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WD Black SN850P Review: a reliable PS5 SSD

Officially licensed for PlayStation 5, Western Digital's SN850P SSD is easy to install and gives good gaming load times, it's just not the cheapest PS5 SSD.

The WD Black SN850P, one of the best PS5 SSDs

Our Verdict

It won’t wow you with performance but if you’re looking for a dependable and reliable PS5 SSD, the WD Black SN850p won’t let you down. If you baulk at the price, look to its cheaper family members instead.

With an expanding library of games, it’s likely that you’re going to need or already need an expanded solid-state drive (SSD) for your PlayStation 5. The WD Black SN850p is the officially licensed SSD made in collaboration between Western Digital and PlayStation.

I’ve been reviewing the 1TB version but there are also 2TB and 4TB options available. As you might imagine for a product with an official PlayStation logo attached, it certainly doesn’t come cheap, with the 1TB version costing $129.99 (£123.99). There are plenty of options in our best PS5 SSD guide that undercut the WD Black, including Western Digital’s SN850X, which doesn’t carry the PS logo and has a slightly different heatsink. But the price isn’t everything, and the SN850p is still a worthy consideration if you’re new to storage and want a fuss-free option.

At the time of writing, the SN850p version only comes with a heatsink attached, which makes PS5 simple but does reduce its versatility with gaming PCs. For someone, like me, who owns a gaming console only and is looking for a way to increase storage, this simplicity is a selling point. 

I should note that for this review I’ll be evaluating the WD Black SN850p for use with the PlayStation 5 and not with gaming PCs. WD claims that the SN850p has a read speed of 7,300mb/s and a write speed of 6,600mb/s, which is in the ballpark of other SSDs designed to work with the PS5 – but not the fastest out there.

An internal SSD allows you to store and play the best PS5 games direct from the drive. If you’re after an SSD that’s easy to install, works immediately, and is a set-and-forget option, the WD Black SN850p is a very good place to start.


  • Comes with heatsink for PS5
  • Super simple installation
  • Officially licensed


  • Pricier than other options
  • Heatsink limits gaming PC versatility
  • Doesn’t hit the stated read speed


WD_Black SN850P NVMe SSD specs:

Capacity 1TB (2TB and 4TB available)
Write speed 7,300 MB/s
Read speed 6,600 MB/s
Drive Type NVMe SSD
Connector M.2
Dimensions 80 x 24.5 x 9.9 mm


The biggest feature that the WD_Black SN850p boasts is the official PlayStation license. Certified and tested for use with the PS5 provides peace of mind as a consumer, as does seeing that PS logo.

In terms of tech, there isn’t a great deal to write home about as the SN850p doesn’t go out of its way to reinvent the wheel. In fact, the SN850X and SN850 models that also feature in the range offer virtually the same performance in terms of read/write speed, and in the case of the SN850X costs less at $69.99 (£107.99).

The main difference between the SN850p and the SN850X is that the SN850p is optimized specifically for the PS5 and the SN850X isn’t, although it will work as long as you get the heatsink version.

The WD Black SN850P, one of the best PS5 SSDs


As the name suggests the WD Black SN850p comes in matte black and it looks quite military in its styling. Emblazoned on that black shell is the iconic PS logo, as is often the case with official products. It’s certainly not going to win prizes based on looks alone but once it’s installed you won’t be able to see it anyway.

The size of the SN850p is obviously limited by the space made available by the PS5 console but for something small in size, it feels well made. I had no concerns about it being damaged during installation, even with my sausage-like fingers trying to deal with tiny screws.

Installing an SSD into the PS5


I’ll start by talking briefly about that installation. As I mentioned above, tiny screws and larger hands like mine don’t really mix, but the process really is simple. I think praise should be given to Sony for making it so easy to expand your storage on this latest console.

Once I had formatted the SSD (the PS5 automatically prompts this after installation), there was a speed test to confirm the read speed. According to the PlayStation, the SN850p is running at 6,412mb/s, which is slightly below the claimed speed of 6,600mb/s.

As a real-world test, I transferred God of War Ragnarok and Star Wars Jedi Survivor onto the drive and timed how long it took to do so. It handled the 232.9GB in 3 minutes and 32 seconds, which was a lot faster than transferring even a single game onto my external Seagate SSD (so much so I didn’t bother to time it).

When in use I haven’t really experienced any issues. Load times were pretty instantaneous and maybe only a second or two slower than from the PS5’s inbuilt SSD. There were a couple of times during my Jedi Survivor playthrough where I continued to get the enemy sounds after defeating them but it was few and far between. Also, Jedi Survivor certainly has a reputation for being a little on the buggy side so I’ll give the SN850p a pass there.

Where to buy the WD Black SN850p

The WD Black SN850p is available to buy directly from Western Digital and major retailers like Amazon and Walmart.

Should you buy the WD Black SN850p?

  • Yes: If you want an officially licensed PlayStation product
  • Yes: If you want an SSD with an inbuilt Heatsink
  • No: More expensive than other options, including its own range

If you want something that will just work and function as intended then I can recommend the SN850p. If you want the fastest read and write times available then I would look elsewhere, including in WD’s range as the SN850X performs slightly better and for half the price.

If the WD SN850p isn’t for you

WD Black SN850X: very similar but cheaper

The SN850X is also in the WD Black range and provides the same claimed read and write speeds as the SN850p but gets closer to hitting them. The biggest selling point is that the 1TB model with a heatsink is regularly around $79.99 on sale.

Use an external SSD

If you’re daunted by opening up your console to install an internal SSD then get an external one. You won’t be able to play games directly from them but it does free up room on your PS5 for new games. The price of external SSDs has come down greatly in recent years so there are bargains to be had.


The WD Black SN850p is just a no-nonsense SSD that does what it’s meant to do and does it effectively. Other than being slightly pricer than many other drives on the market, it’s an ideal purchase for someone who has little experience with expanding their PlayStation storage.

There really is something to be said for the safety and comfort provided by an officially licensed product if you’re inexperienced. If you’re at the other end of the scale and want more versatility from a drive or if the read and write speeds being as high as possible are important to you then there are definitely better options out there. Check out our guide to the best PS5 SSDs for some alternatives.