Thursday, March 14th 2019

Western Digital's Award-Winning WD Blue SSD Goes NVMe

Western Digital Corp., a global data infrastructure leader, is accelerating the NVMe transition of value-PC storage by adding an NVMe model to its award-winning WD Blue solid state drive (SSD) portfolio, the WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD. The new SSD delivers three times the performance of its SATA counterpart while maintaining the reliability the WD Blue product line is known for. For content creators and PC enthusiasts, the WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD is optimized for multitasking and resource-heavy applications, providing near-instant access to files and programs.

Leveraging the scalable in-house SSD architecture of the highly acclaimed WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD, the new WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD is also built on Western Digital's own 3D NAND technology, firmware and controller, and delivers sequential read and write speeds up to 1,700 MB/s and 1,450 MB/s respectively (for 500 GB model) with efficient power consumption as low as 2.7W. Demands on storage are continuing to grow and client workloads are evolving, the WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD features high sustained write performance over SATA as well as other emerging technologies on the market today to give that performance edge.
"The PC industry continues its transition from SATA to the NVMe protocol, along with the expectation from consumers that computers continue to become faster and more responsive," said Don Jeanette, TrendFocus. "Within the mainstream segment, content creators are consistently doing more, such as editing 4K or 8K video files, creating and streaming content, and managing massive amounts of data internally. The new WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD will enable larger file loads that require faster storage."

"Content transitioning from 4K and 8K means it's a perfect time for video and photo editors, content creators, heavy data users, and PC enthusiasts to transition from SATA to NVMe," said Eyal Bek, vice president marketing, data center and client computing, Western Digital. "The WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD will enable customers to build high-performance laptops and PCs with fast speeds and enough capacity in a reliable, rugged and slim form factor."

Pricing and Availability
Perfect in slim form factor notebooks or desktop PCs, the WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD will be available in 250GB and 500GB capacities in a single-sided M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2 form factor. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) in the U.S. is $54.99 USD for 250GB (model number: WDS250G1B0C) and $77.99 USD for 500GB (model number: WDS500G1B0C).
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18 Comments on Western Digital's Award-Winning WD Blue SSD Goes NVMe

#1
TheLostSwede
If only motherboards had six NVMe ports...
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#2
Vlada011
I ordered Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB, in Saturday or Monday arrive.
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#3
willace
Only up to 500G?

Please give me 1T, 2T, etc.....
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#4
ObiFrost
Not bad, this should crush Intel 660p in terms of performance with slight higher pricing. With such speeds I assume it's TLC NAND and not QLC? Because otherwise that's pity tbh.
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#5
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
ObiFrost, post: 4012066, member: 186018"
Not bad, this should crush Intel 660p in terms of performance with slight higher pricing. With such speeds I assume it's TLC NAND and not QLC? Because otherwise that's pity tbh.
It also looks to me like this is a single NAND chip DRAMless drive, which means actual performance in most real world use cases for most people won't really be any better than a SATA SSD.
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#6
ObiFrost
newtekie1, post: 4012156, member: 20670"
It also looks to me like this is a single NAND chip DRAMless drive, which means actual performance in most real world use cases for most people won't really be any better than a SATA SSD.
Completely true, NVMes are in general over exaggerated for daily tasks and gaming usage (but majority still acquire, because it's 'hot on trending') , though the NAND quite matters (at least for me) when it comes to heavy workstation usage, for instance VFX or motion capture (those two are my job roles), deep AI leaning etc.
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#7
kapone32
77.99 US for the 500GB version is not good as I can get an Adata SX8200 for 99.99 Canadian. Where it shows though is the speed is half that of the Adata drive for both read and write.

ObiFrost, post: 4012428, member: 186018"
Completely true, NVMes are in general over exaggerated for daily tasks and gaming usage (but majority still acquire, because it's 'hot on trending') , though the NAND quite matters (at least for me) when it comes to heavy workstation usage, for instance VFX or motion capture (those two are my job roles), deep AI leaning etc.
I disagree with the statement that NVME does not help with Gaming. Though you may not see an improvement in FPS. You will see faster load times as some NVME drives are faster than RAM nowadays. A RTS game will see faster turn completion times and using a fast NVME for your paging file especially at 4K will also show better response times.
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#8
newtekie1
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kapone32, post: 4012534, member: 181865"
I disagree with the statement that NVME does not help with Gaming. Though you may not see an improvement in FPS. You will see faster load times as some NVME drives are faster than RAM nowadays. A RTS game will see faster turn completion times and using a fast NVME for your paging file especially at 4K will also show better response times.
The reality is NVMe, especially a DRAMless model like this, is not really noticeably faster than a SATA SSD for most users including loading games. The sequential read/write speeds are faster, but those speeds don't help one bit for normal use, such as loading games.

