The 2019 lineup of Western Digital’s premium NVMe SSD’s has hit the market in the for of the WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD! The 2018 line of WD Black NVMe SSD’s introduced Western Digital’s new in house storage controller which brought the performance of the drives in line with the competition. For 2019 Western Digital has further refined its controller leading to increased performance. A new version of the Western Digital SSD Dashboard has also been released to work in tandem with the SN750 to bring new features to PC gamers! For this review I will be covering the SN750 1 TB model without a heatsink. New heatsink models are expected to come in the coming months.
What’s In The Box
The new box design of the SN750 is interesting. You can tell that Western Digital is going for a new look with the box as it sports more attitude compared to past products. The SN750 takes center stage taking up much more of the box than previous model Black and Blue drives. The WD Black branding is also embossed along the face of the box disappearing under the SN750 when overlap occurs. the advertised read speed of up to 3470 MB/s still sits in the bottom right corner while capacity has been moved to the top right. Details about NAND type and the 5-year warranty have also gotten the boot to the back of the box this time around. All around the SN750 presents a clean new look to entice buyers into looking! Inside the box, we find the SN750 in a plastic housing and a paper warranty packet.
The SN750 looks nearly identical to its 2018 predecessor with a black circuit board and label covering the NAND chips. This time around however the label is pure black resulting in a more bland look to me.
The SN750 still utilizes the M.2 2280 standard and functions on the PCIe 3.0 X4 bus. The NVMe (non-volatile memory express) protocol is also once again in use allowing for the highest speeds possible. Western Digital’s in-house storage controller has been fine-tuned and once again paired with 64 layer Sandisk TLC NAND chips. The updates to the storage controller allow the SN750 to achieve higher speeds and higher IOPS (input/output operations per second) compared to last years, introductory model.
The advertised speed of the SN750 is rated at up to 3470 MB/s sequential read and 3000 MB/s sequential write giving a nice boost to performance, especially in writes. Random reads are advertised at hitting 515,000 IOPS and random writes hitting 560,000 IOPS. Once again we are seeing a massive boost to write performance compared to last years WD Black model. Running the synthetic benchmarks have yielded close enough results to the advertised speeds that I will once again not bore you all with the details.
The SN750 is rated to have a 600 TBW (Terabytes written) endurance to ensure maximum life expectancy of the drive. Also note that all of the specs listed above are for the 1 TB version of the drive please refer to the table below for other capacity versions of the SN750.
Using the SN750 has gone off without a hitch! Installing it into the second available M.2 port on my computer was simple. This allowed me to easily clone My OS from last years WD Black onto the SN750. The whole process took ~8 minutes and I was back up and running. Booting Windows, however, resulted in no perceivable speed differences over the 2018 WD Black. This isn’t really surprising as we can see from the specs above the write speeds are where most of the SN750’s upgrades come into play!
As far as using the SN750 for a dedicated gaming drive is concerned, you will only see marginal benefits over a decent SATA SSD. Games just aren’t designed to fully utilize the amount of bandwidth given by the NVMe drives, yet. For single drive systems however, the SN750 is great as the extra bandwidth can be used to play games, run Windows and possibly record gameplay simultaneously without bottlenecking. The updated Western Digital SSD Dashboard also comes with an extra “game mode” function exclusively for SN750 drives. Basically the “game mode” disables the drives low power states to ensure maximum response time. Power states aren’t the most difficult thing to edit yourself but the added convenience for non-power users is a nice inclusion.
Recording and editing are where the SN750 really shine! Importing content into Adobe Premiere is more snappy than on my previous WD Black and Blue drives. The dreaded audio conforming has also been sped up considerably with a 4-hour clip being completely converted in a matter of ~2 minutes instead of ~3 and a half. There are also no hitches or pauses from frequently scrubbing through long video files as I would get on SATA SSD’s. Due to the optimizations of the storage controller, the SN750 is also able to maintain maximum performance under heat before throttling longer than any of my previous M.2 NVMe drives. Oddly enough it also runs hotter than last years WD Black.
What It Could Do Better
There isn’t anything the SN750 inherently does poorly, but it would have been nice to see Western Digital get a jump on producing drives on the emerging 96 layer NAND. Many of the drives from the competition will be doing just that.
Western Digital continues to refine its storage controller to get the most performance out of its hardware! The SN750 is a premium drive through and through with ample performance to live up to the claim. Prices have also dropped considerably compared to the introductory prices of last years WD Black with the 2 TB model being introduced at $50 more than the price of last years 1 TB model. If you are in the need of an upgrade the SN750 makes a very compelling case for any content creators consideration. Especially for creators who work on laptops with compatible M.2 slots!