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Review: Western Digital Black SN750 NVMe SSD 1TB

WD’s Black range has always resonated with gamers, and this drive is no exception.

western digital sn750 nvme
Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie
The Good
Super speedy
Gamers will appreciate the heatsink version
Up to 2TB sizes
WD's SSD Dashboard software is actually useful
The Bad
Umm... nothing?
9.1
Overall

Western Digital’s Black range is a name anyone who’s ever built a gaming PC knows. The 3.5″ HDDs were the best bang-for-buck for capacity and speed, and WD is hoping to cash in on that name with its SSD range. The WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD 1TB that we’re looking at today is a refresh of last year’s 2nd-gen WD Black NVMe drive. Third time is often the charm, as they say, so let’s see how it fares.

The SN750 is using WD’s custom controller and SanDisk 64-layer NAND. That’s pretty much the same hardware as in last year’s model, with a bunch of firmware finessing on the SN750 to push those speeds up. On paper, it can reach 3,470 MB/s (reads) and 3,000 MB/s (writes), with throughputs of 515K IOPS (reads) and 560K IOPS (writes). That’s up there with the best new NVMe drives from Samsung, Adata, and others.

It uses 256GB modules so they can all fit on one side of the circuit board, except on the 2TB model which has 512GB modules so they all fit on one side. Gone is the white label of the earlier model, and there are also versions that just came out with custom EKWB aluminum heatsinks pre-applied, for a few extra dollars. Currently, Amazon has the 1TB in stock for $228, which is about right for the current market with NAND prices dropping. The 1Tb model is rated at 600 TBW, and it comes with a 5-year warranty.

Isn’t that a sexy heatsink? (Image: Western Digital)

WD also bundles a new version of its SSD Dashboard, which has a “Gaming Mode” to reconfigure the NVMe driver to disable Autonomous Power State Transitions

Basically, it stops your drive from going into the low-power modes, keeping all the performance right there when you need it. This toggle actually disables the low-power settings at the device level, so even if you put the SSD into another system those low-power states will still be disabled.

Performance

Just a quick note: All testing was done on an AMD platform, with a Ryzen 1800X, and one of the best X370 motherboards – the Gigabyte GA-AX370 Gaming K7. Windows 10 Pro is installed on a different SSD, with the Adata drive installed as a secondary drive. Unfortunately, my usual Intel testbench is out for repairs currently.

CrystalDiskMark

The ever-dependable CrystalDiskMark is usually the first point of call for any drive benchmarks. It’s free, accurate and measures both sequential and random data transfers. The WD Black SN750 is no slouch here, pipping the Adata SX8200 Pro we looked at earlier this week to be the new SSD champ here at KnowTechie. Impressive stuff, with the benchmark actually getting a few MB/s extra over the on-paper rating.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO is another free benchmark that’s used to show performance across a range of file sizes. The WD SN750 kept on impressing here, although it didn’t quite get to the lofty speeds of the prior benchmark. Still, it’s good to know that anything from office documents to larger files will fly when transferring on this drive.

PCMark 8

PCMark’s storage test is structured to resemble real-world usage in both Adobe and Microsoft’s software suites, plus some gaming with World of Warcraft and Battlefield 3. The WD Black SN750 pulled almost the same score as the Adata SX8200 Pro, with 5046 and a bandwidth score of 444.62 MB/s.

The Storage 2.0 score is about where I would have thought, but with two top NVMe drives now posting low bandwidth scores it could be pointing to something being not right with my AMD testbench. I’ll be revisiting these scores once I get my Intel system running again.

So should I buy it?

WD’s Black range has always resonated with gamers, and this latest NVMe drive is no exception. Game load times are a fraction of that of a game installed on a spinny 3.5″ drive, and file transfers for game capture are similarly speedy.

With the Amazon has the 1TB in stock for $228, combined with the blistering performance, the WD Black SN750 should be on any PC builder’s shortlist when they’re deciding on parts. Sweetening that with custom EKWB aluminum heatsinks for a small price premium is a wise move, anyone who doesn’t want to see a label on their m.2 drive already buys a heatsink, so pre-applied models should sell well.

A sample unit was provided for the purpose of this review.

Editors’ Recommendations:

The Good
Super speedy
Gamers will appreciate the heatsink version
Up to 2TB sizes
WD's SSD Dashboard software is actually useful
The Bad
Umm... nothing?
9.1
Overall

Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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