WD’s Blue 3D NAND drive comes in a compact blue flashed box with a large image of the drive on the front along with its sequential read/write speeds and its capacity. There is also a logo in the bottom right hand corner noting that the drive has a 3-year warranty. The rear of the box has a window in it so you can see the drive. There’s also a small diagram showing an idea of a dual storage solution for a PC.
The 500GB WD Blue 3D NAND’s PCB is tiny. The top side of the PCB holds two 128GB packages of BiCS3 3D TLC NAND, a Micron cache chip and under a thermal pad the Marvell 88SS1074 controller. The reverse side of the PCB is home to two more packages of NAND.
The Marvell 88SS1074 controller is a 28nm, 4 channel controller which uses the company’s third generation error-correcting, low-density parity check (LDPC) technology. It supports 15/16nm MLC/TLC as well as 3D NAND.
WD’s SSD management utility goes under the name of WD SSD Dashboard. With it, you can see how much of the drive’s capacity is left and how the storage is being used, monitor the remaining life of the drive and the temperature it’s running at.
The performance section has a useful real-time chart that monitors the drives performance in 5-minute time slots in either MB/s or IOPS.
The tools page is where you can check for firmware updates and install them either via a bootable USB drive, CD/DVD or by using a file downloaded to the PC. The help page provides links to WD’s support page for the drive and to the WD user forums or download the product manual.
Also available via a download from WD’s site is Acronis True Image WD Edition software for cloning and backing up drives.