Fastest PCIe SSD: Western Digital SN720 – Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line:

The Western Digital NVMe/PCIe client architecture that is built into this SN720 unit enables manufacturers of IoT devices, computing devices, embedded PCs and servers to capture and transform massive quantities of data in real-time. The unit is well suited to applications that require both high performance and low power.

The SN720 lacks the total storage capacity of solutions such as the Micron 5200, the Toshiba XD5 or the Samsung 883. But for those looking for lightning fast speed fore relatively small workloads, this unit very much fits the bill.

Product Description:

The Western Digital SN720 is a PCIe SSD that is available in 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB capacities on a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor. It delivers high performance with sequential read/write speeds of up to 3,400MB/s and 2,800MB/s. Its new NVMe SSD firmware and controller architecture is purpose-built to maximize performance and scalability benefits of 3D NAND for low latency and power efficiency.

The WD SN720 is a compact storage device with high capacity. Supporting PCIe Gen3 x4, it is designed for high intensity applications such as Ultra HD video, 4K video, VR content creation, post production processing, high-bandwidth corporate computing, software development and compilation. 64-layer 3D NAND provides longevity. Its tiered-caching NVMe architecture delivers extreme performance and endurance of up to 500 TBW.

best ssd, western digital


  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Capacity: 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB
  • Random Read: 500k
  • Random Write: 400k
  • Throughput in GB/s: 3.4 GB/s
  • Endurance: 500 TB
  • Lifespan: MTTF of 1.75 million hours  
  • Data Protection: No
  • Data Management: Tiered Caching
  • NVMe: This NVMe v1.3 SSD supports PCIe Gen3 x4

Key Markets and Use Cases:

The very fast performance and low power consumption of the WD SN720 makes it suitable for the following uses:

  • Edge equipment and IoT gateways
  • Network equipment
  • Industrial machinery, medical equipment, or embedded systems that need the high capacities to capture data and the high IOPS for analytics
  • Media content delivery and streaming
  • Video surveillance
  • Interactive kiosks, ATMs and Point-of-Sales (POS)
  • High-volume transaction processing.


Five years




Capacity 256 GB to 2 TB
Random Reads 500k
Random Writes 400k
Throughput 3.4 GB/s
Lifespan 500 TB, 1.75 million hrs
Price $400
Category Fastest PCIe
Key differentiator High Endurance
Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb is a contributing writer for Datamation, Enterprise Storage Forum, eSecurity Planet, Channel Insider, and eWeek. He has been reporting on all areas of IT for more than 25 years. He has a degree from the University of Strathclyde UK (USUK), and lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

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