Also, the statement that some NVMe drive are faster than RAM nowadays is completely false. A single channel DDR1 stick is capable of 3.2GB/s, the best consumer SSDs are just barely doing that in sequential reads, and don't match that in writes. NVMe drives don't come anywhere close to RAM we use nowadays.
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#9
kapone32
I agree that this particular drive is not good for gamers but here is a bennchmark i ran just now i have to get a 4th drive it aseems that 3 are underwhelming in perforance vs 2
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#10
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
kapone32, post: 4012673, member: 181865"
I agree that this particular drive is not good for gamers but here is a bennchmark i ran just now i have to get a 4th drive it aseems that 3 are underwhelming in perforance vs 2
You basically just proved my point for me. Yes, you've got very fast sequential speeds, but those speeds really mean nothing when it comes to most real world uses, including game loading. The random tests matter more for the real world usage, this is why newer versions of CDM have dropped the sequential tests for more random tests. The random tests give a better idea of real world performance. And your random scores aren't really better than a good SATA SSD, even in the RAID...
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#11
kapone32
newtekie1, post: 4012854, member: 20670"
You basically just proved my point for me. Yes, you've got very fast sequential speeds, but those speeds really mean nothing when it comes to most real world uses, including game loading. The random tests matter more for the real world usage, this is why newer versions of CDM have dropped the sequential tests for more random tests. The random tests give a better idea of real world performance. And your random scores aren't really better than a good SATA SSD, even in the RAID...
Here are 2 SSDs in RAID 0
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#12
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
TheLostSwede, post: 4011863, member: 3382"
If only motherboards had six NVMe ports...
If only mainstream boards didn't skimp on PCIe lanes you could take advantage of some of those PCIe adapters that give you 4 NVMe slots from a 16x slot on the motherboard should you really need that many NVMe cards. Plus, who would want to waste all that space on the motherboard?
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#13
TheLostSwede
Aquinus, post: 4013805, member: 102461"
If only mainstream boards didn't skimp on PCIe lanes you could take advantage of some of those PCIe adapters that give you 4 NVMe slots from a 16x slot on the motherboard should you really need that many NVMe cards. Plus, who would want to waste all that space on the motherboard?
My point was that we're quickly moving towards NVMe over SATA, since the cost difference is close to zero, but most motherboards, at least consumer grade, as you point out, only has one or two NVMe slots due to lack of PCIe lanes. Let's see of the next generation of CPUs and chipsets helps resolve the issue, but from what I know, it's not quite there yet, although things will improve a bit.
But you're also right, the space on the PCB isn't enough, the ATX form factor is a crippling issue as well. And PCIe bifurcation is only available on HEDT or workstation boards afaik, so most of us will not be able to take advantage of that either.
It's a strange world when we're finally at a point where fast flash based storage is affordable and now the bottleneck is motherboards with limited connectivity...
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#14
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
TheLostSwede, post: 4013810, member: 3382"
My point was that we're quickly moving towards NVMe over SATA, since the cost difference is close to zero, but most motherboards, at least consumer grade, as you point out, only has one or two NVMe slots due to lack of PCIe lanes. Let's see of the next generation of CPUs and chipsets helps resolve the issue, but from what I know, it's not quite there yet, although things will improve a bit.
But you're also right, the space on the PCB isn't enough, the ATX form factor is a crippling issue as well. And PCIe bifurcation is only available on HEDT or workstation boards afaik, so most of us will not be able to take advantage of that either.
It's a strange world when we're finally at a point where fast flash based storage is affordable and now the bottleneck is motherboards with limited connectivity...
Depends on what your needs are. SSD storage is cheap enough where it suits most of your needs now, but rotational media drives still are cheaper for how much you're getting. For example, 8TB WD Reds are cheaper than 2TB SATA SSDs most of the time. The difference now is that I could be happy with 1TB of SSD storage. The reality is that fewer people need 8TB of slower storage than 1TB of faster storage. How many SSDs would you need if you wanted something similar to 4x8TBs in RAID-6? SATA might be aging, but it's definitely not dead.
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#15
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
kapone32, post: 4013743, member: 181865"
Here are 2 SSDs in RAID 0
Here are my scores for a single MX500 SATA drive. It actually gets faster random reads than your scores, meaning it should feel faster, and load games and things faster than your RAID 0 SSD. You're scores are in red. The only random score you win at is the Write, which won't help for loading games and such.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 x64 (C) 2007-2017 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 545.410 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 511.208 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 256.929 MB/s [ 62726.8 IOPS] 219.115 MB/s [ 53494.9 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 227.319 MB/s [ 55497.8 IOPS] 212.834 MB/s [ 51961.4 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 506.023 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 498.294 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 30.573 MB/s [ 7464.1 IOPS] 28.018 MB/s [ 6840.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 97.499 MB/s [ 23803.5 IOPS] 104.195 MB/s [ 25438.2 IOPS]

Test : 500 MiB [G: 0.0% (0.1/465.6 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Date : 2019/03/17 14:49:36
OS : Windows 10 Professional [10.0 Build 17763] (x64)
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#16
Prima.Vera
What awards did this blue won, just cuious? Marcrapting at it's finest....again.
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#17
Caring1
"while maintaining the reliability the WD Blue product line is known for"
Any reason they couldn't improve reliability?
I've had a couple of "blues" fail on me.
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#18
AmioriK
The only real world use for nvme sequential performance in my experience is allocating disk space when installing steam games. My sm961 will happily do 1.4GB/s solid, no slowdowns as it doesn't have a tiny cache like the 960 Evo does.

Also optimising download cache on Warframe completes like 10* faster on nvme.
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