November's Black Friday SSD deals are right around the corner, and while you might be wrestling with the vast choice of PS5 SSDs that are available these days, one battle that rages on is between the WD BLACK SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO.
Both drives are now starting to age slightly, and even if that's not true in terms of technology and speeds, it's clear to see since both have now been supplanted by newer products. Indeed, the 990 Pro and the SN850X/SN850P are newer versions of the same drives. While there are undoubtedly performance enhancements to be had from these newer releases, they aren't massive leaps. Plus, when it comes to discounts and ever-important value for money, older models are going to offer both in droves when Black Friday PS5 SSD deals roll around.
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 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 from the off, I will say that from tracking the SSD market this year, I've noticed a trend in prices between these two drives. The 980 Pro is fairly deals prone - you can now get it at really reasonable asking prices both with and without its integrated heatsink. The SN6850, however, hasn't seen the same treatment. In fact, the SN850X has been on sale more often than its predecessor. So, for the purposes of this article, we'll focus on the SN850 base model, but just know that the SN850X might actually offer you more value since it does have slightly improved specs and, for whatever reason, is on sale more often at the moment.
Even against the 980 Pro, the SN850 has 300MB/s faster write speed - although 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 Black Friday PS5 SSD deal to pull the trigger on.
WD Black SN850 vs Samsung 980 Pro: price
Straight out of the gate, this one is a tough one to call. SSD prices have been all over the place in the last couple of years, and although the two drives launched with the same price tag of $249.99, that isn't exactly accurate in 2023.
For a more accurate assessment, let's look at some average prices on Amazon, according to Camel Camel Camel. The average price of the 1TB non-heatsink model of the SN850 is $137. Add on the integrated heatsink, and you get an average price of $136. It should be said though, that stock of either model can be a tad hard to come by unless you go directly to the WD Black website, where the SN850 sits at a stern price of $99. This isn't exactly in line with what you'll find at other retailers though, with Best Buy and Newegg in the US offering it for $120 for the most part.
The Samsung 980 Pro, however, sits at an average Amazon price of $93, with its lowest price ever sitting at $69.99. Other retailers usually list it closer to that $70 mark with or without the heatsink, so although this is hard to call because of how unreliable prices are in the SSD world at the moment, this round goes to the Samsung 980 Pro.
Editor's note: Trying to compare prices of these drives, even on Amazon, is very tough just now, not least because there seem to be multiple listings of each drive sold, each with different sellers. If you're shopping for SSD deals this November, be sure to double-check the listed seller - not just the part above the product title that says "Visit the Samsung Store", as Amazon is now pulling any products with appropriate names through for that criteria.
WD SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO: Features
WD BLACK SN850 (1TB)
- 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)
- 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. They are very evenly matched and will offer supreme performance in a PC or PS5. For us, this round is a draw, although when you consider the specs of the SN850X, things do take a turn WD's way.
WD Black SN850 vs Samsung 980 Pro: Stock
As I mentioned previously, the SN850 can definitely be the harder of the two to get a hold of. Whether that's due to it having two successor models on the shelves now or some other reason, it seems that the SN850 is a lot less readily available these days than the 980 Pro.
For us, the stock round goes to Samsung.
WD Black SN850 vs Samsung 980 Pro: Newer models
Of course, if you can aim for a newer model at a similar price as you were expecting these drives to be, you should. But which brand has the better drive in that regard?
Well, with WD Black, you have a couple of options. The SN850X is a cracking drive that, as I've mentioned, is commonly discounted these days. It has an excellent read speed of up to 7,300 MB/s, with endurance of up to 2400TBW. It comes in a non-heatsink and heatsink variant, too, and can usually be found discounted down to the $60-70 mark.
If you're after something PS5-shaped, you also have the option to go for the new SN850P. We would, in all honesty, steer clear of this drive though. It is a rehash of the SN850X, just with official PlayStation branding, and a different heatsink. The model we reviewed, however, fell very short of the advertised read/write speeds on the box. Not to mention, the SN850P only comes with an integrated heatsink and is vastly more expensive than the SN850X and even the SN850.
The Samsung 990 Pro is easily one of the fastest Gen 4 SSDs in existence. Despite its high price, it is starting to see more discounts and can offer a lot of value for money in the 2TB arena. There's also a new 4TB model of this drive which we're currently testing and really enjoying.
Result: If you're gunning for 2TB, and find the 990 Pro around the $100 mark, that takes the cake. It has amazing speeds and a really cool heatsink design. If it's 1TB you're in need of, you'll probably get the best value for money by going for the SN850X. Either way, just steer clear of the SN850P unless it experiences a true price drop.
WD Black SN850 vs Samsung 980 Pro: Which should you buy this Black Friday?
Although this might sound like a cop-out answer, if you go for either drive, you'll get a top-notch SSD for gaming.
If we had to pick a winner in 2023, I'd put my money on the 980 Pro getting better deals and being more readily available this November. It's got a cleaner track record of discounts than the SN850, and is usually really great value in the 2TB aisle.
The performance of both drives is pretty dead-on, though, so the one to buy this Black Friday might just need to be whichever is cheaper.