Western Digital has announced a slew of new storage options. Whether you’re looking to install the latest Call of Duty, are running a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device at home, or need to boost your business’s server storage, WD has something for you.
That’s a lot of Call of Duties
The impressively large 26TB Ultrastar DC HC670 drive uses something called shingle magnetic recording (SMR) to fit more data on the same number of platters. Don’t expect to put one of these in your gaming rig though, these are targeted at data centres. The performance knock from using SMR won’t do game loading times any favours.
WD caught a bit of flak a few years ago for using SMR in its WD Red Pro NAS drives. Maybe it just forgot to mention the performance hit. NAS owners looking to upgrade their storage without the performance hit will want to go for the WD Red Pro Plus drives. Those use the more traditional conventional magnetic recording (CMR). This offers slightly less space than drives using SMR, but without the performance dip.
For the performance seekers
The performance-focused WD Black range is what you’re after if you’ve been eyeing the install button for Call of Duty. These are usually Solid State Drives (SSDs), so storage space drops significantly in favour of much faster read/write performance.
The WD Black SN850X is a high-end PCIe 4.0 SSD that WD claims will manage read speeds of up to 7,300MBps. A whole 300MBps faster than the currently available SN850. But, considering the older SN850 starts at around R3,000 for the 1TB option, probably puts the SN850X out of reach for most. It will be available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB sizes. The international price for the SN850X is supposed to start at $190 (R3,000) for the 1TB option. But in SA, expect that number to be closer to R5,000.
If you would rather not bust open your PC or console to install an SSD, WD also announced a new external drive. The WD Black P40 Game Drive SSD won’t be as fast as its internal brother. Its read speed will top out at around 2,000MBps. You’ll want to make sure your USB port can support the bandwidth if you get one of these. You’re looking for at least a 20Gbps USB 3.2 2×2 — sometimes labelled SuperSpeed+ USB dual-lane — capable port to reach those speeds or you’re shooting yourself in the foot. This one will have customisable RGB lights, though, which are cool, we guess.
The PC SN740 SSD was also among the new drives WD announced, but you’re unlikely to pick one of these up yourself. You’re more likely to encounter this one in your next high-end laptop or pre-built desktop PC.