Wednesday, February 17th 2021

Western Digital Unveils Entry-level WD Green SN350 M.2 NVMe SSDs

Western Digital announced the new WD Green SN350 series of entry-level M.2 NVMe SSDs. These drives are positioned a notch below the WD Blue SN550 (mid-range), while the WD Black SN850 remains the company's current flagship client SSD product. The WD Green SN350 comes in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB. The company didn't detail the underlying architecture, but the drive features PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and likely features a 4-channel controller architecture. It also appears to feature DRAM cache.

All three capacity variants of the WD Green SN350 offer sequential read speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s. The 240 GB variant offers sequential writes of up to 900 MB/s, the 480 GB variant up to 1,650 MB/s, and the 960 GB variant up to 1,900 MB/s. The company didn't detail the NAND flash type, or endurance numbers. It's backing these drives with 3-year warranties. The 240 GB variant is priced at USD $43.99, the 480 GB variant $54.99, and the 960 GB variant $99.99.
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25 Comments on Western Digital Unveils Entry-level WD Green SN350 M.2 NVMe SSDs

#1
tabascosauz
These are QLC drives......the 1TB has an endurance rating of 80TBW. What is this, 2013? And WD wants $99 for it? :laugh:

The SN550, SN750 and SN850 are all rated 600TBW for the 1TB. Hell, even other QLC drives are better - 665p is 300TBW and P1 is 200TBW. These SN350s had better sell for half the stated MSRP, because SATA M.2s are literally going to be the better pick. Literally. 870 QVO is a 360TBW drive.
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#2
deu
tabascosauzThese are QLC drives......the 1TB has an endurance rating of 80TBW. What is this, 2013? And WD wants $99 for it? :laugh:

The SN550, SN750 and SN850 are all rated 600TBW for the 1TB. Hell, even other QLC drives are better - 665p is 300TBW and P1 is 200TBW. These SN350s had better sell for half the stated MSRP, because SATA M.2s are literally going to be the better pick. Literally. 870 QVO is a 360TBW drive.
Remember; to alot of people the TBW on their PC will be in 1-2TBW in their lifespan: for the mainstream audience this spec does not matter unlesss it also bodes more DOAs or stability issues under specs. I have had my 850 EVO for many years and is up to 33TBW, and I game copy files alot (higher than average gamer, as I work from the PC as well) if its 80TBW or 600TBW does not matter to 99% of people. The price as you mention should be accordingly but the TBW even low is acceptable to the majority. If you are looking for a server disc look elsewhere! :D
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#3
BSim500
deuRemember; to alot of people the TBW on their PC will be in 1-2TBW in their lifespan: for the mainstream audience this spec does not matter unlesss it also bodes more DOAs or stability issues under specs. I have had my 850 EVO for many years and is up to 33TBW, and I game copy files alot (higher than average gamer, as I work from the PC as well) if its 80TBW or 600TBW does not matter to 99% of people. The price as you mention should be accordingly but the TBW even low is acceptable to the majority. If you are looking for a server disc look elsewhere! :D
There's more to MLC vs TLC vs QLC than just write endurance. Unpowered data retention is a bigger issue for backup drives than system drives, ie, if you've bought into the hype that SSD's function exactly like HDD's for backups and you intend to buy one, throw irreplaceable data onto it then put it in the back of a cupboard continually unpowered for extended periods (where it can't silently refresh / correct for voltage drift in the background the same way a powered up daily system drive can), don't be "that guy" who buys a QLC drive...
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#4
deu
BSim500There's more to MLC vs TLC vs QLC than just write endurance. Unpowered data retention is a bigger issue for backup drives than system drives, ie, if you've bought into the hype that SSD's function exactly like HDD's for backups and you intend to buy one, throw irreplaceable data onto it then put it in the back of a cupboard continually unpowered for extended periods (where it can't silently refresh / correct for voltage drift in the background the same way a powered up daily system drive can), don't be "that guy" who buys a QLC drive...
I get it, but he is only talking about the TBW as a problem and my point is that that will not be an issue to 99%+ of people! :D Remember: these green sh**-drives are for grandma's laptop upgrade and the superduper cheap nephew gamerrig composed older parts like 4670K and GTX770. This drive is not for entusiasts or heavy users of read/write. I am pretty confident that none of us from this forum would recommend this disc over SX8200 pro or the likes as a value performer to semi heavy use. :) But I totally get it; the technology have several disadvantages, but these disadvantages becomes increasingly irrelavant when we look to the usecase of the low-end user (at least to my knowledge :D) If DOAs or RMA levels are through the roof then sure but mainstream user does not have the attention to test specs like we do. I be 99 out of 100 would not know if they rocked an optane PCIe driver or a WD green SSD in their normal usage copying 5 mb pictures or surfing the interwebs for cooking recipies or watching netflix :p
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#5
InVasMani
The speeds on these would be about perfect for a portable NVME device on USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 far as I can tell. WD's pricing feels off though $100's for a 1TB drive like this is actually a bit steep it seems, but I guess it depends in part how good the controller's I/O is for high queue depth random 4K performance. The sequential speed isn't everything the I/O is as important or more plus they don't mention the write speed performance.
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#6
minami
Fairly poor reliability.
Such NAND memory will quickly show memory blocks that wear out and slow down the read latency.
There is little margin for loss of charge, and to compensate for this, extra writes are made without informing the file system, and the extra capacity is lost.
And the data retention is short, so some data loss will occur on drives that have been left unattended.

