Components

WD Black SN750 NVMe Gaming SSD Review



WD Black SN750 NVMe

Excellent Performance

  • Comes with Acronis True Image that lets you clone existing drive
  • Very high sequential transfer speeds
  • Very efficient power consumption and temperature control
  • Gaming mode allows for even improved performance at constant high power
  • No significant performance boosts from the previous model

NAND Flash: SanDisk 64 layer 3D | Controller: Sandisk 20-82-007011 | Interface: PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe | Form Factor: M.2 2280 | Available Capacities: 256 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB

VERDICT:An extremely well designed SSD with the Sandisk 20-82-007011 controller and 64 layer NAND. The SN750 works well under pressure and manages to control the temperature with efficient power management. Though not much performance boost from the previous model, this new one will work marvelously for continuous hours with minimum throttling.

By the passage of time, PC enthusiasts are looking for more ways to enhance their experience in any way possible. Most of the time these high-end hardware purchases come with some unwanted problems that have to be taken into consideration. To aid these fanatics in their quest for the best parts, Western Digital introduced the SN750 NVMe. The SN750 is expensive and powerful with the target of gamer’s consumer market in its crosshairs. It delivers top quality performance for not just the gamers but hardware enthusiasts as well. It does not come cheap however, the SN750 NVMe manages to push out extremely high-performance levels. This drive does not just talk peak performance but looks good while doing so. The available colors with the heat sink modification option do not cut back on the aesthetics at all.

WD Black SN750 NVMe In All Its Glory!

The SN750 NVMe comes with various sizes ranging up to 2 TB, with the lower storage ones being quite friendly on the pocket. After the release of the current generation SSD, WD also announced that these drives will be available with and without the heatsink. For the audience looking for every ounce of juice in the SN750, there’s a “gaming mode” as well. This helps minimize the delay from switching to maximum performance from an initial low power state. Moreover, the firmware updates help maximize performance ratings by giving this SSD the kick that it needs. With all of these and the 64 layer 3D NAND, the SN750 is able to outperform many of its rivals. The performance boost along with the read and write speeds of more than 3 Gb/s, help SN750 leave its mark.

Although the SN750 offers much higher sequential read and write speeds than the previous generation, we found that there was actually not a significant performance boost. Western Digital has used the same Sandisk controller as they did in their previous generation, with some added bonuses. That resulted in performance boosts that did not really stand out from the previous generation. The sequential read and write speeds exceed 3 Gbps but, with the current technology, only the PCIe 3.0 x4 lane can fully harness this speed. Therefore, make sure you have that interface available else the SN750 will just be a waste of money.

The SN750 does much more though, so let’s dive in detail and look at what WD has put together with their new generation drive.

Specifications and features

The SN750 SSD is available in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB volume sizes. This SSD offers a peak read speed of up to 3,400 Mbps and a peak write speed of 2,800 Mbps. If comprehending the magnitude of these numbers is a bit of a stretch for you, then compare these to the sequential read and write speed of SATA III which offers only a maximum of 600 Mbps. Our testings found that the performance and speed ratings did seem to vary as we increased the size from 250 GB to 1 TB. However, the performance will be like none other and you will not be dissatisfied. It uses the PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 interface slots so you may need to make sure your motherboard supports that. The M.2 interfaces are capable of entertaining much higher bandwidths with the PCIe lanes their SATA counterparts.

Physical Design

Sandisk makes use of their own controller, the Sandisk 20-82-007011 controller, and their own NAND IP with the latest NVMe protocols. A little over two years ago, WD successfully acquired Sandisk in hopes of getting their hands on this latest technology. This resulted in WD giving us high speeds of over 3 Gbps on the PCIe 3.0 x4 interfaces. Earlier, WD had stated that they’ll be using these newly acquired controllers for their future generation drives. This purchase has proven to be very fruitful for WD as they’ve been keeping up with the best hardware. The SN750 NVMe uses this 20-82-007011 controller and the 64 layer 3D NAND by Sandisk.

At the launch of the SN750 NVMe, WD also announced that they will be releasing a model later with a heatsink, which they did. The heatsink is aluminum made which maintains low temperatures for a longer period of time. WD claimed that, with the heatsink model, the SN750 will be able to drive higher loads and peak performance for 3 times longer periods of time. Tests showed that the heatsink model was able to keep the normal load operating temperature 20°C lower than the model without the heatsink. With the added heatsink, it’s not just the better temperature control but the sleek design of the aluminum as well that comes with it. The heatsink looks great with the white and black color and is able to complement the other components of your overall sharply designed PC.

