Until now confined to the high end, the PCIe 4 interface is gradually encroaching on mid-range SSDs. WD’s Black SN770 series is the perfect example, with SSDs offering theoretical speeds around 5 GB – far from the big names that exceed 7 GB/s – but whose interface is still PCIe. Enough to offer better than PCIe 3 solutions, especially on random access. The use of PCIe 4 allows the operation of the SN770 in the Sony PS5 console, but this will require the acquisition of a third-party heat sink (count around fifteen euros), this SSD being deprived of it.
The Black SN770 in its 1 TB version is quite sober in its presentation. The number of components is not very high, the module in M.2 2280 format being quite bare. There’s a single 1TB 3D NAND TLC memory chip from Kioxia — WD’s partner company, previously owned by Toshiba. This is BiCS5 memory with 112 cell layers, the most advanced version to date (05/2022) from its manufacturer.
This NAND is managed by an in-house controller branded SanDisk – remember for the umpteenth time that SanDisk has been entirely absorbed by WD – and bearing the sweet name of 20-82-10081-A1. We don’t know much about the technical characteristics of this controller. Just do we see that it does not require cache memory to operate, the WD Black SN770 being devoid of such a chip.
Write endurance is quite decent for a 1TB SSD, with 600TB of data guaranteed. As with the top of the range, the manufacturer also offers a 5-year warranty, whichever comes first.
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