It is very vulnerable to small, intermittent writes such as logging and virtual memory, and 1GB from a file system perspective can be more than 20GB for NAND memory.

This is a product for those who know how to use it well.
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#7
evernessince
deuRemember; to alot of people the TBW on their PC will be in 1-2TBW in their lifespan: for the mainstream audience this spec does not matter unlesss it also bodes more DOAs or stability issues under specs. I have had my 850 EVO for many years and is up to 33TBW, and I game copy files alot (higher than average gamer, as I work from the PC as well) if its 80TBW or 600TBW does not matter to 99% of people. The price as you mention should be accordingly but the TBW even low is acceptable to the majority. If you are looking for a server disc look elsewhere! :D
You kind of contradict your own number by stating that you personally have 33 TBW. That isn't even remotely close to "1-2TBW' over the lifetime of the drive, you've vastly exceeded your own estimate.

Looking at my OS SSD (about 1 1/2 old) I've got 19 TBW. That's considering that all my work is done on my other 2TB SSD and all my downloads go to a 16TB HDD. If you add downloads and game installs to the SSD you'd be looking at likely double that number.

The 240GB model has a 40TBW life estimate. I wouldn't touch these drives with a 10 foot poll. That's absolutely pitiful no matter how you look at it. "Acceptable" in what way per say? "Acceptable" in regards to the fact that at $44 USD these are going to be more expensive than entry level products from other competitors that also happen to have higher endurance (150TBW on competing models at the same price)?

This isn't some impossible to reach TBW figure, it's something your average consumer can reach in 5 years and an avid PC user in 2-4. Heck you almost reach 40TBW and that's considering your drive was released in 2014, when data requirements were lower. Data requirements increase over time, from the increasing size of games to temp internet files downloaded when you browse the web. This drive is being released now, so it should be assumed that data requirements will be higher than in 2014.

