The previous WD Black NVMe SSD was basically the drive to break Samsung’s unbreakable lead in the solid-state storage world. Fast forward to the start of this year, and the market has become much more diverse with excellent options from Corsair, Adata and even Seagate – it’s almost become a little hard to stand out.
Well, the WD Black SN750 definitely makes its mark as one of the fastest solid-state drives we’ve ever tested. With an incredibly affordable price to boot, this might be the drive to permanently put Western Digital in the black.
Pricing and availability
The WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD is available now at $190 for a 500GB version. There's also another edition that comes with a special heatsink designed by famed custom liquid-loop cooler maker EKWB, but that'll cost you a bit extra.
At that price point, the WD Black SN750 is a very appealing choice for professional PC setups or gamers who want blazing-fast speeds when accessing their data or launching programs and games.
Comparatively, the WD Black NVMe SSD launched at $99 (£109, AU$179) for a 250GB capacity drive, $194 (£199, AU$299) for 500GB and $399 (£394, AU$619) for 1TB.
We’re particularly surprised that Western Digital is charging only $249 (about £190, AU$350) for a 1TB drive when the same amount of storage will cost almost twice as much from other companies. Just a few examples are the $495 (£389, AU$799) 1TB Samsung 970 Pro and $329 or £290 (about AU$445) 960GB Adata XPG SX8200.
The 500GB WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD we’re reviewing here features sequential read and write speeds up to 3,430MB/s and 2,600 MB/s, respectively.
Of course, Western Digital’s latest drive is also fending off some new rivals, including Corsair’s wickedly fast Force Series MP510 that runs up to 3,480MB/s sequential reads and 2,000MB/s sequential writes.
For the most part – and we mean almost entirely – the WD Black SN750 features the same memory architecture and utilizes the same NVMe controller as its predecessor. Like the Black NVMe SSD, the company once again went with a small amount of SLC (Single Level Cell) 64-layer 3D NAND to handle the brunt of quick data transfers and funnel all that information to its slower, but more robust Triple Level Cell (TLC) 3D NAND for, well, storage.
What has changed is WD has introduced an improved version of its firmware to speed up its latest drive. Strangely, though the company won’t be serving up the new firmware to owners of its previous WD Black NVMe SSD.
Additionally, users starting up Western Digital’s SSD Dashboard software with this drive will find the program automatically reskin itself into a dark theme made specifically for the SN750. Within this dynamic UI, users will find a ‘Gaming Mode’ switch that when flipped, deactivates the drive’s low power state – basically stopping the SN750 from idling – and eliminates latency.
That all might not sound like much of a ‘Gaming Mode’ boost, but it actually leads to astounding speed increases.
Then of course, there's the heatsink, which seems a bit of an overkill unless you're really, really stressing out the SSD during normal use that it gets overheated. It's a nice addition to have, but it also means that this drive is only going to fit into a PC chassis due to the extra bulk. Laptop users should just opt for the version without the heatsink.
When we first popped this drive in for testing, we honestly weren’t expecting much of an increase in performance over the WD Black NVMe SSD – but then we were blown away by how much faster this drive writes data. In terms of sequential write speeds, the WD Black SN750 floors every other drive including its predecessor as well as both the Samsung 970 Pro and 970 Evo.
Random write speeds are where the WD Black SN750 really starts wiping the floor with everyone especially when you kick it into Gaming Mode. With our sample, we almost saw a 70MB/s increase in random writing performance with the seemingly gimmicky software feature.
Those faster write cycles ultimately allow the WD Black SN750 to copy both our 10GB folder and 10GB file in the shortest times we’ve recorded. This should, in turn, make this SSD a perfect choice for creatives and media producers who need a fast writing drive to keep up with their production.
When we were first briefed on the WD Black SN750 we honestly didn’t expect much. It seemed to arrive too close to the release of the company’s last big SSD, with small iterative improvements and a gimmicky ‘Gaming Mode.’
That’s why we were so happy to be proven wrong after our testing revealed it was the fastest SSD that we’ve ever had in our lab. With a 1TB capacity drive costing just $249 (about £190, AU$350), we can also confidently say that it’s the best drive money can buy.
For these reasons, the WD Black SN750 has earned a perfect score and our Editor's Choice award.