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)

A bit more than a year since Sony opened up the PS5's SSD bay for use, an argument that still dominates the conversation is working out the winner of the WD BLACK SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO battle. 

It's still a worthy conversation (less so an argument really; who's got time for that?) and is a good one to engage with in the run-up to this year's Black Friday PS5 SSD deals. We know there will be price cuts on both of these fabulous drives this year, and we know that these are still the models and brands that folks will be most interested in placing their trust in - as well as their hard-earned cash. In this year perhaps more than others, players will want to really, really, really ensure they are spending their money well and getting every bit of value out of their purchase. And as part of the wider Black Friday PS5 deals PS5 SSDs such as these will be perfect examples of that - and will offer that value too.

Even though more entries and models have entered the PS5 SSD market, considering a face-off between two premium models such as the WD BLACK SN850 and the Samsung 980 PRO is still both relevant - they're both still great drives - and useful - it'll help you focus on any PS5 SSD's characteristics with laser focus to find the right one for you. 

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

Now, right at the off, we should say that neither drive, technically sit at the pinnacles of each company's NVMe SSD lineup anymore. That's because the relatively recent arrivals of the WD BLACK SN850X and the Samsung 990 PRO have replaced both the SN850 and 980 PRO. However, particularly from a PS5 perspective, the performance difference between the two models, on both sides, is not one that you'll need to strive for. And it may be that we all win as a result of this: with newer models, come lower prices on the still-good older models.

But anyway, back to the direct face-off: 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. This has obviously slipped in terms of the prices we see at retailers now, but bear this in mind as a starting point.

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. We are getting dangerously close to the $/£100:1TB ratio for both now (and on the heatsink versions) so this is a great target to have in mind for later this month too.

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. 

Now that both have been out in the wild, Samsung 980 Pro deals and WD_BLACK SN850 prices and deals are going to be more widespread than they've ever been. 

As mentioned above, we really could get to that magical 'three-figures of money to 1TB of storage' ratio this winter. The 1TB SN850 (with heatsink) came down to just $109.99 for a month in September so we'd hope to see that matched or beaten this winter, and the Samsung 980 PRO came down to $129 in October which, again, we think will be at least matched but hopefully beaten. The latter hasn't been any more expensive than $149 since July too, and has only just bounced up to that price recently - probably doing a classic up-and-down-in-time-for-Black-Friday move.

You could also opt for either SSD on its 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.

I'm the Commissioning Editor for Hardware at GamesRadar+ and have been here since its inception in late 2018. I'm also a writer on games and have had work published over the last five years or so at 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 I do that in my spare time. I'm also an expert on the virtual landscapes and environments of games and love to write about them too, including in an upcoming book on the topic!