The Software

The SN750 drive features a newer and updated dashboard called the WD Black SSD Dashboard. This was previously known as the Sandisk Dashboard however changed when WD acquired Sandisk. This updated model offers all the necessary features you would expect for monitoring the status of the SSD. These include the occasional firmware updates from WD, secure formatting and erasing, S.M.A.R.T monitoring, temperature and power consumption and much more. Along with these, the health, remaining capacity, and volumes can also be observed. It also shows the connected interface, remaining life percentage, capacity and volumes in the drive.

Since the targeted audience of the SN750 was primarily the gaming community, WD thought of the more demanding challenges this SSD will have to undergo. For that reason, and perhaps an attraction, they integrated a gaming mode. Typically, SSDs automatically shift from a low power mode to a high power mode depending on usage. In this transition, there is a latency lag while the SSD switches to high power mode. With the gaming mode enabled, the SN750 ensures that the drive is working at high power at all times. This significantly reduces the transition lag observed from low to high power modes. Obviously, this means that the temperatures and power consumptions will be higher than usual. However, the change with the gaming mode enabled sure rings some bells in the right direction.

Performance

The WD SN750 SSD offers improvements over the previous generation model, the WD Black NVMe. These improvements are nothing too significant and that’s because both the generations make use of the same Sandisk controller. The improvements, therefore, in the sequential read and write speeds are nothing to lose sleep over but they are there nonetheless. To monitor it, we tested out SN750 by running it on different benchmark tests and comparing it to close competitors. And to fully quantify the improvement from the previous generation drive, we compared results with that as well. After that, some strictly SN750 performance testing was carried out on different benchmarks which we will be analyzing as well.

Disk benchmarking allows measuring of different transfer speeds(such as sequential, random 4K etc) and do so under various disk access scenarios. The results obtained are in MB/s that help summarize how the drive performs when put under the microscope. The following tests are carried out in the SN750’s 1 TB model without the heatsink.

Comparison (Read Speeds)

For our first test, we tried out the WD SN750 and compared results with some of its competitors on the Crystal Disk Mark. This utility takes into account 8 different readings- read and write speeds for sequential, random 4K, 512 kB, and 4kB parallel disk. In the above-posted results, it can be seen that the WD SN750 performed better than its competitors in the Read test. Firmware updates helped the SN750 perform slightly better than the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro and the WD NVMe. The WD NVMe is the previous generation drive and, as shown, the SN750 does not offer a very significant boost in read (MB/s) performance.

Comparison (Write Speeds)

Next up, is the write speed test on Crystal Disk Mark. Again, the SN750 comes out at the top with a net gain of 200 MB/s from the previous model. The 200 MB/s write speed boost is not a lot however, it is there. Such differences are usually not easily noticeable in larger file transfers. Instead, they’re better in the storing of smaller files. All other competitors fall short as the SN750 clearly lives up to its mark of 3GB/s sequential write speed.

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks

To conclude the Crystal Disk Mark testing of the SN750, it can be seen from the above results how the drive performed. The results are very similar to the WD claims of what the SN750 is supposed to offer and that is a relief. The results, as shown, are of all the 8 readings that the Crystal Disk Mark takes. Read and write speeds of sequential and random 4K as high as we had hoped. These tests clearly show that the SN750 does not fall short on its claims and performs incredibly well under tests.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

For final verification of the results achieved above, we tested the SN750 out on the ATTO benchmark. ATTO is one of the oldest disk benchmarking tools available and is still one of the most reliable ones. It measures transfer rates across different lengths that need to be defined pre-testing. In our case, the size varies from 0.5 Mb to 64 Mb on a file size of 256 Mb. There was a little throttling at the 128 kB mark but all other results were accurate and as expected.

Verdict

The SN750, although makes use of the same previous gen hardware, offers remarkable speeds. The Sandisk controller and 64 layer 3D NAND work to offer high transfer speed. We were hoping to see WD adopt to the 96 layer 3D NAND however since the 64 layer one is relatively new, WD decided to stick with that. The SN750 is able to perform very well under hard testings and does not suffer from an early throttling case. Moreover, with the heatsink model, this drive is able to perform for longer hours without heating up.

The Elite Storage

All in all, we’re very satisfied with the results of the SN750 SSD by WD and highly recommend it. Keep in mind that the transfer speeds will vary depending on the size of the drive. To buy this drive click on the link and observe your PC go to greater heights.

Price at the time of review: $499.99 for 2TB, $227.28 for 1TB, $109.95 for 500GB, $69.99 for 250GB

Design - 9.5
Features - 9.5
Quality - 10
Performance - 9.6
Value - 7

9.1

User Rating: 4.6 ( 2 votes)

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Prices taken/valid at the time of review.

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