Western Digital has announced a new gaming-focused Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) 2280 M.2 SSD, on which is has partnered with EK Water Blocks (EKWB) to provide a custom-designed integrated heatsink for peak performance.
Designed, Western Digital claims, with the needs of the modern PC gamer in mind, the new Western Digital Black SN750 NVMe family marks the company's second-generation design and includes heavy vertical integration: Everything from the 3D NAND flash memory itself to the controller are in-house WD creations, though it has opted to partner with popular cooling specialist EK Water Blocks (EKWB) to design an integrated heatsink which, it claims, helps the drives maintain their peak performance for longer than the heatsink-free competition.
'VR, immersive features and larger game file sizes mean longer load times for levels, maps and other in-game actions. All of these require faster storage and higher capacity,' claims Eyal Bek, vice president of marketing for data center and client computing at Western Digital. 'More intense, longer game play also requires well-managed thermal performance, particularly for high-performance NVMe SSDs. The new WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD delivers unrivaled performance with an architecture designed for gaming, built-in passive cooling and gaming-mode features with heatsink options to be incorporated. We have pushed the boundaries of storage to give hardcore gamers the competitive edge they desire.'
That boundary-pushing has led to drives which offer capacities ranging from 250GB to 2TB and with performance hitting a peak of 3,470MB/s sequential read and 3,000MB/s sequential write alongside 515,000 random read input/output operations per second (IOPS) and 560,000 random write IOPS. The company is also pushing the drives' longevity: The flagship 1TB version offers 600 terabytes written (TBW) endurance, while the doubled-up 2TB model naturally doubles this to 1,200TBW.
The hardware itself isn't the only way WD is aiming to woo gamers, though: The company has also confirmed that its SSD Dashboard software, exclusive to its Black family of products, will include a Gaming Mode feature at the drives' launch. When enabled, Gaming Mode disables built-in power saving functionality to boost performance - though WD hasn't indicated what effect this will have on operating temperatures or, indeed, drive longevity.
The drives are due to launch some time in the spring, WD has confirmed, with pricing ranging from $79.99 for the 250GB model to $499.99 for the 2TB model (likely translating to £79.99 and £499.99 in the UK, including VAT).