WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD review

WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD review

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

In the solid-state storage market, the previous WD Black NVMe SSD was basically the drive to break Samsung’s unbreakable lead. As we enter the second half of this year, the market has become much more diverse with excellent options from Corsair, Adata, and even Seagate – it’s becoming harder to stand out.

This WD Black SN750 solid-state drive definitely sets the record for being the fastest we’ve ever tested. It may be the drive that permanently puts Western Digital in the black, especially with an incredibly affordable price tag.

WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD: Features

WD black

We’re reviewing the 1TB WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD here, which features sequential read and write speeds of 3,470MB/s and 3,000MB/s, respectively. It might seem like a small improvement from the 3,400 megabytes per second (MB/s) sequential read and 2,800 MB/s sequential write speeds on the previous WD Black NVMe SSD, but our tests showed a significant improvement.

WD Black SN750, with high sequential read/, write speeds of 3,500MB/s and 2,700MB/s, seems positioned to compete directly with Samsung 970 Pro, rather than Samsung 970 Evo with a slower sequential write speed of 200MB/s.

Additionally, Western Digital’s latest drive has some new rivals, including Corsair’s Force Series MP510, which can run up to 3,480MB/s sequential reads and 3,000MB/s sequential writes.

In most cases – and we mean almost totally – the WD Black SN750 has the same memory architecture and uses the same NVMe controller as its predecessor. The company once again used a small amount of SLC (Single Level Cell) 64-layer 3D NAND to handle quick data transfers before funneling that information to slower, but more robust Triple Level Cell (TLC) 3D NAND.

To speed up its latest drive, WD has introduced an improved version of its firmware. Strangely, the company will not be offering the new firmware to the owners of its previous WD Black NVMe SSDs.

In addition, Western Digital’s SSD Dashboard software will automatically reskin itself to a dark theme specific to the SN750 when users launch it. In this UI, users will find a switch called ‘Gaming Mode’ that deactivates the drive’s low power state, effectively stopping the SN750 from idling, and eliminating latency.

All of that might not seem like much of a ‘Gaming Mode’ boost, but it actually results in shocking speed increases.

Performance

WD black

Initially, we weren’t expecting much performance gain over the WD Black NVMe SSD, but we were blown away by how much faster it writes data. WD Black SN750’s sequential write speeds exceed those of its predecessor as well as the Samsung 970 Pro and 970 Evo.

When you put it in Gaming Mode, the WD Black SN750 really beats everyone when it comes to random write speeds. This seemingly gimmicky software feature almost doubled random writing performance with our sample.

In summary, the WD Black SN750 is able to copy both our 10GB folder and 10GB file in the shortest time we’ve recorded. The SSD should be the perfect choice for creatives and media producers who need a fast writing drive to keep up with their production.

Pros Cons
Very competitively priced Same hardware as its predecessor
Random write speed excessively fast
Matches or outruns all other SSDs

Conclusions

As soon as we were briefed on the WD Black SN750 we honestly didn’t expect much. There were small iterative improvements and a gimmicky ‘Gaming Mode’ that made it appear to arrive too close to the company’s last big SSD.

Because of that, we were so pleased to find out that it was the fastest SSD we had ever tested. A 1TB drive costs just $249 (about £190, AU$350), making it one of the best drives money can buy. In addition to usurping the Samsung 970 Pro as the speed king, it has also dismounted the Samsung 970 Evo as the value king.

These reasons led us to award the WD Black SN750 the Editor’s Choice award.