back to article Western Digital deploys heatsink on remodelled M.2 to tempt gamers

Western Digital has remodelled its M.2 SN720 mobile and edge device gumstick SSDs into a faster SN750 gamers' drive with a heatsink option. The Black SN750 comes in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities mounted in a single-sided M.2 card with an NVMe interface. It uses 64-layer TLC (3bits/cell) NAND. The heatsink option is a …

  1. Baldrickk Silver badge

    I do remember hearing that some of the early M.2 implementations had thermal problems. I'm guessing that's less of an issue now, heatsink or not.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      AFAIK

      AFAIK a heatsink is actually a problem for most memory chips. As they work better at a medium to high temperature. Lifespan/speed is less at room temperature.

      However, I guess for the controller chip and occasional overheating (AFAIK a consumer cannot even push that kind of OPS through them, you'd need a server setup for that) is still an issue. But 99% of these heatsinks are going to be for show, not actual performance or longevity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AFAIK

        Do you have a reference for that? All devices I've worked with generally have their life halfed for each 10C rise in operating temperature.

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: AFAIK

          I think this link refutes the 'heat is good' for long term storage at least http://www.ni.com/white-paper/54864/en/

          1. Spazturtle Silver badge

            Re: AFAIK

            Heat is bad for storage, but heat is good for writing to the NAND, a hot NAND chip will suffer less degradation if it is hot when being written to.

            So what temperature is best for your drive depends heavily of usage, a write cache might last longer if the NAND is kept hot.

        2. Spazturtle Silver badge

          Re: AFAIK

          The NAND chips like to be hot when data is written to them and cool for storage. The controllers always like to be cool.

  2. Robert E A Harvey

    Window dressing

    Buy me! I am so fast I need a heatsink!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Window dressing

      Just a heatsink ... where's the RGB options that seem to be essential nowadays. I avoid RGB enhanced components as my PC is in a black case and I'm concerned if I have too many RGB components then there there will be a build up of photons inside that may cause the case to explode!

      1. Zebo-the-Fat

        Re: Window dressing

        Just use black photons and it will be fine

  3. BlartVersenwaldIII
    Linux

    Give that heatsink some RGB LEDs and maybe we'll finally see a speed improvement worthy of gaming!

    Snark aside of course, gaming is very rarely IO-limited and there's a sizeable market amongst the gaming crowd for functional/utilitarian designs with little in the way of bling. The heatsink is supposedly marginally useful, in that some NVMe devices throttle at high enough temperatures, but without TIM and the rest of it I think it's still of dubious utility. Thankfully it's available in a "naked" version for going in laptops or mobos where it won't fit (indeed, some mobos are coming with their own M2 heatsinks these days as well - but again that mostly seems to fall under the "heatsink ALL the things!" aesthetic).

    The SN720 was seemingly a decent enough drive although apparently WD don't test it under linux and a couple of workarounds needed to be made in order to get it to boot IIRC;

    https://community.wd.com/t/linux-support-for-wd-black-nvme-2018/225446

    As someone who's using linux more and more I'm avoiding vendors without explicit Tux-friendliness; lots of SSD vendors seemingly only provide firmware updates via windows utils.

    1. K Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "Give that heatsink some RGB LEDs"

      Your right, I think they missed a trick here for failing to include RGB. I've just started at investigating this myself.. Its a gimic, but I was looking to bling up my office, so it was either buy a Disco Ball, or invest in RGB lighting.

      1. paulf Silver badge
        Mushroom

        I can't believe you didn't go for the Disco Glitter Ball!

        Icon: Disco Inferno ->

    2. Ian Emery Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      I was thinking the same.

      But then it MUST have bluetooth.

      Because Penny, EVERYTHING is better with bluetooth.

  4. Cronus

    I'd have thought this would be of more interest to people working with video editing where disk operations are quite intensive over long periods of time. I would hope that video games are better optimised than to need to constantly access the disk.

    1. Anne-Lise Pasch

      I wish. Assassin Creed Osyssey thrashes my drive like crazy.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      A SSD makes GTA V playable on machines produced far before it was released. I know, I have one. Before SSD it just paused every few seconds as it read textures in/out of RAM. After, it's smooth as anything. And that was just a SATA-level upgrade, not close to the speeds of NVMe.

      Video-editing? Not a chance. 2Tb of raw video is really nothing and you'll spend half your life copying the data to the SSD from some other storage, spend ten minutes editing, and then spend the rest of the time copying it back, even with the fanciest of caching technologies.

      And lower-end video is really not benefitting from SSD at all. You can stream HD/4K over the Internet. What do you think having it on a hard drive is going to do?

      1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

        A SSD makes GTA V playable on machines produced far before it was released.

        Do you have any idea on how much back in time this means?

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          My laptop is a 2013 model - it was high-end, but not "full-on gaming".

          GT540M.

          1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

            GT540M

            Aka: Still, a card that eats my laptop's Intel HD 4400 for breakfast.

            1. Lee D Silver badge

              Always been the way: You can't game with Intel.

              Unless (like the above laptop) it has nVidia Optimus sitting behind it.

              They may change that in future years, but they've been happy with their products being regarded like that for decades.

              When you see what something like GTA V is doing, it's a miracle it runs on anything that's not top-end at all.

              Read this three-part series:

              http://www.adriancourreges.com/blog/2015/11/02/gta-v-graphics-study/

  5. itzman
    Thumb Up

    And always remember to get gold plated oxygen free HDMI leads...

    to reduce audio distortion on your digital signals and apply green felt tip pens to your CDS to reduce distortion.

    These are available from all good hifi retailers or from my website at only $400 a pair.

    1. vir
      Trollface

      Re: And always remember to get gold plated oxygen free HDMI leads...

      I have a custom linear power supply for my tv to prevent artifacting introduced by the beat frequency between the switching power supply and the screen refresh rate.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Overheating

    Yes had this with pendrives.

    They really hate heat, causes throttling and eventually data loss due to clock speed variations. Incidentally if someone can make use if it I have a failed 256GB drive here which seems to have given up but manufacturer refused to honor the warranty.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Overheating

      Incidentally if someone can make use if it [sic]

      Take it to somebody with good electrician training. They might be able to identify the failure and repair it. Possibly. (You can't break it more, but you might succeed).

      manufacturer refused to honor the warranty.

      Care to name and shame?

  7. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Reviews aren't that great for this

    It's a slight improvement over the previous generation, but multiple reviews so far have said Samsung are still a better option. WD aren't really a name in the SSD market yet and need to do better.

  8. The Dogs Meevonks

    Already got a heatsink

    I've just built a new gaming rig, and added a 250GB WD Black NVME for the OS and essential programs... The motherboard already had a nice little heatsink with thermal pad to keep it cool... and most boards these days do... So I don't really see why it's needed. Gamers buy gaming boards and I've not seen one that didn't have a heatsink/spreader with it.

  9. RAMChYLD

    This is a problem...

    Most motherboards nowadays come with their own heatsink for m.2 sticks. So why would I want heatsinks pre-applied on them?

  10. Scaffa

    I swear some of these gaming-PC mentalists would water cool their kettle if they could,

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