Western Digital has some good news for a subset of Black SN850 SSD owners, and specifically for those who have installed the drive on an AMD X570 chipset-based motherboard for Ryzen. The company has found the problem causing write speeds to plummet in some configurations and will release a firmware solution in the coming weeks.
We haven’t experienced this problem ourselves and, based on our own tests, the Black SN850 is one of the best SSDs for gaming. It's part of a collection of second-generation PCI Express 4.0 models that offer faster speeds than the first round of PCIe 4.0 disks. In this case, the Black SN850 has a sequential read performance of up to 7,000 MB / s and up to 5,300 MB / s of sequential write performance.
The unit approached the speeds announced in our tests. However, reports of reduced performance have recently begun to appear on some X570 motherboards. This happens when the SSD is connected to an M.2 slot connected to the chipset.
Nor is it a small performance. The people of ComputerBase some tests were done and it was observed that the writing performance was reduced by almost half when connecting the unit to the mentioned slot; one of the benchmarks of write speeds went from 5,255 MB / s to 2,972 MB / s, a reduction of 43.4%.
Performance is not affected by installing the drive in a CPU-controlled M.2 slot instead of the chipset. For this reason, Western Digital recommends using one of these slots while resolving a solution.
In a statement provided to our friends from Tom & # 39; s Hardware, Western Digital said it plans to launch a firmware solution next month.
"The WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD may experience a decrease in write performance when connected to an M.2 slot on the chipset on certain motherboards, specifically when the maximum payload size (MPS) is & # 39; set to 128 bytes (128B). To resolve this issue, Western Digital will release a firmware update that removes a restriction on our product for this MPS configuration, which is expected to be available on July 12, 2021. " , said Western Digital.
What if the optimal M.2 slots have already been taken? So the good news is that you will still benefit from fast typing speeds, even if you don't reach the drive's capabilities. To put it in perspective, the fastest SATA-based SSDs exceed 580 MB / s, which is more than five times slower than the highest performance success observed by ComputerBase.
It’s still disappointing to fall far short of the performance you paid for, regardless of the SATA comparison. Fortunately, there is a solution in a few weeks. And applying it is easy: once you arrive, just activate the Western Digital Dashboard utility and it will ask you to download and install the new firmware automatically. Be sure to back up any important data first, in case things go awry.