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
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
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.
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 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
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
Confused at which is best – well don’t
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.
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.
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.
A clean install or cloning
The best way to set up your new WD Black is a clean install. GadgetGuy has instructions here.