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WD Black SN750 PCIe NVMe is almost faster than the Flash
4.8Overall Score
Name: WD Black SN750 PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Price (RRP): $Aprox $150-500
Manufacturer: WD

WD, you may remember it as Western Digital, has been quietly making a name for itself in the SSD space. The WD Black SN750 PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD is its fastest yet and optimised for large file transfer.

WD is/was a hard disk manufacturer. It has seen the light, and it’s a part owner of the Toshiba VNAND R&D and manufacturing facility in Japan. It sells consumer flash products under the SanDisk brand and SSD under four classes

  • WD Green PC SATA 6 SSD in 2.5” and M.2 in 120/240/480GB – value range
  • WD Blue 3D SATA 6 in 250/500GB and 1/2TB – slightly faster and more advanced
  • WD Black PCIe NVMe SSD in 250/500GB and 1TB
  • WD Black SN750 PCIe NVME M.2 in 250/500GB, and 1/2TB – with optional heatsink for power users
WD Black SN750

Review: WD Black SN750 PCIe NVMe 1TB

Website here.

Let’s get down to it. WD claims sequential read/write speeds of 3470/3000MBps for the 1TB model. In our tests we almost did it – 3414.4/2998.9 using the incredible Intel Hades Canyon NUC with dual M.2 slots for SATA 600 or PCIe NVMe Gen 3 x 4 Version 1.3 as our test bed.

WD Black SN750

Ironically we were testing the new Samsung 970 EVO Plus at the same time, and its goal is to be the fastest on the planet at 3536.2/3322.6MBps – it only just leads the class for flash!

What impressed me more was WD’s focus on random read/write of larger files. The table below has greater random read/write speeds than the Samsung EVO 970.

What does that mean?

What this means is that we read/write a 1GiB file (1073.74MB) for one, eight and 32 repetitions and measure the impact of flooding the PCIe bus and the NVMe silicon.

So, while the Samsung 97 EVO Plus is line ball on the one random read/write repetition the WD can sustain nearly double the speed on eight and just edges ahead on 32 repetitions. Its controller comes from SanDisk, and it first reads/writes to the faster TLC (triple layer cell) NAND and then shuffles to the SLC (single layer cell) 3D NAND. That is its secret sauce for faster-sustained writes.

But it does come at a slight cost. Temperature under sustained load reached 75° at the controller. Typically, you will never achieve that unless you go into games mode – buy the heat sink version.

Confused at which is best – well don’t be.

All that means is if you were writing larger files, e.g. video editing or rendering the WD would be a gazillion of a second faster. And to upset the Apple cart a firmware update by either brand could change these readings yet again.

Why WD?

WD, like arch rival Seagate (with Barracuda and FireCuda), are later arrivals in the SSD market. So, what makes WD Black SN750 tick?

Black uses 64-layer, 3D VNAND. Samsung is now at 96 layers, but in essence, it is a lot of stacked capacity on the same chip size. This means a 1 or 2TB on single-sided M.2 with lower power draw and less heat.

The optional, but not retrofittable, heatsink helps keep the WD BLACK NVMe SSD running at peak performance for longer sustained periods with less thermal throttling. Again, Samsung has an integrated copper and nickel heat sink.

WD Black SN750

Warranty is five years, or 200/300/600/1200 Terabytes written – don’t worry you won’t ever use that.

WD Black SSD Dashboard

The WD BLACK SSD Dashboard optimises performance by enabling the gaming mode feature. This disables the low power mode function – putting the SSD into its highest performance mode that may affect data transfer rates.