Making good on its promise, Western Digital has deployed a new firmware for the company's WD Black SN850 SSD, which is currently one of the best SSDs on the market. The latest firmware will restore the SN850's write performance when the drive is installed on a M.2 slot that's connected to AMD's X570 chipset.
The SN850 is one of the fastest SSDs around right now. However, users were reporting a performance loss of over 40% if the SSD resided on a M.2 slot that doesn't directly communicate with the Ryzen processor. We don't see the issue affecting users that have the SN850 as their primary drive. But for users that have multiple SSDs and have the SN850 on an M.2 slot linked to the AMD X570 chipset, it could be a huge problem.
According to Western Digital, the problem had something to do with the maximum payload size (MPS). The SN850 suffers a performance hit when the MPS option is configured to 128 bytes. Western Digital's new firmware (613200WD) has seemingly rectified the problem, although we don't know what exactly has changed between this firmware and the previous version.
MichaelMros, a user from the ComputerBase (opens in new tab) forums, noted that Western Digital has delivered on its fix. With the previous 613000WD firmware, the SN850's sequential write performance was capped at 2,821.63 MBps. On the latest 613200WD firmware, the drive was able to hit 5,115.11 MBps. The other figures were within acceptable margins.
The new firmware is only available through the Western Digital Dashboard software. All you have to do is fire up the program, and it'll prompt you to update the SN850's firmware. In the event that you don't get the notification, a simple reinstall of the software should work.