Western Digital has released a firmware update for the WD Black SN850 SSD which optimizes its performance and compatibility to AMD’s x570 chipset, reported Tom’s hardware. This update restores the storage device’s title as one of the best options out there.
The SN850 offers impeccable read and write speeds for many machines. However, users found that its performance decreased by 40% when placed on an M.2 slot in a computer powered by the Ryzen chip.
Users can download the update through the Western Digital Dashboard, a program for managing WD’s storage solutions. The software automatically prompts an update when it detects the SN850 in the computer.
According to Tom’s Hardware, the issue arose when the M.2 slot is not connected directly with that specific chipset, which means that not every user was affected by the bug.
The report clarified, “We don’t see the issue affecting users that have the SN850 as their primary device. But for users that have multiple SSDs and have the SN850 on an M.2 slot linked to the AMD x570 chipset, it could be a huge problem.”
A report by TechPowerUp noted that SSDs that are installed in slots directly connected with Ryzen processors show optimal performances. Moreover, those placed on AMD B550 and Intel platforms with PCIe Gen 4 slots result in performances as promised by Western Digital.
As per the Western Digital website, the SN850 can reach “irrational 7000 MB/s read speed and 5300 MB/s write speed” with “up to 1,000,000 IOPS for a smooth, responsive, and powerful gaming experience.”
Western Digital acknowledged the issue and explained that the bug is related to the maximum payload size (MPS). The SSD loses its performance when the MPS is set to 128 bytes, resulting in a cap of 2,821.63 megabytes per second write speed, according to ComputerBase user MichaelMros.
The MPS value influences the maximum transaction layer packet (TLP) that the PCIe controller receives, which means that a value as low as 128 bytes can have a negative impact on the device’s performance.
Nevertheless, the newly released firmware update named 613200WD seems to fix this bug. The update resulted in a 5,115.11 megabytes per second write speed. Details about the difference between the previous and the current firmware versions.
The WD Black SN850 comes with heatsink and non-heatsink options and can be purchased in different capacities namely 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB.