The WD Black SN770 – Look Ma, No DRAM!
It Does Have BiCS 5 Flash Technology Though
Many companies have released versions of their NVMe drives that lack a DRAM cache to lower the cost to purchase one, at the cost of sustained performance, and now Western Digital has added a PCIe 4.0 model to that list. The WD Black SN770 is a four channel PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD with 512Gbit BiCS 5 TLC flash and a SanDisk controller. The updated flash is the key to this drives performance, which is even more impressive when you see the $130MSRP for the 1TB model.
You might expect a DRAM-less SSD to suffer during sustained writes but the new flash technology really does help this drive beat out similar drives. The new flash doesn’t help it overtake the likes of the Corsair MP600 Pro XT but than again that drive is in a different league when it comes to both performance and price.
The WD Black SN770 sits in the middle of the performance in many cases, easily surpassing other DRAM-less models. In some synthetic benchmarks it even heads towards the top of the charts. All the results are right here.
Western Digital launches its first Gen4 DRAMless value SSD, and somehow, it's the best performing SSD that WD has ever made.
This really looks like it belongs in the Blue line, doesn’t it?
I mean, I get that it’s PCI-E v4.0 and that’s > v3.0, but we’ve got v5.0 systems out there now, v4.0 isn’t looking quite so shiny as it did when the first 3000 series Ryzen parts shipped. We’re quickly moving to v5.0 is premium, v4.0 is normal, and v3.0 is budget. We’re not there, yet, but we’re in the uncomfortable gap between those two mindsets.
So, this part being a low end v4.0 part makes it look distinctly mid-range. The price isn’t bad as long as it can stay ahead of a DRAM possesing well performing v3.0 drive which will be its competition. Sure beats the $0.200/GB that the high end 4.0 drives have hovered around for a while now.
At the same time though, most people aren’t going to benefit much from PCIe 5.0 enough to justify the premium price. Having lower cost drives, especially ones with decent read speeds is a very good thing. TLC drives make great Steam libraries, apart from when a 100GB patch is dropped, of course.
You are spot on when it comes to branding, which WD has had problems with, especially on the Black series. There have been a few releases where pretty much the only way to tell the difference between the mid and high end Black models was to be very familiar with the serial numbers. Adding in a “fast” Blue as a “slow” Black is going to lead to confusion.
Oh, I agree. I’m not saying that anyone will benefit from PCI-e v5.0 drives right now because the controllers just won’t be able to make much use of it outside of the datacenter. I’m talking about *marketing* which is more based on perception than reality. In that context, PCI-E v4.0 is just not the new hotness–certainly not a low end v4.0.
This is one step up from the bait-and-switch that some brands have been doing where they completely change out the hardware for a particular model between they sample it to reviewers and when it ships to customers. But it’s still going to muddy up their brand even if it doesn’t hurt their reputation like bait-and-switch does.
It’s all going to hell in a handbasket isn’t it, ’cause you are absolutely correct.
Buck up little camper! DRAM and flash are still cheap even if you can’t find a GPU that costs less than a used car.
Oh, keep in mind that used car prices have also gone up. ;(
Guess we won’t have to worry about this drive as their recent factory problem will limit availability. There go the recently cheap flash prices. 🙁
I just bought a PNY XLR8 CS3040 1TB M280CS3040HS-1TB-RB for $114.26 from the egg. Comes with a massive heatsink installed, so that’s a plus.
I notice that tweaktown doesn’t have data for *any* PNY drives. What’s up with that?