WD Blue SN500 250GB M.2. NVMe SSD (2019)
A week or two ago Western Digital announced their new WD Blue SN500 series NVMe SSDs. A value NVMe proposition that is capable of rattling some cages. We had the opportunity to test the 250GB model thoroughly. This NVMe once again SSD has SanDisk written all over it, literally. The Western Digital WD Blue SN500 is an M.2 2280 SSD with a storage capacity of 250 GB and is also available in a 500 GB version. The drive uses the PCIe Gen3 8 Gb/s, up to 2 lanes. According to Western Digital, the SSD achieves read speeds of up to 1700 MB/s and write speeds of up to 1450 MB/s. WD having acquired Sandisk, that NAND would be produced by them.
The new SN500 SSD allows you to purchase NVMe storage in the 20 cents per GB region. Currently, that’s just over 50 EUR for the 250GB model, and the 500 GB model is actually selling at just over 80 EUR (with similar prices for USD). The performance will differ with different volume sizes, but smaller versions use less NAND channels and thus have slower writing. That said, whatever size you choose, the perf will be great and delivers sequential read and write speeds up to 1,700 MB/s and 1,450 MB/s respectively (for 500 GB model) and 1,300 MB/s writes for the 250GB model with efficient power consumption as low as 2.7W. The random performance rated up-to 200~300 random read IOPS writes for 4K IOPS. Being M.2., you do need a modern motherboard with capable NVMe supported M.2 (PCI-Express Gen 3.0 x2 connected) interface, please do check out your motherboard manufacturer for that. But ever the past year or two all Intel and AMD chipset released in the mainstream to high-end class support it very well. M2 is interesting stuff, these smaller form factors storage units are evolving from being “just as fast” as a regular SSD towards double, tripling, heck… even quadrupling that performance. It comes in a different package, M.2. The M.2 interface is so much more capable as it can deal with way more bandwidth using PCI-Express lanes. As such, M.2 solutions are intended for enthusiast class motherboards. The series M.2 SSDs are a breathtaking series of storage technology as they offer enthusiast class performance yet remain reasonable in pricing depending on NAND type.
The SSD is WDs latest iteration of their consumer-ready Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) M.2 form factor SSD series. The SSDs have been fitted with Sandisk NAND (64-layer) and a SanDisk NVMe controller. This means WD can fabricate pretty much everything in-house. The claimed endurance, or the total amount of data that can be written to the SSD, is also half the size of the more expensive model (SN750): 300 TB for the 500 GB model and 150 TB for the 250 GB model. The SSD follows a smaller M.2 2280 (8cm) form factor so it will fit on most ATX motherboards capable of M.2 just fine. SSDs in the 250GB range is becoming less attractive – they contain fewer memory chips, the speed is often lower, and because the basic production costs are (almost) the same as those of higher-capacity units, they are relatively expensive. Next tot hat, most people deem ~500 GB NAND flash storage to be a good default value for a modern day 2019 PC.
Aside from the 2 PCIe lanes, the performance in most benchmarks will be excellent, especially comparing towards the regular SATA3 SSD this is a cheaper choice whilst offering faster performance. By the way, Western Digital offers an excellent 5-years warranty on this product. Have a peek, and then let’s head onwards into this review.
WD BLUE SN500 series M2 NVMe SSD with Sandisk controller and Sandisk 64-layer TLC Flash NAND