Regardless of that, who doesn't want more endurance? Two drives cost $45 but the one lasts 5 years and the other 15 years and you are telling me that doesn't matter? What a load of crap, you'd have to be crazy to not take the 15 year drive. SSD consume little electricity, even at low capacity you can form a drive pool with your older units. Should you choose to sell the 15 year drive also depreciates less as it has a much larger chunk of it's useful life left. No one is going to buy a used QLC drive with 10% life left.
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#8
tabascosauz
deuI get it, but he is only talking about the TBW as a problem and my point is that that will not be an issue to 99%+ of people! :D Remember: these green sh**-drives are for grandma's laptop upgrade and the superduper cheap nephew gamerrig composed older parts like 4670K and GTX770. This drive is not for entusiasts or heavy users of read/write. I am pretty confident that none of us from this forum would recommend this disc over SX8200 pro or the likes as a value performer to semi heavy use. :) But I totally get it; the technology have several disadvantages, but these disadvantages becomes increasingly irrelavant when we look to the usecase of the low-end user (at least to my knowledge :D) If DOAs or RMA levels are through the roof then sure but mainstream user does not have the attention to test specs like we do. I be 99 out of 100 would not know if they rocked an optane PCIe driver or a WD green SSD in their normal usage copying 5 mb pictures or surfing the interwebs for cooking recipies or watching netflix :p
It's the opposite of what you claim; I'd be more worried about leaving a SN350 in the hands of someone who doesn't care for the ins and outs of NAND. My friend who had a 250GB WD Blue 2.5" (not the later Blue3D, the original) ended up with 113TB of writes in a few years with "just Windows and one or two games", when the drive started acting up and I told him to check crystaldiskinfo.

Like I said, if the SN350 was half the price, it'd be a decent deal. Right now it's smack dab in the middle of the SN550's price range, which is one of the current budget kings that inevitably walks all over it in performance, DRAM be damned. With more than 6x the endurance. The fact that the QLC 660p at 200TBW and 665p at 300TBW have occupied this segment for years tells you exactly how viable this SN350 is at $99.
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#9
AusWolf
When we made the transition from SLC to MLC, nobody cared because endurance was still good enough.
When we made the transition from MLC to TLC, nobody cared because endurance was still good enough.

Now we have QLC spreading like the plague, which is okay, but creeping under 100 TBW makes me a bit worried. With MLC and TLC we got significantly higher capacities, but now we're slowly getting less and less endurance on the same capacity. I understand manufacturers: more drive failures mean more buyers, but still... 100 bucks for an 80 TBW 1 TB drive is a terrible deal considering that you can get 200-300 TBW 1 TB drives for the same price. This SN350 will be on my "never recommend to anyone" list for sure.
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#10
deu
tabascosauzIt's the opposite of what you claim; I'd be more worried about leaving a SN350 in the hands of someone who doesn't care for the ins and outs of NAND. My friend who had a 250GB WD Blue 2.5" (not the later Blue3D, the original) ended up with 113TB of writes in a few years with "just Windows and one or two games", when the drive started acting up and I told him to check crystaldiskinfo.

Like I said, if the SN350 was half the price, it'd be a decent deal. Right now it's smack dab in the middle of the SN550's price range, which is one of the current budget kings that inevitably walks all over it in performance, DRAM be damned. With more than 6x the endurance. The fact that the QLC 660p at 200TBW and 665p at 300TBW have occupied this segment for years tells you exactly how viable this SN350 is at $99.
And im agreeing with the price-part but not the TBW as a standalone spec required by the masses :)
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#11
AusWolf
deuAnd im agreeing with the price-part but not the TBW as a standalone spec required by the masses :)
It should be a required spec, though. Nobody wants to swap drives every X years.
Posted on Reply
#12
deu
evernessinceYou kind of contradict your own number by stating that you personally have 33 TBW. That isn't even remotely close to "1-2TBW' over the lifetime of the drive, you've vastly exceeded your own estimate.

Looking at my OS SSD (about 1 1/2 old) I've got 19 TBW. That's considering that all my work is done on my other 2TB SSD and all my downloads go to a 16TB HDD. If you add downloads and game installs to the SSD you'd be looking at likely double that number.

The 240GB model has a 40TBW life estimate. I wouldn't touch these drives with a 10 foot poll. That's absolutely pitiful no matter how you look at it. "Acceptable" in what way per say? "Acceptable" in regards to the fact that at $44 USD these are going to be more expensive than entry level products from other competitors that also happen to have higher endurance (150TBW on competing models at the same price)?

This isn't some impossible to reach TBW figure, it's something your average consumer can reach in 5 years and an avid PC user in 2-4. Heck you almost reach 40TBW and that's considering your drive was released in 2014, when data requirements were lower. Data requirements increase over time, from the increasing size of games to temp internet files downloaded when you browse the web. This drive is being released now, so it should be assumed that data requirements will be higher than in 2014.

