Why the 1TB WD Black SN770 is the very best "Bang for your Buck" today


Jul 30, 2012
Gigabyte B460M Aorus Pro
RX 570
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
WD Black SN770


If you want a hackintosh boot drive with plenty of space, no TRIM compatibility issues and a good price, you've come to the right Deal of the Day. Nothing else can compete with this in regard to price/performance. Best for use as your hackintosh boot drive. I'm pretty sure everyone wants to avoid the bouncing dock icons and a spinning macOS beach ball :beachball: Using a new M.2 NVMe drive is the best way to avoid this.

3-14-23 The price of the 1TB version has come down to $59.99 as of today. Must select Amazon as the seller. The 500GB edition sells for $35.40.

If the above price doesn't show up after clicking the link. Go to the Other Sellers on Amazon section which is at the lower right side of the page. Find Sold by: for the $59.99 price. Add to Cart.

The 1TB drive option costs less per GB than a 2TB SN770 drive. That means you can buy one SN770 NVMe drive for Windows and one for macOS if you are a dual booter. It's best to keep each OS on it's own drive. If Windows doesn't need the extra space, get just a 500GB NVMe to save even more money.

Here's some general info on this PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive from WD. Note the Random Read and Write IOPS.

These will work in all motherboards with an M.2 PCIe slot. Doesn't matter if it's PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 it's compatible.
Use it in a desktop or your laptop. You may want to attach a heatsink or a thermal pad for use in a laptop.

All SN770 drives are backed by a five-year warranty. WD now owns SanDisk and uses their NAND Flash. It's because of the proprietary WD controller that these are ideal for use as a macOS boot drive. Samsung's own Phoenix and other controllers are what makes them problematic with macOS.

The 2,000 GB drive has endurance of 1,200 TBW. You'll have long since upgraded before writing 1,200 TB to it. The one TB drive has a 600 TBW rating which should also offer plenty of SSD life for most users.

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The PC Mark 10 chart ranks all the best drives in terms of real world performance. Crystal Disk Mark shows you how fast Sequential reads/writes are. That's not meaningful in terms of overall everyday use scenarios. CDM shows how fast you can read and copy large files. Not what you'll be doing most of the time on your hackintosh. You'll be running and working in specific applications. If you also game, will 7,000+ MB/s sequential read and write speeds of a 990 Pro make any real difference in games ?

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If you are into gaming in Windows or macOS you'll notice that the SN770 benchmarks even better than the new Samsung 990 Pro. This is hard to believe when you consider that the 990 Pro 1TB costs 105 dollars more as of this posting. No reason to pay that much extra just for 80 points more in the PC Mark 10 Full Benchmark. You need a fast and reliable NVMe SSD for your macOS boot drive. You've likely heard about the problems with TRIM and the Samsung NVMe drives that became common with the public release of macOS Monterey. The 990 Pro doesn't have a firmware fix for these. Best to save your money and avoid using it with macOS.

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Easy to see that the SN770 1TB is the better choice. No slow boot-time (TRIM) issues to deal with. Has a good warranty from a reputable company and top tier performance in the areas that matter most for a boot drive. It even out-performs the 980 Pro model from Samsung in overall performance ! The non-Pro 980 comes in at only 468 in PC Mark 10. You could opt for the WD Blue SN570 and get nearly as good performance for less money. Should you pay more and get the WD SN850X ? I'd say no unless you have a Z690 motherboard and work the drive excessively hard. That's where having a DRAM cache is important. Saves a lot of wear and tear on the NVMe NAND flash.

What is a DRAM Cache on an SSD ?
SSDs, as you may already know, don’t have any moving parts. They store data into something called the NAND flash. SSDs contain one or more NAND flash chips into which data is written and rewritten as per CPU’s instruction. SSDs also use something called Data map tables to track where the data is saved in NAND to read, move, or rewrite them as needed.

DRAM-less SSDs store these tables in the NAND itself. However, if an SSD has DRAM in it, it stores these tables in DRAM leading to better data management, faster speeds, and longevity. The existence of DRAM is not exclusive to any SSD form factor. All form factors like 2.5 inch, M.2, and even NVME SSDs have models that may or may not have DRAM in them.


Make sure the seller is and not a third party.


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When you consider that Apple charges you $200 for an NVMe SSD upgrade to 1TB it really shows you how great a deal this is. You could install two SN770 1TB NVMe drives into your hack for $140. When you upgrade to 2TB in a Mac Studio, add $600 to the $2000 base price.

You want the most internal storage you can get for the fastest read/write speeds.

Mac Studio SSD upgrade options from the base 512GB

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With a $440 savings you could spend that on an AMD graphics card for your build. Add just $60 to the $440 saved on SSDs and you've got a really nice 16GB XFX RX 6800 card. Perfect for a 4K video editing hackintosh on a budget. AFAIK there are no VBios compatibility problems with this XFX card. The older low end XFX RX560 is the card most commonly reported to have this problem.

Apple charges an Eye Watering $1200 for the 4TB NVMe SSD upgrade. You could buy two 2TB SN850X drives for $460.




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Unfortunatly, as of this time/date, the price is now $89 at Amazon. Boooo!
Unfortunatly, as of this time/date, the price is now $89 at Amazon. Boooo!
Still worth it at that price. Best price I can find on the SN850X by WD is $125 on Newegg. This SN770 performs really close to that on many benchmarks. It outperforms the Samsung 980 Pro and is selling better than that too.

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The Samsung 980 is the best deal if you'll be using it for Windows 10/11 only or just for storage on a hack. That 80 dollar price won't last forever either. Remember it is PCIe Gen 3.0 so not the best speeds on Z590 or Z690 systems. The Magician software (Windows only) is very good for optimizing the drive.

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Another strategy would be to use the 500GB SN770 (50 USD) as the macOS boot drive and then use another lower cost drive like the 1TB SN570 drive from WD for storage. That sells for 70 USD.

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Not surprisingly, Amazon has completely sold out of their stock of SN770 SSDs. There is one or more returned drives you can still get at the 79 dollar price. Watch for the new unused ones to come back in stock.

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The 500 GB version at 50 dollars is your next best choice if you don't need the larger 1TB boot drive.

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The very lowest cost per GB of a macOS compatible NVMe is the slower 2TB SN570 which is PCIe 3.0 instead of 4.0. If your motherboard is Z490 or older chipsets it's a perfectly good choice. You'll have more than enough room to leave 20% or more free space on the boot drive. The other advantage of this over PCIe 4.0 drives is that it runs much cooler, as in nearly 20C cooler. I know because I use one with Monterey.

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Here's a video showing how to use the SN770 in a Windows laptop. You can also use it as the primary macOS boot drive in your hackintosh laptop. Won't get too hot. Use a heatsink anyway.

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Unfortunately, as of this time/date, the price is now $89 at Amazon. Boooo!
It's your lucky day. Price is now down to $69.99 ! Need to pick Amazon as the seller to get this price.

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