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.
|Header Cell - Column 0||500GB||1TB||2TB|
|Interface||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0|
|NAND||TLC 3D NAND||TLC 3D NAND||TLC 3D NAND|
|Warranty||5 years||5 years||5 years|
|Random read||460K IOPS||740K IOPS||650K IOPS|
|Random write||800K IOPS||800K IOPS||800K 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.