WD Black SN750 NVMe Heatsink SSD Review: Speedy And Cool

WD Black SN750 Heatsink SSD - Speedy Sequentials, Integrated Cooling

A few weeks back, we took a look at the WD Blue SN500 SSD. That solid state drive is an affordable NVMe M.2 option, that’s targeted at mainstream systems and budget-constrained users. The WD Blue SN500 offers the benefits of NVMe, with pricing that is in-line with legacy SATA devices. The drive we’ll be looking at today, however, the WD Black SN750 SSD with Heatsink, takes things in a completely different direction. The WD Black SN750 SSD with Heatsink targets enthusiasts and gamers, and offers much higher performance in some scenarios. It is also priced higher, but not exorbitantly so. The WD Black SN750 SSD with Heatsink is by no means a mainstream drive, as you’ll see shortly, but considering some of its intelligent, differentiating features, WD isn’t imposing a huge premium either.

As its name suggests, the WD Black SN750 SSD with Heatsink is similar to the standard WD Black SN750, but with – you guessed it – a pre-installed heatsink. Take a look at the main features and specifications below for the entire line-up and then we’ll dive in a little deeper and see what the 1TB model we’ve got on-hand is all about...
wd sn750 heatsink flat
WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD With Heatsink
Specifications & Features
wd black nvme sn750 specs

Note, as you inspect the spec sheet above, that the 1TB WD Black SN750 is the highest performing model in the line-up. The different NAND configurations on the drives result in somewhat different performance overall, especially in terms of writes. If you’re really astute and stay on top of the hardware scene, you’ll probably also notice that the WD Black SN750 is fundamentally similar to last-years model – and that’s because they’re essentially the same drive. The SN750 update incorporates some firmware tweaks, there is a higher-capacity 2TB model in the line-up, and then there’s the obvious addition of the heatsink adorned model, we’ll be showing you here.
wd sn750 heatsink angle top
Underneath that heatsink, the WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD looks just like most other gumsticks that conform to the M.2 2280 form factor. The back side of the PCB is flat and devoid of any components, while the top side features the controller, NAND, a bit of DRAM cache, and various other components.

WD centers the controller on the PCB and places the DRAM next to it. Then, out at the edges are the NAND packages. WD claims this arrangement optimizes the drive’s thermal dissipation and minimizes the chances of throttling due to excess heat. Couple the thoughtful component layout with the large heatsink affixed to the drive, and thermal throttling shouldn’t be a concern in any system with decent airflow.
wd sn750 heatsink angle bottom
To test that theory, we looped CrystalDiskMark and found that the drive temperature (as reported by WD’s SSD Dashboard software) peaked at 140°F / 60°C, inside a basic mid-tower chassis with minimal cooling (Corsair AIO cooler on the CPU, one intake fan, one exhaust fan, and the PSU and GPU fans).

The WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD is built around WD’s proprietary NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4 controller, dubbed Spectrum, that’s optimized for low power and low latency. The WD Spectrum controller is a tri-core design, manufactured using a 28nm process. The controller is paired to 64-layer TLC NAND, which is also WD’s own.
wd sn750 heatsink connector

Like many other NVMe solid state drives on the market that feature TLC NAND, the controller on the WD Black SN750 enables something the company calls nCache 3.0, which is essentially a finite SLC cache designed to boost burst and write speeds. Data is first written to the SLC blocks to maximize performance, but should the SLC cache be saturated, data can still be written direct to the TLC NAND. The controller also enables low-density parity-checks and hardware ECC for full SRAM and DRAM bit correction as well.
wd sn750 heatsink bundle

According to its published specifications, the 1TB WD Black SN750 offers up to 3.47GB/s reads, with 3GB/s writes. Random 4K IOPS (at QD32T1 or QD3218) are rated at 500K (reads) and 560K (writes), and endurance is rated at 600 TBW over its 5-year warranty. The smaller capacity drives in the family will offer somewhat lower performance and endurance, however, which is typical.

wd ssd dashboard

There isn’t much included in the WD Black NVMe SSD’s retail packaging over and above the drive and some basic literature, but Acronis True Image WD Edition and the WD SSD Dashboard software are available for download via the company’s website, should you want to use them for cloning and/or maintenance purposes. One particularly interesting feature available via the SSD Dashboard tool, however, is called Gaming Mode. Enabling Gaming Mode on the SN750 essentially disabled any power-saving / sleep features, so the drive is always at the ready. Toggling the feature on and off didn't have any real impact on the benchmarks we ran, but may theoretically minimize stutter or occasional hiccups in games that don't access the storage subsystem very often.

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