Review of WD Blue PC SSD

Introduction


In order to gain competitive advantage in the storage market, Western Digital officially acquired SanDisk in May 2016. This allowed Western Digital to foray into the flash storage market and remain relevant with the increasing popularity of flash storage mediums. While many of SanDisk's products remained to be branded under the same name, Western Digital has recently launched their first WD Blue and WD Green  Personal Computer SSDs. It seems like a move to consolidate all large secondary storage devices under the WD branding.

The WD Blue and WD Green are available in both SATA and M2 interfaces. However, these devices remains to be utilizing the AHCI protocol that is still common and compatible with most personal computer setups. Their storage capacities ranges from 128GB to 1TB. While the WD Green caters to a more budget friendly audience, the WD Blue aims to provide the best bang for the buck with its improved performance. Today, we will take a look at the 1TB WD Blue SATA SSD to find out more about the capabilities of this drive.

Drive Specifications

Capacity
250GB
500GB
1000GB
Form Factor
2.5" 7mm SATA or M.2 2280 SATA
Controller
Marvell 88SS1074
NAND
SanDisk 15nm TLC
Sequential Read
540 MB/s
545 MB/s
545 MB/s
Sequential Write
500 MB/s
525 MB/s
525 MB/s
4KB Random Read
97k IOPS
100k IOPS
100k IOPS
4KB Random Write
79k IOPS
80k IOPS
80k IOPS
Average Power
70 mW
Max Power
4.4 W
Encryption
No
Endurance (TBW)
100 TB
200 TB
400 TB
Warranty
Three years

The Marvell 88SS1074 SSD controller is known to be used in the more mainstream and budget friendly SSD setups available in the market such as the Crucial MX300 and Kingston SSDNow UV400. Of course, it is expected that Western Digital went with the SanDisk 15nm TLC NAND flash that was proven to be working well for mainstream SSDs, providing good reliability and performance.

Test Setup

Here are the specifications of the system that is used to run the storage benchmarks.
  • Intel Core i7 3820 (Stock Speeds)
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • Intel X79 Chipset Motherboard
  • Cougar STX 650W PSU
  • Windows 10 64Bit

Performance Benchmarks




Did the drive perform to the speeds as claimed by the specifications list? Yes indeed. Based on the benchmarks on ATTO, the sequential read and write of the drive went up to 555MB/s and 527MB/s respectively. Even though these numbers may seem amazing, the performance on smaller block sizes matter as well, as the Operating System does much of such types of transfers for paging in of data blocks to the main memory. With blocks of 4K, the read and write of the SSD drops significantly, but the performance still remains average as compared to other SSDs available in the market.

In terms of performance, this drive is capable to bring out the best of personal computers, especially when transferring files of big data size. Of course, there will be significant increase in the responsiveness of the computer with the SSD upgrade as the access time of the data has largely decreased as compared to a conventional mechanical hard drive. However, if you are looking for the best of the best performing SSD available in the market, this drive is definitely not it. 

Conclusion

The WD Blue PC SSD is an affordable SSD that is worth considering when upgrading your laptop or desktop. As Western Digital has already built a well established distribution network in Singapore, we thought that the WD Blue PC SSD could be more widely available than any other competing brands in the market. 

The WD Blue PC Blue SSD (SATA) is available in Singapore at the following capacities and prices.

  • 250GB $139
  • 500GB $259
  • 1TB $499
Judging that the WD Blue offers the standard performance that you can expect from a SATA AHCI SSD drive, one should consider more on the reliability, price and warranty aspects. The WD Blue PC SSD is competitively priced and with a 3 years warranty that Western Digital is providing, this SSD should be part of your consideration list for a brand new SSD.

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