Tuesday, 13 October 2020 07:48

Western Digital releases three new devices aimed at gaming market

The WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD. The WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD. Courtesy Western Digital

Global storage vendor Western Digital has released three new products, all aimed at the gaming market, and all in its WD_Black family.

The company said in a statement that these included its first NVMe solid-state drive with next-gen PCIe Gen4 technology, a fully bootable Gen3 x8 add-in-card and a Thunderbolt 3-powered NVMe SSD gaming dock.

"As game developers move towards creating immersive titles that require higher performance, consumers need to equip themselves with the best tools to stay up-to-speed," said Jim Welsh, senior vice-president, Consumer Solutions, Western Digital.

"Innovative, high-performance storage solutions are essential to keep up with this ever-changing landscape. Our latest WD_BLACK products have been purpose-built to allow gamers to meet the increasingly high standards of future games and gaming platforms.

"We've optimised these products to not only provide more storage for gamers but to elevate the gaming experience as a whole."

The WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD is claimed to be able to deliver fast read/write speeds up to 7000/5300MB/s (1TB model). Built with the WD_BLACK G2 controller and optimised for top-tier and high-intensive gaming, it is not intended for NAS or server environments.

The device is claimed to reduce game load times and to transfer files faster than its predecessor while using brand new cache technology. There will be an optional RGB-enabled heatsink model that reduces thermal throttling. The non-heatsink version will be available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, with prices starting at $225.

The WD_BLACK AN1500 NVMe SSD Add-in-Card is a fully bootable plug and play add-in card that is claimed to be among the fastest PCIe Gen3 x8 solutions. It is powered by two internal SSDs in RAID 0 and PCIe Gen3 x8 technology, and will offer read speeds up to 6500 MB/s and write speeds up to 4100MB/s (2TB and 4TB models).

Customisable RGB lighting (Windows only) is available while an integrated heatsink will combat thermal throttling. The add-in card is available in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities and prices start at at $399.

The third product, the WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD, is a compact, high-performance gaming dock SSD, with heatsink design. It transforms a Thunderbolt 3-compatible laptop into an integrated and immersive gaming station.

The dock is claimed to offer superfast speeds with NVMe technology, more capacity for games, and multiple ports for accessories, all powered by a single Thunderbolt 3 cord. It has customisable RGB lighting controlled through the WD_BLACK Dashboard (Windows only).

The device is available in 1TB and 2TB capacities and prices start at $849. A non-SSD option, the WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock, is also available for $549.

The WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD standard non-heatsink model will be on sale at select Western Digital retailers, e-tailers, resellers, and system integrators from December. The heatsink model is expected to be on sale by the first quarter of 2021.

The WD_BLACK AN1500 NVMe SSD Add-in-Card will be sold at select Western Digital retailers, e-tailers, resellers and system integrators from 22 October.

The WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock and WD_BLACK D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD can be bought at select Western Digital retailers and e-tailers, including Officeworks, Amazon, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, from December.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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