WD_Black SN770 1TB review
When choosing parts for my current desktop computer, I was hesitant to spend the extra money on an M.2 drive. Instead, I opted for a fast and reliable solution that offered more GB per dollar while having less read and write times than an M.2 NVMe SSD counterpart.
Despite Microsoft’s announcement Direct storage Coming to Windows platforms in late 2020, the service, which promises to take advantage of the fast bandwidth capabilities of m.2 SSDs to load large volumes of data, has yet to roll out to all games, released. by Microsoft or not.
Either way, with the success of consoles like the PlayStation 5, more and more people are turning to NVMe M.2 SSD solutions for expanded storage, which, at least in theory, should mean more affordable options for those looking to upgrade.
Priced at $144 Canadian, the WD_Black SN770 is a DRAM-less M.2 drive and an affordable mid-range solution that doesn’t compromise performance. Due to its non-DRAM nature, which slightly speeds up the bottleneck, coupled with the rated speed of 5150MB/s, I wouldn’t recommend the WD_Black SN770 to PlayStation 5 owners. Instead, the SN770 is a better fit those looking for super-fast performance and storage when it comes to their library of existing PC games, which makes the SN770 a tough piece of kit to beat.
Installing the 1TB SN770 was simple for my Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard. All you had to do was loosen the M.2 heatsink, which comes with its own adhesive, stick it on the SN770, then place it firmly in the appropriate slot before attaching it. On first boot, the drive is unallocated, which means Windows won’t immediately show it under your drive listings, but just use a program like EaseUS Partition Wizard or WD Dashboard’s app. Western Digital to format the drive accordingly.
For my actual testing of the SN770, I decided to focus primarily on game loading since the device is advertised as a game player. For my testing, I will be running titles after a new format using EaseUS’ partition wizard, then I’ll compare it to the game mode toggle present in Western Digital Dashboard software.
“Installing the 1TB SN770 was easy for my Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard.”
Starting with Infinite Halo, a game I currently play the most on my machine, the title loads in the training center in 08 seconds. Loading into a local map is just as fast, although playing online limits this considerably. With game mode on, I noticed a drop to about 5 seconds from a new game start, not bad.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, the beefiest game on this list, took 1:03 for its initial load – however, loading in different areas only took 30 seconds and an even more impressive 11 seconds by sequential loading. Game mode also seems to have contributed the most to the performance of Microsoft’s latest flight sim title, with an initial load reduced to around 55 seconds and subsequent loads to various points around the globe taking around 10 seconds, after a slightly longer initial time. short from 25 to 30 seconds. charge.
Another favorite game for me is I, which, even without its expected next-gen update, loaded in about 10 seconds from the main menu, both in the overworld and in dungeons and locations. interiors. Switching to game mode was negligible for this title, with the game loading in about the same amount of time, if not a fraction of a second faster.
Finally, I decided to test two very different games to round things out and see what the speeds of smaller titles looked like compared to larger AAA efforts. Starting with the smaller set of the two, Hotshot RacingThe retro-inspired low-poly arcade racing game loaded in a blistering 2 seconds, making it unsurprisingly the fastest game in testing.
Finally I decided to load The Evil Within 2 on Xbox Game Pass because it was a game I wanted to try anyway. The Evil Within 2 loaded at an impressive 6 seconds from when the player launches a new game and after the initial cutscene that transitions into gameplay, proper. To like The Witcher 3 before, both Hotshot Racing and The Evil Within 2 seemed to load around the same time regardless of game mode.
Regardless of the Directstorage API which is not used in any currently released title, the WD_Black SN770 1TB M.2 SSD is an excellent value that secures any PCIe 4 compatible platform while boasting dramatically fast load times in the most games currently available on the market.