WD, Samsung Update Flagship TLC Drives

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Western Digital is now updating its enthusiast-oriented M.2 SSD, the WD Black. The new WD Black SN750 lineup includes an optional heatsink and a larger, 2TB capacity. And nearly simultaneously, Samsung is updating its corresponding 970 EVO, adding a ‘Plus’ to the name, but for different reasons than WD.

WD Black SN750 – New firmware and optional heatsink

Compared to the 2018 edition of the WD Black, Western Digital hasn’t made any drastic changes to the WD Black SN750. The drive is still based on 64-layer TLC (triple-level cell) NAND from SanDisk. It also uses the same controller, but with a tweaked firmware that delivers some additional performance in most of the areas that matter. WD has also added a 2 TB capacity that didn’t exist in last year’s lineup.

Another feature that Western Digital hopes will appeal to gamers is a large heatsink, which is included with certain models of the SN750. This will undoubtedly help reduce temperatures during heavy load – something that is known to limit performance in some SSDs. It remains to be seen whether it will have any effect on real-world performance, however.

Here’s a comparison of the SN750 and its predecessor:

WD Black:
SN750 Vs 2018 Specifications
250GB (SN750)250GB (2018)500GB (SN750)500GB (2018)1TB (SN750)1TB (2018)2TB (SN750)
Sequential Read3,100 MB/s3000 MB/s3,470 MB/s3,400 MB/s3,470 MB/s3,400 MB/s3,400 MB/s
Sequential Write1,600 MB/s1,600 MB/s2,600 MB/s2,500 MB/s3,000 MB/s2,800 MB/s2,900 MB/s
Random Read220K IOPS220K IOPS420K IOPS410K IOPS515K IOPS500K IOPS480K IOPS
Random Write180K IOPS170K IOPS380K IOPS330K IOPS560K IOPS400K IOPS550K IOPS

Samsung 970 EVO Plus gets new memory circuitry

The 970 EVO has been the best-selling SSD in the M.2 segment for a few months now. And like Western Digital, Samsung does not intend to change a winning concept.

Only the memory chips have been changed from 64-layer 3D TLC NAND to its brand new 96-layer counterpart. This has nevertheless been enough to improve the 970 EVO Plus’ performance.

Here’s yet another comparison of the 970 EVO and the 970 EVO Plus:

970 EVO Vs.
970 EVO Plus Specifications
250GB (EVO)250GB (EVO Plus)500GB (EVO)500GB (EVO Plus)1TB (EVO)1TB (EVO Plus)2TB (EVO)2 TB (EVO Plus)
Sequential Read3,400 MB/s3,500 MB/s3,400 MB/s3,500 MB/s3,400 MB/s3,500 MB/s3,500 MB/sN/A
Sequential Write1,500 MB/s2,300 MB/s2,300 MB/s3,200 MB/s2,500 MB/s3,300 MB/s2,500 MB/s1,750 MB/s
Random Write350K IOPS550K IOPS450K IOPS550K IOPS450K IOPS550K IOPS480K IOPS560K IOPS

Jesper Berg

As a PC gaming enthusiast since the 3dfx Voodoo era, Jesper has had time to experiment with a fair few FPS-improving PC parts over the years. His job at GPCB is to test and evaluate hardware, mainly focusing on GPUs and storage devices.

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