WD's PS5-Branded SN850P is Just an Overpriced SN850X

WD Black SN850P
(Image credit: Western Digital)

Western Digital has launched the WD Black SN850P PCIe 4.0 SSD lineup for the PlayStation 5. The SN850P is essentially a carbon copy of the SN850X, one of the best SSDs for Sony's console, with a different heatsink and PlayStation 5 license. The company recently released its WD Black C50 expansion cards for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, so it was only fair to give the rivaling PlayStation 5 the same treatment.

The SN850P, officially licensed for the PlayStation 5, arrives with an aesthetically revamped heatsink that proudly exhibits the PlayStation logo. According to the manufacturer, the SSD features an "optimized" design for the console. The SN850P measures 3.15 x 0.96 x 0.39 inches (80 x 24.4 x 9.9 mm), so it's almost identical to the heatsink version of the SN850X, which has a 3.15 x 0.92 x 0.35 (80 x 23.4 x 8.9 mm) footprint. The SN850P is a little broader and taller than the SN850X.

The SN850P is an M.2 2280 SSD that utilizes the PCIe 4.0 interface. Although the drive's internals are unknown, it's likely using an in-house Western Digital SSD controller — like the company's other SSDs. For reference, the SN850X utilizes 112-layer BiCS5 TLC NAND. Given the similarity in specifications between the SN850X and SN850P, the latter probably uses the same grade NAND.

The SN850P is available in the same capacities as the SN850X. Consumers can pick between the 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB options. With the 4TB drive, Western Digital estimates that PlayStation 5 owners can store up to 100 games, assuming each title occupies around 36GB on average. Your mileage will vary depending on the kind of games that you like. For example, some titles such as Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Gran Turismo 7 command over 300GB and 190GB of storage, respectively.

WD Black SN850P Specifications

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ModelPricingCapacitySequential Read (MB/s)Sequential Write (MB/s)Random Read (IOPS)Random Write (IOPS)Endurance (TBW)

The SN850P and SN850X are indistinguishable when it comes to performance. PlayStation 5 owners can expect sequential read speeds up to 7,300 MB/s across the board. Sequential write performance differs marginally, depending on the capacity. The SN850P 1TB model is stuck at 6,300 MB/s, whereas the 2TB and 4TB variants hit 6,600 MB/s. Predictably, the SN850P's random performance isn't any different from the SN850X, either. Regardless of the capacity, the SN850P delivers 1,100,000 IOPS writes. Regarding random read performance, the 1TB version offers 800,000 IOPS reads, while the other capacities are good for 1,200,000 IOPS reads.

Regarding endurance levels, the SN850P 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB SSDs are certified for 600 TBW, 1,200 TBW, and 2,400 TBW. These are the same ratings as the SN850X, insinuating that the SN850P is potentially using the same NAND as the former. Western Digital backs the SN850P with a limited five-year warranty for all capacities.

The biggest differentiator between the SN850P and the SN850X is the pricing. The SN850P 1TB retails for $149.99, which is 88% more expensive than the SN850X 1TB going for $79.99. Western Digital offers the SN850P 2TB for $229.99, 53% higher than the SN850X 2TB's $149.99 price tag. Finally, the SN850P 4TB will set you back $549.99. It's wild since the SSD costs more than the PlayStation 5, which sells for $499.99. For comparison, the SN850X 4TB, which isn't available with a heatsink, is priced at just $299.99, meaning the SN850P 4TB carries a hefty 67% premium.

The aggressive pricing on the SN850P is a clear sign that the official PlayStation 5 license didn't come cheap for Western Digital. It's not a novelty since vendor-branded products are typically more expensive. You don't even need an insane price difference exceeding 50% for the SN850X to look compelling, because it's basically the same drive and fits inside the PlayStation 5 just fine.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • Nicholas Steel
    The SN850P 1TB retails for , which is 88% more expensive than the SN850X 1TB going for .
    For comparison, the SN850X 4TB, which isn't available with a heatsink, is priced at just , meaning the SN850P 4TB carries a hefty 67% premium.

    You're missing the prices? Oh, I guess my adblocker is hiding them.