Western Digital is announcing a host of consumer-focused SSD solutions today at its What's Next Western Digital Event. The gaming-focused WD_BLACK is getting the SN850X NVMe SSD and the P40 Game Drive SSD, while the SN740 is now making an appearance as PCIe 4.0-capable M.2 2230/42/80 NVMe SSD under the regular Western Digital brand.

The WD_BLACK drives are slated for a summer release. The SN850X is a PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD with read speeds of up to 7300 MBps, and will be available in 1TB ($190 MSRP), 2TB, and 4TB capacities. The 1TB and 2TB models have an optional heat sink with RGB lighting included. Official datasheets with additional details are expected closer to launch in July 2022.

The P40 Game Drive SSD is a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20Gbps) external drive that builds upon the P50 model by adding RGB lighting to the casing. It will be available in 500GB ($120 MSRP), 1TB, and 2TB capacities in summer 2022.

Western Digital also talked about the new 'Game Mode 2.0' feature in the WD_BLACK Dashboard for unlocking additional performance-boosting features on Windows PCs. This mode is available for the SN850X NVMe SSD. The dashboard software can also be used with the P40 Game Drive to control the RGB lighting.

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  • dwillmore - Monday, May 9, 2022 - link

    Is the 2230 size for the SN740 a typo? It's a valid size (though not the more common 2280), but it it's unusual. It's good to see as there are becoming more and more SBCs and low end laptops which take that form factor. Thank you.
  • ganeshts - Monday, May 9, 2022 - link

    It is 2230/42/80 (available across all 3 commonly-used M.2 sizes). Still waiting on official datasheets. Mainly OEM SSDs, but will be available for DIY too.
  • dwillmore - Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - link

    Thank you so much for updating the article and for your reply!
  • evilspoons - Monday, May 9, 2022 - link

    The 2230 form factor seems correct. Another site mentions the small size. It makes some sense, because there is no 740 already but there is a 750, so this would be a 'downgrade' model if it were just another 2280.

    It's been years since laptops with 2230 slots showed up so it'll be nice to actually have good drives to put in them.
  • dwillmore - Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - link

    Agreed, up until now the only choices are OEM unobtanium and really poor choices from questionable vendors.
  • NextGen_Gamer - Monday, May 9, 2022 - link

    There isn't really any more info on WD's press release from what I saw, other than saying that both are using in-house Western Digital controllers (which shouldn't be a surprise). I'm very curious about the SN850X - I just picked up the SN850 last year for my PS5. I'm guessing it's the same controller, but with maybe slightly higher-grade NAND and some secret firmware sauce? But the bigger question is: does its release mean that WD's BLACK line of eventual PCIe 5.0 SSDs are further off than what some were thinking? Because why else release a stopgap PCIe 4.0 drive in the meantime?
  • Silver5urfer - Monday, May 9, 2022 - link

    This drive is too hot. Which is why I picked up 980 PRO. I do not want an overheating drive for that useless difference. I'd rather pay more for a drive which beats FireCuda PCIe4.0 NVMe SSD 530 in ultimate endurance due to that new Micron 196L NAND technology. It's a real shame that Samsung dropped the damned ball on MLC technology.
  • Shmee - Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - link

    The SN850X sounds nice, but the $190 MSRP sounds a bit high for a 1TB drive, compared to current pricing of 980 Pros and S70 Blades etc...Hopefully the actual pricing will be more competitive with high end PCIe gen4 drives, though I suppose a price premium could be justified if the random performance is a good deal higher. As for sequential, 7300MB/s is just about on par.
  • parrot1553 - Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - link

    Typical marketing, lets make the sequential speeds 1tb/sec, yet keep the random QD1 speeds virtually unchanged from the last 10 years. I totally hate how new SSDs are being marketed to ppl, and whats worse is everyone buys their crap :( Its not about innovation anymore,its about that stupid number which is completely irrelevant in 99% of cases.
  • kn00tcn - Thursday, May 12, 2022 - link

    old SSDs were marketed differently? or HDDs or SD cards or...

    i dont even bother with microbenchmarks, i just look at tomshardware's sustained over time graphs

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