Western Digital's new SSD is aimed at budget gamers

Western Digital SN750 SE
(Image credit: Western Digital)

Western Digital announcing a new SSD is pretty exciting stuff. Its WD_Black SN850 is the fastest drive you can get your hands on right now and tops our guide of the best PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Its new drive, the WD_Black SN750 SE is also a PCIe 4.0 drive but is not aimed at the same crowd: instead, it's a drive aimed at offering better value for money.

So while the original SN750 (a PCIe 3.0 drive) offers read speeds of 3,400MB/s and the SN850 (PCIe 4.0) can hit 7,000MB/s, the new SN750 SE (PCIe 4.0) offers a fairly mundane speed bump over the original of just 3,600MB/s. It's also available in small capacities—250GB, 500GB, and 1TB.

Western Digital is using a Phison controller for the new SN750 SE drives and they're DRAM-less too, like the Samsung 980 (non-Pro version), to try and keep prices down. They also only use one side of the PCB in order to run cooler than either the SN750 or the SN850.

It doesn't need a heatsink, either, which could be good news depending on the state of the cooling in your case or in your laptop. These drives use 30% less power than their predecessors too—another reason to make them tempting options for laptops.

The only problem I see here is the actual pricing. WD is launching these at £56.99 for the 250GB model, £85.99 for the 500GB SSD, and £166.99 for the 1TB drive. There are plenty of cheap SSDs around these days, that offer roughly the same sort of performance for the same sort of money. It isn't obvious what the WD brand adds to proceedings.

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SATA, NVMe M.2, and PCIe SSDs on blue background

(Image credit: Future)

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Interestingly the new drive doesn't replace the existing SN750 but exists alongside it. Which again may be a problem in the value for money stakes—if you shop around, you can usually pick up the SN750 for less than the launch prices of the new SN750 SE SSDs. And while they may be 200MB/s slower in theory, when it comes to game loading, you're going to be hard-pushed to spot the difference.

Western Digital also announced a dinky little external SSD aimed at the console crowd called the WD_Black D30. This is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 device offering reads of up to 900MB/s and comes in capacities of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Us PC gamers already have plenty of options on this front, check out our guide on the latest external drives, but there is something cute about how small it is. That 2TB drive will set you back £299 though, which makes it a little less cute.

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.