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WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB SSD Review

The original WD Blue SSD drive it would be fair to say, didn’t cause much of a stir apart from the acknowledgement that WD had entered the highly competitive SSD market, but that changes with the new WD Blue SSD on the block. The WD Blue 3D NAND will really stir things up as it puts WD on the top table of SATA drive manufacturers – thanks to its use of leading edge 64-layer BiCS (Bit-Cost Scaling) 3D TLC NAND.


Quoted Sequential performance figures for the 500GB drive are 560MB/s for reads and 530MB/s for writes. When tested with the ATTO benchmark the drive exceeded WD’s started figures with reads of 564MB/s and writes of 534MB/s. Random 4K performance is quoted as up to 95,000 IOPS for reads and 84,000 IOPS for writes. While we could match the read figures using the IOMeter benchmark producing a score of 97,078 IOPS, we couldn’t match the write figure, the tested drive producing a write score of 56,711 IOPS.

The drive dealt with PCMark 8 Consistency tests very well including the Adobe Photoshop Heavy traces which usually stresses out drives but the WD Blue 3D NAND took it in its stride.

The Blue 3D NAND has improved and enhanced power efficiency compared to the previous generation Blue SSD. The quoted average active power rating of the original Blue 500GB was 70mW while the new drive’s average active power is rated some 18mW lower at 52mW. When it comes to active read/writes, the 3D NAND of the new drive offers much better power efficiency than the 2D NAND used in the previous generation of drives. The quoted maximum rating for reads of the new drive is 2,050mW as compared to the 2,850mW of the old drive while write ratings have dropped from 4,000mW to 3,350mW.

SSD Dashboard is WD’s SSD management software which is available via download from the WD website. It has some useful features such as drive monitoring (how much capacity is being used and how, drive temperature and remaining drive life), a check for firmware updates and install them. There’s a useful built-in performance monitor that shows, in real time, how the drive is performing in 5-minute time slots in either MB/s or IOPS.

We found the WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB drive available to pre-order at Overclockers UK for £167.99 HERE

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Pros

  • 64-layer BiCS 3D NAND
  • Overall performance

Cons

  • 3-year warranty is a little mean

Kitguru says: After the ho hum reaction to the original WD Blue and Green SSDs and the disappointment of the WD Black PCIe drives performance, WD now has a drive that could cause some major waves in the market, and with good reason.

Rating: 8.5.

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