Storage is a key component when shopping for parts to upgrade or build a new PC. The current surge of prices of graphics cards and RAMs have left buyers with the thought of looking for storage solutions that deliver impressive performance without breaking the bank. This is exactly the direction WD is looking at with their latest WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD. Allow us to take you through with our review of this storage device, and give you our recommendations.
Packaging and Build
As expected from a product geared towards budget-seekers, it is enclosed in a cardboard box, which straightforwardly contains the device and instruction documentation. Overall design stays uniform to WD’s design philosophy – minimalist label and color-coded to represent its category in its product line.
The SSD utilizes BiCS3 64L 3D TLC flash technology, similar to what Plextor M8VC we recently reviewed. Its controller is a Marvell 88SS1074 with 512MB of LPDDR3 cache memory and 15nm TLC NAND modules by SanDisk (which is actually now a Western Digital brand). The drive comes in various size configurations – 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB.
Test and Benchmark. In order for us to render a fair review of this product, we subjected the SSD several benchmark activities. As the SSD is positioned to budget-centric consumers, we thought of pitting this against Plextor M8VC 512GB, which is essentially comparable to WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD because of the published benchmark results and claims by both companies.
For your reference, below are the specifications of our testbed:
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximum IX Hero
- CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K
- Memory: Corsair – Vengeance LED 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory
- Case: NZXT – S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case
- CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Similar to our previous tests, we tested this SSD (and its competitor) isolated to the system/OS drive at 1024K sector size
I would also like to disclose that we formatted the SSD at NTFS file system at 1024K partition alignment. We used several industry-recommended benchmark applications to test its read and write speeds in a number of circumstances. As this may just seem like a bunch of numbers, let me give a brief explanation as to what each one does.
- HD Tune Pro – This tool also checks for the drive’s health, scans it for any errors, and measures its raw performance.
- ATTO Disk Benchmark – An industry-leading benchmark tool for SSD’s and HDD’s that measure performance using file transfers of different sizes.
- CrystalDiskMark -This tool is used to measure the SSD’s sequential read and write speeds. That means how fast files can be read from and written to the drive, usually measured in MB/s.
Feel free to use the slider to easily and visibly compare the performance of the SSD at 2 setups. For reference, here’s are the specifications of the 2 SSDs:
|WD 3D NAND SATA SSD||Product||Plextor M8VC|
|SATA 6Gb/s||Interface||SATA 6Gb/s|
|2.5 inch||Form Factor||2.5 inch|
HD Tune Pro
HD Tune Pro (Benchmark)
WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD delivered an impressive transfer rate read speed of 426.2MB/s at minimum, and 453MB/s at maximum. This is significantly better compared to Plextor M8VC, which only registered a 329MB/ss at minimum, and 444.6MB/s at maximum. However, the seeming advantage of former takes a bit of a toll on CPU usage. Notice that WD’s SSD utilizes more CPU during the benchmark process.
HD Tune Pro (Read Benchmark)
As for random access benchmark using HD Tune Pro, WD’s SSD delivered an acceptable performance of 27804 IOPS at 512bytes and 490 IOPS at 1MB. This is smaller by a small margin compared to Plextor M8VC. IOPS stands for Input/Output operations per second.
This is where things got us really amazed with the WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD. While the published performance of the hard drive on WD’s site is only 32MB for 4KiBQ1T1, the SSD delivered close to 37MB read speed on our benchmark. Write speed, on the other hand, is at par with the published benchmark result by WD.
Obviously, WD’s SSD is significantly faster than its competitor as seen in the comparison slider above.
With ATTO Benchmark, we noticed that WD’s SSD performs faster at 4MB files or bigger. Its performance is a little underwhelming, especially when compared to its competitor at smaller than 4MB. Both write and read rates started to peak at more than 4MB, which is more important in real life usage.
AS SSD Benchmark
Based on the result of our benchmark, WD Blue 3D NAND SSD reached 475MB/s and 493.31MB/s at Sequential Read and Write operations accordingly.
When you’re after an SSD that’s definitely a bang for your buck without sacrificing performance, WD Blue 3D NAND SSD is the storage to beat. At its category, it bested the performance of the published benchmark result, which SSD posted, and even the competitor SSD we recently reviewed.