WD BLUE SN500 : Entry-level NVMe SSD

Western Digital’s longest mainstream consumer drive used to be the WD Blue drives which, after the acquisition of SanDisk got carried over their SSDs. Initially, WD Blue SSDs were SATA and TLC NAND. The WD Blue SN500 is the third generation of the WD Blue SSD that moved to a different market segment being introduced as an entry-level M.2 NVMe drive.

Most M.2 consumer-grade ssds use the M.2 2280 (80mm) form factor and the WD Blue follows that. The back side is completely bare while the top features the proprietary controller and a single 3D TLC NAND and other components. The WD Blue SN500 is bridged via only two PCI Express lanes, so peak sequential transfers are limited versus higher-end drives with PCIe x4 interfaces.

 

WD Blue SN500 SSD – CrystalDiskMark X64 Tests

CrystalDiskMark is a synthetic benchmark that represents both sequential and random small to mid-size file transfers unsing uncompressed data. It gives a quick overview of the best and worst case scenario regarding SSD performance.

 

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The ATTO Disk Benchmark measures storage system performance with a variety of transfer sizes and test lengths. Different options are available to show your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously.

Conclusion

To say that the WD Blue SN500 is an entry-level NVMe drive is quite an understatement. The 500GB model we acquired come close to offering almost decent performance when using a few modern high-capacity NAND flash dies. Regularly, we see low-end NVMe drives peak performance that’s higher compared to SATA drives. The WD Blue SN500’s SLC cache is small but the performance it gives is more than what we expected. Despite not being a high-end NVMe drive, it is not at all hard to find ones like these where the typical high-end drive with a PCIe x4 connection is faster than that of the SN500.

 

The thermal performance of the WD Blue is did really well. No thermal throttling was observed regardless of the load that was thrown at the drive. Overall, SRP priced at ₱4,570, the WD Blue is decent for for an entry-level NVMe market, but doesn’t doesn’t necessarily do well with other options at the same price point. Another thing to note is that this is a DRAM-less drive, therefore doesn’t really ensure the best performance.

If prices were to go as low as SATA prices, Western Digital can definitely have a very successful product on their hands.

 

 

 

Post Author: Christian

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