considering usage scenarios, it is important to choose an SSD that matches your specific needs. For professionals involved in content creation, the Samsung 990 Pro SSD may offer the performance edge needed. Alternatively, the Western Digital WD Black SN850X 2TB caters to gamers with its optimized write speeds. Each SSD provides different capacities, with Samsung reaching up to 2TB, thus allowing users to pick based on their storage requirements.

Durability and Value

When choosing between the Samsung 990 Pro and WD Black SN850X SSDs, consider their lifespan and value. These key points ensure the durability and practical worth of your investment in solid-state storage.

Lifecycle and Warranty

Samsung 990 Pro and WD Black SN850X boast similar lifecycles, backed by a five-year warranty. This warranty period is common for high-end NVMe SSDs, indicating manufacturers’ confidence in product longevity. For Samsung 990 Pro, the endurance rating is measured at 600 TBW (terabytes written), while for WD Black SN850X, it’s 650 TBW suggesting a slightly higher tolerance for data writes.

Cost Considerations

Examining price, the Samsung 990 Pro and WD Black SN850X come in varying capacities that can affect cost. Generally, the price reflects the storage space and performance like speeds measured by unambiguous benchmarks such as 3DMark Storage and CrystalDiskMark. Consumers should compare prices considering size options and electronic deals to find best value for money spent. Price sensitivity is important for users on a budget looking for a balance between performance and expense.

Market Alternatives

Besides the Samsung and WD options, other products exist at competitive prices offering diverse capacities and performance levels. Kingston’s KC3000 and SanDisk, as market alternatives, also offer reliable NVMe SSDs that could match different user needs. The market is rich with options, and each SSD has its own unique advantages in terms of thermal control, reliability, and mean time between failures (MTBF). It is vital to scan through reviews and benchmarks to understand how variations in TBW or MTBF might support or limit your use case.

Frequently Asked Questions

When choosing between the SN850X and the 990 Pro, performance in gaming and everyday tasks and their benchmarks are often considered. Let’s address some of the common queries.

What are the performance differences between the SN850X and the 990 Pro in gaming?

The 990 Pro may pull ahead with higher Input/Output operations per second (IOPS) which benefits gaming scenarios that involve frequent loading of small data chunks. In contrast, the SN850X is also a strong performer for gaming but might exhibit slower IOPS compared to the 990 Pro.

Is there a notable speed difference between the SN850X and the 990 Pro in everyday tasks?

For regular tasks like booting up, running apps, or transferring files, both SSDs are swift. You might not notice major differences in day-to-day use since both offer speeds that satisfy standard requirements.

How does the SN850X compare to the 990 Pro in terms of benchmarks?

Benchmark tests show the 990 Pro slightly outpaces the SN850X in sequential reads and writes. In random performance at low queue depths, which mirrors real-world use, the 990 Pro consistently leads.

Are there any advantages to using the 990 Pro with a PS5 compared to the SN850X?

The 990 Pro and SN850X are both compatible with the PS5. The key difference might be the 990 Pro’s higher random read and write speeds, which can potentially reduce load times.

Does the inclusion of DRAM in an SSD like the SN850X offer significant benefits?

Yes, DRAM can boost performance by storing the mapping tables that the SSD controller uses to locate data quickly. This usually translates to speedier data retrieval and overall improved SSD response times.

Which SSD would be recommended for a high-capacity need like 4TB: the SN850X or the 990 Pro?

Since the Samsung 990 Pro reaches up to 2TB while the SN850X has options for larger capacity, for needs like 4TB, you may need to consider other models or multiple SN850X drives to meet the requirement.

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