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WD Black SN770 Review: An Excellent PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD for the Home

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If you’re looking for a relatively affordable way to upgrade your latest gaming rig, the new WD Black SN770 — first announced on February 2nd, 2022 — is an excellent deal.

The internal drive proved to be one of the fastest PCIe drives in my testing — I used the 1TB version, which shares the same performance grade as the 2TB.

Most importantly, it comes with friendly pricing that starts at just $60 for 250GB, and you can expect the street price to be even lower as time goes by.

Dong’s note: I first published this post on February 2nd, 2022, as a new piece and updated it the next day to a full review after hands-on testing.

WD Black SN770 PCIe Gen NVMe SSD
The WD Black SN770 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD is single-sided and very thin.

WD Black SN770: A high-value internal gaming SSD

Western Digital says the new WD Black SN770 internal drive features PCIe 4.0 to deliver up to 5,150 MB/s in performance speed, a lower number than the previous higher-end and more expensive SN850 model.

That said, the new SSD is somewhat of a mid-tier entry-level option. As such, the lower cost makes it a high-value drive thanks to the excellent performance, as you’ll note in the section below.

The latest in the WD Black family

After the success of the first WD Black SN700, which came out in mid-2018, in August 2019, Western Digital turned WD BLACK into a new gaming family that also includes portable drives, such as the P10, P50, or the D30.

WD Black SN770 PCIe Gen NVMe SSD
The WD Black SN770 and its retail box

All WD Black devices are designed to deliver fast performance and look the part — for gamers, that is. And the SN770 is the latest successor of the SN700. It aims to be a more affordable PCIe Gen 4 choice than the SN850.

As an internal drive, the SN770 shares a similar M.2 2280 form factor. It’s a single-sided NVMe drive and, therefore, is very thin.

WD Black SN770: Hardware specifications

Name WD Black SN770
Capacity / Part Number2TB / WDS200T3X0E
1TB / WDS100T3X0E
500GB / WDS500G3X0E
250GB / WDS250G3X0E
Form Factors M.2 2280 
(80mm x 22mm x 2.38mm)
Weight.017 oz (0.5g)
InterfacePCIe Gen 4 16GT/s, up to 4 Lanes
PCIe Gen 3 and Gen 2 compatible
Endurance 
(Terabytes Written)
2TB: 1,200 TBW
1TB: 600 TBW
500GB: 300 TBW
250GB: 200 TBW
Sequential Read
(up to)
2TB: 5,150MB/s
1TB: 5,150MB/s
500GB: 5,000MB/s
250GB: 4,000MB/s
Sequential Write
(up to)
2TB: 4,850MB/s
1TB: 4,900MB/s
500GB: 4,000MB/s
250GB: 2,000MB/s
Random Read:
(up to)
2TB: 650K IOPS
1TB: 740K IOPS
500GB: 460K IOPS
250GB: 240K IOPS
Random Write
(up to)
2TB: 800K IOPS
1TB: 800K IOPS
500GB: 800K IOPS
250GB: 470K IOPS
Warranty5 Years
Release DateFebruary 2nd, 2022
US Pricing
(At launch)
250GB: $49.99
500GB: $59.99
1TB: $109.99
WD Black SN770’s hardware specifications

A frill-free SSD with standard endurance

Like all WD Black devices, the SN770 has no features. There’s no security or overprovisioning that users can customize. It’s a frill-free standard storage device.

WD Black SN770 PCIe Gen NVMe SSD
The top of the WD Black SN770 NVMe SSD

In terms of endurance, it shares the same standard ratings as the previous WD NVMe SSD, including the SN550.

Specifically, the top-capacity 2TB version can handle up to 1,200 TB of data written on it, and lower capacities have the endurance cut down by a factor of two. So the 1TB gets 600TB and the 500GB get 300TB. WD says the 250GB version gets 200TB which is slightly higher than usual.

WD Black SN770 Dashboard
The WD Black SN770’s Dashboard software will come in handy when you need to update its firmware and check on its status.

While these aren’t the best endurance ratings in SSDs, they are still really high. If you write 100GB to the 1TB version and do that every day, you’ll need over 16 years to wear it out. Generally, typical home users don’t need to write more than 10GB a day.

WD Black SN770 PCIe Gen NVMe SSD
And here’s its underside.

WD Black SN770: Excellent performance

I tested the 1TB version of the SN770 both with PCIe Gen 3 and PCIe Gen 4, and the drive did well consistently. Note that this version is rated to deliver the best random access performance and second-best sequential performance, as you can see in the datasheet above.

The drive wasn’t the fastest I’ve seen but had enough to stay well above the average. It was faster than some more expensive NVMe SSDs.

WD Black SN770 Copy Performance
The WD Black SN770’s sequential (copy) performance

Specifically, in the sequential (copy) tests via PCIe Gen 4, the SN770 scored a sustained speed of over 4500MB/s, close to the number WD claimed. Most impressively, the read/write combo test still averaged almost 1700MB/s.

WD Black SN770 Random Access Performance
The WD Black SN770’s random access performance

The drive’s PCIe Gen 3 was slower but still quite fast, especially in random access tests. Overall, the SN770 beat my expectation considering its entry-level status and friendly cost.

I also used the SN770 for a couple of days on a gaming computer, and its performance was on par with other high-end NVMe SSDs, such as the Samsung 980 Pro or the Crucial P5 Plus.

Truth be told, though, it’s tough to notice the real-world differences between these drives at this level of performance. They are all speedy.

WD Black SN770's Rating

8.5 out of 10
WD Black SN770 PCIe Gen NVMe SSD
Performance
9 out of 10
Features
7.5 out of 10
Value
9 out of 10

Pros

Fast performance

Affordable

5-year warranty

Cons

Different performance grades between capacities

No security or any user-accessible features

Conclusion

The new WD Black SN770 was a nice surprise, considering its status as an entry-level SSD with friendly pricing.

In fact, it stoked my curiosity and I decided to get its older cousin, the top-tier SN850, for a spin. So check back in a while for a matchup post on these two.

In the meantime, the SN770 is worth the consideration for anyone needing NVMe SSD right now, especially for a computer that supports PCIe Gen 4. Get it!

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