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Western Digital Black PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe 512GB SSD Review

Rating: 7.5.

The first results of the WD acquisition of SanDisk, the WD Blue and Green SSD range didn't exactly set the world on fire but WD's latest SSD drive is a whole new ball game. The WD Black PCIe drive is as it says on the tin a PCIe drive – and a PCIe Gen3 x4 one at that.

Built on a single sided 2280 format, the latest addition the WD's famous Black range of performance drives uses a PCIe Gen3 x4 interface and NVMe architecture with a combination of a Marvell controller and SanDisk 15mn TLC Planer NAND.  The new drive is only available in two capacities at present; 256GB and 512GB.

WD quote performance figures for the drives as up to 2,050MB/s for reads and up to 800MB/s writes for the 512GB drive while the 256GB drive has the same read figure with the writes dropping further back to 700MB/s. Random 4K performance is quoted as 170,000 IOPS and 134,000 IOPS for read and writes respectively. The 256GB drive has the same IOP figure for reads with the writes dropping to 130,000 IOPS.

Endurance for the 512GB version is quoted at 160TBW while the 256GB is 80TBW. WD back the drives with a 5-year warranty.

Physical Specifications:
Usable Capacities: 256GB, 512GB
NAND Components: SanDisk 15nm TLC NAND
Interface: PCIe Gen3.0 x4 (NVMe)
Form Factor: M.2 2280
NAND Controller: Marvell 88S1093
Dimensions: 22 x 80 x 2.2mm
Drive Weight: 7.2g

Firmware Version: B35200WD

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