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WD Black SN850 vs Samsung Pro 980: which PS5 SSD should you buy this Black Friday

WD SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO
(Image credit: WD/Samsung)

It'll take a bit of nouse to work out who wins in the battle of the WD BLACK SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO before this year's Black Friday PS5 SSD deals kick in, but it is possible to fall one side of the fence. These deals are going to be some of the most in-demand gaming accessories this sales season, and some of the most familiar and famous names will be leading the charge. And when we say that, we mean that those are the models that folks will be most interested in placing their trust in - as well as their hard-earned cash. Among the wider Black Friday PS5 deals, these, and other, SSDs will be some of the most enticing.

For many looking to commit to a top-end PS5 SSD this winter, the decision is likely to come to either the WD BLACK SN850 and the Samsung 980 PRO. With the latter receiving its own official heatsink variant recently (at the end of October), the pair of PS5 SSDs are matched as closely as ever and it will be tricky knowing which will be best for you. This is not helped by the fact that their specs are very close, and the prices are almost identical.

However, hopefully, some discussion around each SSD and their features and value will help you decide when it comes to the WD BLACK SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO matchup.

Both sitting at the pinnacles of each company's NVMe SSD lineup, the SN850, and 980 PRO are premium SSDs in their own right - before you even introduce their PS5 compatibility. The pedigree and proven track record of both makers' drives means these two were straight to the top of many PS5 owners' wishlists when the console was revealed to have an M.2 expansion slot. And they will likely remain so.

In terms of quick headline differences, there's only one really noteworthy spec between them - the SN850 has 300MB/s faster write speed -  and this is pretty negligible when one looks at everything else. However, that's where we come in.  We're comparing all the differences between the SN850 and the 980 PRO to help you decide which PS5 SSD to buy this Black Friday.

WD SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO: price

Cutting to it, the MSRPs for both the WD SN850 1TB Heatsink and the Samsung 980 PRO 1TB Heatsink is $249.99.

Below are the latest prices of the two PS5 SSDs to give you a direct comparison but also some links to buy either drive right now. As it's the year 2021, those in the UK right now will notice that the Samsung 980 Pro 1TB Heatsink isn't visible - it seems that it hasn't been released everywhere just yet. We'd also wager that there may be stock fluctuations to come one both SSDs as demand cranks up and supply chains are tested again, as they have been all year.

WD SN850 SSD

(Image credit: WD)

WD SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO: which should you buy this Black Friday?

WD BLACK SN850 (1TB)

  • $249.99 MSRP
  • Up to 7,000MB/s read speed
  • Up to 5,300MB/s write speed
  • 600 TB write endurance
  • 5-year warranty

Samsung 980 PRO (1TB)

  • $249.99 MSRP
  • Up to 7,000MB/s read speed
  • Up to 5,000MB/s write speed
  • 600 TB write endurance
  • 5-year warranty

As you can see, there's barely a cigarette paper between these PS5 SSDs in terms of their specification. The SN850 does have that extra 300 MB/s write speed which could be enough for some - those who are happy to invest at this level may just want the very fastest speeds they can get. However, we'd wager that when you're working in this kind of speed category, that difference is not going to be too noticeable in real-life practice. The designs are naturally different but still of the highest quality too. The heatsinks will do their jobs, and they are neat and tidy drives. (You can read more on the SN850 in a PC context in our full WD BLACK SN850 review.)

But beyond that, the battle of WD Black SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO is even. These are two premium drives at the top of the pyramid, that are very evenly matched, that will offer supreme performance, speeds, and reliability. In truth both drives will run beautifully in a PS5, running games quickly, consistently, and keeping all the data and files at your fingertips.

So how do you choose between the SN850 and the Samsung 980 PRO? Well, it may come down to brand loyalty - perhaps you've had some products from one or the other that have impressed (or vice versa). More likely, however, it's going to come down to just sheer cost and which one you can get for a lower price this Black Friday.

Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink

(Image credit: Samsung)

WD BLACK SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO: Black Friday deals

What may be the tiebreaker in the WD Black SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO matchup, particularly when looking solely at the heatsink models, is the likely price cuts on both this winter. Realistically, it's unlikely that we'll see big price cuts on the Samsung 980 PRO Heatsink models (1TB and 2TB capacities), seeing as they were only released on October the 29th. They just haven't been out that long to be ready for larger-scale discounts. Of course, stranger things have happened but an educated guess would be that only small discounts and Samsung 980 Pro price cuts may be had this year - if any.

WD BLACK SN850 prices and deals, on the other hand, may be more widespread. This drive has been out in the wild for a good while longer now and has seen price cuts already, across the capacities. Despite a wobble in stock and some price inflation when Sony released the M.2 drive update, this has been the go-to premiere of choice - helped massively because it has its own heatsink. 

Given that PS5 Architect, Mark Cerny, has shared that the SN850 is his SSD drive of choice, the SN850's reputation and attraction are widespread. For reference, with a record low price (for the 1TB Heatsink variant) of roughly $210, we could hope to see the SN850 dip below the $200 mark this Black Friday.

You could also opt for either SSD on their own, without the heatsink. These options will see you get either drive for comfortably less cash than the heatsink variants - but you will have to obtain and fix a third-party heatsink yourself. If you prefer that option, and want to see all prices available, here are the latest prices on both drives with and without the heatsink.


If you're not set on an internal PS5 SSD, then it'll be worth checking out the broader Black Friday SSD deals, as well as the Black Friday external hard drive deals. And don't forget your overall PS5 external hard drive options which could provide an SSD-shaped storage solution.

And for more PS5-related price cuts, we'd recommend following the latest on the Black Friday PS5 TV deals, Black Friday PS5 headset deals, and the Black Friday PS5 monitor deals.

Rob Dwiar

I'm one of the Hardware Editors for GamesRadar+, and have been for nearly three years; I've also been a writer on games - freelancing and the like - for four or so years for the likes of Eurogamer, RPS, PCGN, and more. Day to day, I take care of a whole host of gaming tech reviews, buying guides, and news and deals content that pops up across GamesRadar+. I'm also a qualified landscape and garden designer so do that in my spare time, and use it to write about games' landscapes and environments too, including an upcoming book on the topic!