Western Digital WD Red SA500 NAS SSD 1 TB Review 33

Western Digital WD Red SA500 NAS SSD 1 TB Review

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WD Logo

Western Digital (or simply WD) is the world's largest manufacturer of storage solutions, mostly known for their wide range of hard disk offerings. With their acquisition of SanDisk in 2016, WD became one of the largest manufacturers for flash storage, too.

Today, we are taking a look at the WD Red SA500 SSD, which is optimized to provide fast storage for your NAS system. Since the NAS is always on, WD has engineered the SA500 in a way that's "specifically designed and tested for 24/7 usage."

Internally, the WD Red SA500 uses a Marvell 88SS1074 controller—a model we've previously seen on the Crucial MX300 and Kingston UV500. While it is an older model from circa 2014, it still has plenty of punch for a modern SATA SSD. It has also seen a lot of use, so it is known to run stable and operate bug-free. As expected, the flash chips come from WD subsidiary SanDisk, who produces them in collaboration with Toshiba. The Western Digital WD Red SA500 is available in capacities of 500 GB ($83), 1 TB ($143), 2 TB ($283), and 4 TB ($678). M.2 SATA (not NVMe) versions are available, too. Endurance is rated at 350 TBW, 600 TBW, 1300 TBW, and 2500 TBW respectively. All models come with a 5-year warranty.

In our review, we're taking a look at the WD Red SA500 1 TB version, which offers a good mix between capacity and cost.

Specifications: Western Digital WD Red SA500 1 TB
Brand:Western Digital
Capacity:1000 GB (931 GB usable)
24 GB additional overprovisioning
Controller:Marvell 88SS1074
Flash:SanDisk/Toshiba 15 nm 64-layer 3D TLC
60079 256G
DRAM:Nanya DDR3-1600 512 MB
Endurance:600 TBW
Form Factor:SATA 2.5", 7 mm
Interface:SATA 6 Gbps
Device ID:WDC WDS100T1R0A-68A4W0
Warranty:5 years
Price at Time
of Review:
$143 / 14 cents per GB

Packaging and Contents

Package Front
Package Back

The Drive

SSD Front
SSD Back

The drive conforms to the dimensions set forth by the 2.5" form factor. It is made out of plastic and is only 7 mm thick, which ensures it will fit everywhere.

SSD Interface Connector

Western Digital's WD Red SSD uses the SATA 6 Gbps interface. It is compatible with any older SATA standard, but will in such a case work at reduced performance.

SSD Teardown PCB Front
SSD Teardown PCB Back

On the rather compact PCB, you'll find four NAND flash chips (two on each side), the controller, and a DRAM chip.

SSD Controller

The Marvell 88SS1074 6 Gb/s flash controller supports four flash channels. It was released in 2014 and is built using 28 nm fab technology.

SSD Flash Chips

The four TLC flash chips are made by SanDisk in collaboration with Toshiba. They are built using 64 layers on a 15 nanometer 3D NAND production process.


A single Nanya DDR3-1600 DRAM chip provides 512 MB of fast DRAM storage for the controller to store the mapping tables.

Test Setup

Test System SSD 2019
CPU:Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2 GHz
(Kaby Lake, 8 MB Cache)
Motherboard:Intel Z270
Memory:16 GB DDR4-3200
Dual Channel, 16-16-16-36
Graphics:GeForce GTX 1660
Software:Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
October 2018 Update

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