WD's tiny 2TB SSD looks like the drive to buy for a handheld PC storage upgrade

WD Black SN770M SSD on top of an ROG Ally.
(Image credit: WD)

The new WD SN770M SSD is shaping up to be a good drive for anyone looking to upgrade their Steam Deck or other PC handheld's storage capacity.

The WD Black SN770M comes in three storage sizes: 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. The smallest starts out at $75 (£71), while the 1TB will cost you $110 (£104). The 2TB, arguably the most interesting drive of the lot, is coming in at $220 (£199).

Those prices aren't too exciting on the surface, as you can pick up any standard-size NVMe SSD for a lot less. However, those are competitive prices versus current offerings from Sabrent in the same handheld-friendly form factor, 2230—maybe a little pricier, but hopefully those come down post-launch as the Sabrent drives have.

The exciting drive is the 2TB model, as it's a little cheaper out of the gate versus Sabrent's 2TB 2230 SSD, while using faster NAND. All the WD SN770M SSDs are built with TLC 3D NAND, whereas Sabrent's largest drive is stuffed with slower QLC 3D NAND. In practice, I didn't see such a slowdown on the Steam Deck with the QLC drive installed when I tested it out for myself, but I'd take the TLC drive over QLC any day.

The 1TB and 2TB WD SN770M drives are rated to 5,150 MB/s sequential read. That's a little over the Sabrent drive speeds, though only a touch. Since these compact drives are listed as SN770 drives, I'd assume they are like the desktop SN770 model in that they all also ditch onboard DRAM. That shouldn't be a huge issue for a gaming handheld, but just something to note.

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WD Black SN770M specs
Header Cell - Column 0 500GB1TB2TB
InterfacePCIe 4.0PCIe 4.0PCIe 4.0
Warranty5 years5 years5 years
Endurance (TBW)3006001,200
Seq. read5,000MB/s5,150MB/s5,150MB/s
Seq. write4,000MB/s4,900MB/s4,850MB/s
Random read460K IOPS740K IOPS650K IOPS
Random write800K IOPS800K IOPS800K IOPS
Price$75 | £71$110 | £104$220 | £199

Most of these WD drives are available now on the WD website, though weirdly the 2TB drive is a Best Buy exclusive in the US and I don't see it listed there yet. That is only the US, however. The 2TB drive is available direct from WD on the UK site, for example.

All of these new compact SSDs should work great with any PC handheld that uses a 2230 form factor drive. That includes the Steam Deck and ROG Ally. If you're wondering how to install these drives in your Steam Deck, I've put together a video of me going through the entire installation process over on the PC Gamer TikTok. Check that out below. 


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Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would later go on to win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top team as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. He also enjoys making short videos for TikTok and believes everyone reading this should go follow our account immediately.