WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe PCIe Gen4 SSD from Western Digital
Storage (NVMe M.2 SSD)
~ $199 AUD (for 1TB model)
No doubt it’s been a strange couple of years in terms of building or upgrading your PC, from supply chain issues through to chip shortages covering just about all aspects of a prospective build. The good news is that availability for quite a wide range of parts looks to be back on the menu, alongside prices that are a little more down to earth. Even though anytime is a good time to upgrade, this year is definitely looking like it’s going to be a big one.
Of course one of the key components of a new build is storage, and with most motherboards coming equipped with multiple slots for the latest in NVMe M.2 SSD storage utilising the faster PCIe Gen4, there are a lot of options out there. Pricing of course dictates quite a bit of the decision making, and when it comes to a new SSD for gaming, it’s all about capacity and speed. The former to accommodate the growing install sizes of modern titles and the later to minimise the time it takes to get to the menu and into a game.
Dramatically reduced loading times has become one of things to look for in storage, and the WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe SSD certainly hits the right sweet spot for PC gaming. Affordable, fast, and from a trusted brand that offers up a very welcome 5-year limited warranty.
Okay, so it’s worth highlighting that the WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe SSD is very much PC-only, its PCIe Gen4 speeds are just shy of the PlayStation 5 spec - and the drives come without an attached heatsink. Compared to the WD_Black SN750 SE SSD
we reviewed late last year, the bump to PCIe Gen4 sees a speed increase of over 30-40% in terms of read - making this a more enticing prospect for reducing load times. And as a budget-oriented PCIe Gen4 option there’s a lot to be said for that impressive jump coming at a fairly small additional cost.
Dramatically reduced loading times has become one of things to look for in storage, and the WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe SSD certainly hits the right sweet spot for PC gaming.
The small and light form-factor, in addition to PCIe Gen3 backwards compatibility, also make this versatile enough to support just about any desktop rig and even laptop with M2 SSD storage and expansion. The sleek and minimal look of the WD_BLACK range is here, and although there’s no heatsink in testing we found that temps remained relatively cool (under 70-degrees) in a well ventilated case. This meant no throttling due to overheating, and generally all round smooth performance no matter if it was a benchmark or copying across a bunch of games.
Western Digital does offer an app to monitor performance and drive health which is very cool too - called WD_BLACK Dashboard. It comes with a handy game mode that automatically turns off low-power modes to ensure peak performance at all times.
Reading and Writing 101
The reason why the WD_BLACK SN770 sits firmly in the affordable PC realm is the reported read speed of 5150 MB/s, which puts it under Sony’s required 5,500 MB/s for PlayStation 5 compatibility. That and the lack of an on-board heatsink means this is definitely for PC gamers. And with that, right off the bat in CrystalDiskMark we were able to slightly exceed the reported read and write speeds with 5,211 MB/sec and 4,912 MB/s. Make no mistake about it, these speeds are certainly fast and definitely take advantage of the increase offered by PCIe Gen4.
- Form Factor: M.2 2280
- Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4
- Sequential Read: 5150 MB/s
- Sequential Write: 4900 MB/s
- Capacity: Up to 2TB
With an efficient SSD controller and better power efficiency than most storage options in its class, the WD_BLACK SN770 is something of an overachiever. If price is no option then of course there are drives out there that offer up 4TB of storage with full unlocked speeds, but there’s never any real justification for going that route. Affordability is always on the table when it comes to PC builds, and alongside its features and performance, the WD_BLACK SN770 is a winner.