Introducing the Western Digital WD_Black SN770 NVMe SSD, a pretty much all-black PCB, though the box does show a plain black PCB, rather than the usually busy version that actually comes in the box. By busy, I mean there’s a lot of small text and a couple of QR codes. Why this is needed I’m not sure, or why it’s not on the underside, hidden from view is another question. But still, saying that, it looked rather nice against the black PCB of my Asus motherboard, compared to my current drives. It’s a very clean look if I do say so myself.
Now diving into a few specs before I get to our testing, the SN770 drive we were sent has a 1TB capacity in an M.2 2280 form factor. It’s compatible with PCIe Gen 4 x4 and is claiming a sequential read of 5150MB/s and a write of 4,900MB/s. In the small box comes the drive itself and that’s literally it. It’s well packaged and holds nothing back when bragging about being Gen 4 compatible, as it’s highlighted in bright orange on the front.
Now, testing the WD_Black SN770 was a difficult one for me to get the best out of the drive, seeing as I am still using a B450 motherboard which, unfortunately, isn’t capable of taking advantage of the Gen 4 transfer capabilities. but even still, I was absolutely happy, from a Gen 3 perspective with the performance of the WD_Black SN770. To be more accurate, I am currently using an Asus ROG Strix B450-F gaming motherboard. I tested the S770 against a Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe drive that I’m currently using as my games drive, and as you can see from the results below, the read speed is still a very respectable 3,709MB/s with a write of 3,507MB/s.
Western Digital is selling these drives at under £100 at the time of writing this piece, which really sits on par with current pricing structures of storage drives. We’re seeing a trend of around £100 per terabyte, so for this drive to hit £94.99 is quite impressive indeed, and a worthy upgrade if you’re wanting to begin going down the NVMe storage route. There are four options available, starting at 250GB for £59.99, 500GB for £69.99, 1TB for 94.99 and finally 2TB version for 231.99. For more information and a chance to purchase your own drive, check out the Western Digital website.
Over the Christmas break, I was lucky enough to be gifted a Gen 4 motherboard from Gigabyte, so I was able to run another benchmark test on the WD_Black SN770. Below are the results, which show a significant increase in read and write speed, compared to using it in a Gen 3 motherboard. As you can clearly see, the read speed has increased to 5,118MB/s from 3,709MB/s and the write speed to 4,341MB/s from 3,507MB/s. Not as big of a jump as I had imagined compared to the read speed, but noticeable enough when it came to transferring files. It also I might add helped when video editing inside of Premiere Pro, allowing me to be a little more flexible with my 4K files and previewing them on the timeline. Not that this might mean much to you, but if you’re a video content creator out there, this could be a really big help. It saves you from having to use lower-quality preview files or even proxies.