WD cuts out DRAM for performance boost on new midrange gaming SSD

Western Digital has quietly slipped a new PCIe 4 SSD for gaming into its range, which is faster than the old PCIe 3 model but not as quick as the million IOPS SN850.

The Black SN850 M.2 2280 format drive used 96-layer 3D NAND, and was much faster than the earlier 64-layer Black SN750 with its PCIe 3 bus. Now the new Black SN770 slots in between the two in terms of performance, as the table illustrates:

The SN770 is much faster than the 750, and has an SLC cache with a DRAM-less design, relying on its host’s DRAM during read, write and other operations. WD is pricing it under the SN850.

A second table lists the prices and endurance. We can see that WD has kept the endurance levels (terabytes written) fairly constant across these three models on a per-capacity basis:

Soon we shall start seeing PCIe 5 gaming SSDs and their performance should make PCIe 4 look pedestrian, with 2 million-plus IOPS and greater than 10GB/sec throughput levels – which means blisteringly fast loading times for gamers. There should be an equivalent uptick in enterprise application performance with throughput-bound applications getting a substantial jump in performance.