WD Red SN700 M.2 SSD Review: The Ultimate SSD For Heavy Users? – Forbes

WD’s new RED SN700 SSD
WD’s Red series of products such as hard disks has long been seen as premium and high-performing products with an emphasis on network attached storage use, but the company has finally released a Red-series product into the high-performance M.2 NVMe SSD market – the Red SN700.
The Red SN700 is very similar to the company’s older WD Black SN750 – Read and write speeds of 3,400MB/3,000MB/sec for the 1TB model, which I’ve reviewed here, but with one key difference – a huge endurance rating of 2000TBW (terabytes written).
In other words, over the 5 year warranty period, you could fill the drive’s 1TB capacity 2,000 times and that warranty would still stand, as would performance. WD’s Black SN750, on the other hand, only has an endurance rating of 600TBW – less than a third of what the new Red offers.
WD’s Red SN700 SSD has more endurance than the company’s other mainstream M.2 SSDs
There’s an in-house WD controller under the hood as well as 3D TLC NAND. Right now on WD’s own store, the 1TB model of the Red SN700 retails for $144.99 while the flagship SN850 model is currently discounted to $180. The latter offers much higher performance thanks to PCIe 4.0 support, but again, it too only offers a 600TBW endurance rating. There are some other alternatives with high endurance ratings such as the Sabrent Rocket, which retails for around $130, but even it lags well behind the Red SN700, with 1,600TBW.
The endurance is impressive lower down and further up the product stack too, with 500TBW for the 250GB model, 1,000TBW for the 500GB model, 2,500TBW for the 2TB model and a massive 5,100TBW for the 4TB model. Whether you’re building a PC or workstation that will see the SSD used heavily or a high-end NAS with M.2 SSD support, it’s clear that WD has an impressive endurance rating for the cash.
WD’s Red SN700 M.2 SSD
WD Red SN700 CrystalDiskMark results
Above we can see some fairly typical performance numbers for a PCIe 3.0 SSD for the Red SN700, with a read speed of 3,400MB/sec and write speed of 3,111MB/sec according to CrystalDiskMark’s sequential test. Below we can see how that compares to WD’s own Black SN850, which has PCIe 4.0 support and reaches nearly 7,000MB/sec read and over 5,000MM/sec write with noticeably higher random 4K results too.
WD Black SN850 results
Temperatures were much higher on the SN850, peaking at nearly 90°C. The SN700 was a lot cooler at a peak of 83°C, but I wouldn’t recommend installing it in a laptop or a motherboard without a heatsink, especially if you intend to use it heavily.
The WD Red SN700 doesn’t break any speed records – after all, it’s still a PCIe 3.0 device and not a more modern, faster PCIe 4.0 SSD. However, speed isn’t really it’s main selling point. The endurance ratings sit miles above the competition and while SSDs such as the Crucial P5 or Sabrent Rocket offer similar speeds and cost less, they have significantly lower endurance ratings.
The extra speeds faster SSDs such as the WD Black SN850 offer will usually only be noticeable in large sequential workloads and again, it too lacks the SN700’s stellar endurance rating. If you know you’ll be using your SSD heavily and want to have a worry-free five years writing thousands of terabytes to it, the WD Red SN700 is an excellent choice. However, you’d need to make sure it’s worth it as you can get similarly-performing SSDs for less.

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