Regardless of that, who doesn't want more endurance? Two drives cost $45 but the one lasts 5 years and the other 15 years and you are telling me that doesn't matter? What a load of crap, you'd have to be crazy to not take the 15 year drive. SSD consume little electricity, even at low capacity you can form a drive pool with your older units. Should you choose to sell the 15 year drive also depreciates less as it has a much larger chunk of it's useful life left. No one is going to buy a used QLC drive with 10% life left.
Im not : I explain I am a heavy user (not ultra heavy), but i download alot of stuff, move alot of data around the partitions. Grandma does NOT (hence the 1-2TBW during lifetime.)80TBW is nowhere near achievable to mainstreamuser (not unless hes is part of af botnet that utilizes his r/w) You need to understand that your use is not equal to others use. We (computernerds and humans in general), tend to project our own patterns onto others. This does not represent the real world. Gamer, server, or contentcreator: sure go by a SX8200 or a SN850 or higher, but the boomers, the snapchatters and netflixers (the actual 95% of the market, have a need no even a percent of yours and mine. The biggest file they will encouter is when windows is updated or the cache from spotify. Its cool and all that you will not touch something with a pole, like lewis hamilton would not drive your pewnie car of a tesla/*insert random car, but that does not mean that everyone have to drive a McLaren P1 or the like to function. Im sure my mom would like that, but the price is what matters to her (and the rest of the world) which leaves us at my original statement: The TBW: not relevant point of critique to the target group; the price is still to high. I do not share the realistic belief that the group I described as the 95%+ will ever hit the TBW before the laptop that comes with this or gets this is thrown out of the window due to other issues. Even if we ignore the average lifespan of 5 years of laptops, and put it at 10 years, there is no way the target group reaches the TBW.
AusWolfIt should be a required spec, though. Nobody wants to swap drives every X years.
Someone at HP, Apple, MSI, ASUS, Lenovo etc. would like to have a word with you! :D (my point: build to break is a real thing.) That being said: an NVMe drive, no matter tech, is not the first thing to break in a low-mid end laptop. Battery, screen/mechanical stuff is. RAM and NVMe often works til end of life :0
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#13
minami
In the case of QLC, it would be foolish to think that because the total write capacity has not been reached that it is safe.

You have to understand the characteristics of NAND memory correctly. You may have to specify that it is a product for your grandmother, but in reality, the more people who understand it, the less misery they will have.

Even in the best case, guaranteeing only 80 writes to a single cell makes data retention look extremely questionable.
Even TLC-NAND memory is inferior to DVD-R in terms of data retention when it is not connected to a power source.

As a side note, if you leave a drive with Windows installed connected to the network, it won't take a year for the NAND to consume 1TB worth of NAND blocks.
If you have a cache buffer with trim and a UPS, you can avoid this, but your grandmother may not understand. If you have a lot of memory, you may also need to turn off hibernation.
On a less important note, 1 to 2 TB is too low an estimate.
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#14
sam_86314
Why does NAND have to be the one technology that gets worse as technology advances?

LTT recently reviewed a 15TB QLC drive with similar endurance to a 4TB TLC drive.

Here's hoping my 1TB TLC drives last a long time.

My boot drive (a 500GB 970 EVO) has 18TBW and 99% life remaining, while my mass-storage drive (a 4TB Seagate Barracuda) has over 34TBW and is showing no signs of stopping. That's one advantage spinning rust will have over flash for the foreseeable future; better write endurance.
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#15
efikkan
deuRemember; to alot of people the TBW on their PC will be in 1-2TBW in their lifespan: for the mainstream audience this spec does not matter unlesss it also bodes more DOAs or stability issues under specs. I have had my 850 EVO for many years and is up to 33TBW, and I game copy files alot (higher than average gamer, as I work from the PC as well) if its 80TBW or 600TBW does not matter to 99% of people. The price as you mention should be accordingly but the TBW even low is acceptable to the majority. If you are looking for a server disc look elsewhere! :D
To me, these endurance ratings seems worthless, I've seen far too many SSDs become "unusable" long before their rated endurance. And by "unusable" I mean it gets SMART errors, there is no point in a storage media which corrupts the data and/or the file system.

