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The super-fast WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD is going cheap at Best Buy

$150 for a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD with a built-in heatsink, ideal for PC or PS5.

The WD Black SN850 is a fast PCIe 4.0 solid state drive, and the 1TB model with an integrated heatsink is going for $150 at Best Buy today - some $120 off the MSRP and a historic low price.

This is one of the very fastest SSDs you can buy, with great sequential and random speeds, so it's a great choice for running your OS and loading games faster than ever before. It's also fully compatible with the PS5 thanks to its high speeds and integrated heatsink, making it a great plug-and-play solution for exanding your game storage on the Sony console. Either way, you should expect bleeding-edge performance thanks to high-end components and that extra cooling potential.

The SN850 1TB is rated at up to 7000MB/s reads and 5300MB/s writes, making it one of the fastest PCIe 4.0 drives available. Katharine tested the SN850 for RPS and found its real-world speeds were impressive too, on par with the more expensive Samsung 980 Pro in random read speeds and significantly faster in random writes. The heatsink should help keep sustained speeds high, but if you don't need the heatsink then you can find the same 1TB WD SN850 on Amazon for slightly cheaper - $138.

To take advantage of those speeds, you'll need a motherboard that supports PCIe 4.0 or 5.0, such as AMD's B550 and X570 boards, or Intel's 500-series and later motherboards. This includes most computers built in the last two or three years, but it's well worth checking which PCIe version you have available before hitting the purchase button. Thankfully, this drive will work on older machines with PCIe 3.0 slots, but you'll be limited to around 3000MB/s - so it's only really sensible if you're planning to upgrade to a PCIe 4.0 or 5.0 system in the near future, I'd say.

Picking up a high-end SSD makes more sense today than it did a few years ago, with the advent of DirectStorage nearly upon us. This technology cuts game loads times significantly in supported titles, by performing data decompression on the GPU rather than the CPU and optimising various parts of the storage pipeline. We're yet to see the first DirectStorage games announced, but when we do it could be a real moment for PC gaming. With this drive, you'll be fully prepared to take advantage of that bright future - and of course you'll reap the benefits of a speedy drive in the here and now too.

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Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Senior Staff Writer, Digital Foundry

Will Judd is a journeyman from the forges of Digital Foundry, here to spread the good word about hardware deals and StarCraft.

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