I don't know if it's just randomness for me and the places where I have worked, or if certain workloads can wear out SSDs much faster than their endurance rating. The workloads I'm talking of is code compilation, which generates up to millions of tiny files per day, not many GBs of data, but it seems to give SSDs a lifespan of ~3 years.

BTW; Have you checked the SMART data of your 850 EVO lately, or are you waiting to stumble across corrupted files?
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#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
AusWolfIt should be a required spec, though. Nobody wants to swap drives every X years.
TBW is just for warranty purposes, it doesn't really give any indication of what the drive is actually capable of. This is just a case of WD trying to screw people on the warranty by setting an extremely low TBW spec, nothing more.
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#17
DeathtoGnomes
anyone doesnt see the RGB on these drives? :eek: :kookoo:
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#18
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
DeathtoGnomesanyone doesnt see the RGB on these drives? :eek: :kookoo:
There isn't RGB on these drives.
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#19
timta2
It's interesting that they are again using the "Green" branding, which I thought they got rid of because of it's poor reputation.
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#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
timta2It's interesting that they are again using the "Green" branding, which I thought they got rid of because of it's poor reputation.
They've been using the Green banding on their SSDs for a few years now. It doesn't really mean power saving anymore like the old Green branding with their HDDs, now it just means "crappiest version possible".

And the funny thing is they never really got rid of the Green HDDs, they just rebranded the Green drives as Blue drives, and bumped the Blue drives up to Blacks and killed off the good Black drives.
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#21
HunBirdie
tabascosauzThese are QLC drives......the 1TB has an endurance rating of 80TBW. What is this, 2013? And WD wants $99 for it? :laugh:

The SN550, SN750 and SN850 are all rated 600TBW for the 1TB. Hell, even other QLC drives are better - 665p is 300TBW and P1 is 200TBW. These SN350s had better sell for half the stated MSRP, because SATA M.2s are literally going to be the better pick. Literally. 870 QVO is a 360TBW drive.
Fake...

Endurance is up to 400 TBW for the 1TB model:
www.westerndigital.com/products/commercial-internal-drives/pc-sn530-ssd

400 TB writing in the SSD's lifespan is more than enough for an average user...
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#23
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
HunBirdieFake...

Endurance is up to 400 TBW for the 1TB model:
www.westerndigital.com/products/commercial-internal-drives/pc-sn530-ssd

400 TB writing in the SSD's lifespan is more than enough for an average user...
Try looking at the correct drive there slick: shop.westerndigital.com/tools/documentRequestHandler?docPath=/content/dam/doc-library/en_us/assets/public/western-digital/product/internal-drives/wd-green-ssd/product-brief-wd-green-sn350-nvme-ssd.pdf

The spec sheet clearly says 80TBW for the 1TB model and 40TBW for the 240GB version.

Not that it really matters. As pointed out before, even 80TBW is a lot for a normal user. My NVMe system drive has been running for over a year continuously and it only has 6TB of written data. It would take me over 10 years to reach 80TB. These drives would work just fine as a normal user's main drive.
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#24
Solid State Soul ( SSS )
The intel 665P is QLC but has nearly 4x the TBW of this drive, yet its more or less equally priced !
I think WD should kill the Green brand, ever since they transitioned to SSDs, their Green SSDs were some of the worst in the market, a HUGE contrast from their Blue and Black drives, the sad thing is that expect to see this drive a LOT in laptops or pre built PCs
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#25
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Solid State Soul ( SSS )The intel 665P is QLC but has nearly 4x the TBW of this drive, yet its more or less equally priced !
I think WD should kill the Green brand, ever since they transitioned to SSDs, their Green SSDs were some of the worst in the market, a HUGE contrast from their Blue and Black drives, the sad thing is that expect to see this drive a LOT in laptops or pre built PCs
Sadly that is what WD Green has come to mean. It used to mean efficient, now it maenas "literally the shittiest drive on the market". Unless you are talking about HDDs, then Blue means "literally the shittiest drive on the market".
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