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WD Blue SN550 Evaluate: the most effective worth 1TB NVMe SSD

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WD set itself a fairly excessive bar with its unique entry stage NVMe SSD, as we thought-about the 500GB WD Blue SN500 the primary horseman to SATA’s eventual apocalypse. However with the SATA connection already yesterday’s information and reasonably priced NVMe drives slowly however absolutely changing into extra commonplace, what precisely is the 1TB WD Blue SN550, other than a slight change in product title that you simply’d simply miss at first look?

The Blue SN550 is WD’s 2020 refresh to the acclaimed line, and whereas its predecessor is a troublesome act to comply with, its up to date controller and NAND flash package deal ship higher speeds and decrease temperatures at its lowest worth level but – excellent for the most effective low-cost gaming PCs on the market.

However even with all of the enhancements below the hood, the best change is that it lastly comes with a variety of capacities to select from, mirroring its performance-focused WD Black SN750 with the identical 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and even 2TB choices. It’s the 1TB model we’re at the moment.

The 1TB WD Blue SN550 is rated as much as 2,400MB/s, which is a mighty enchancment over the 1,700MB/s learn velocity seen in WD’s first try. Its write velocity additionally sees a considerable enhance to 1,950MB/s from 1,450MB/s. Mixed, these make for a unbelievable score at a largely uncontested worth level, with its closest competitor, the Adata XPG SX6000, lagging behind in each velocity and endurance.

WD Blue SN550 WD Blue SN500 WD Black SN750 Adata XPG SX6000 Professional Addlink S70
Capability 1TB 500GB 1TB 1TB 1TB
Controller WD in-house WD in-house WD in-house Realtek Phison PS5012
NAND flash SanDisk 96L TLC SanDisk 96L TLC Toshiba 3D TLC Micron 64L TLC Toshiba 3D TLC
Rated seq. learn 2,400MB/s 1,700MB/s 3,430MB/s 2,100MB/s 3,400MB/s
Rated seq. write 1,950MB/s 1,450MB/s 3,000MB/s 1,500MB/s 3,000MB/s
Endurance 600TBW 300TBW 300TBW 260TBW 1,200TBW
Worth $100 (£93) $78 (£67) $130 (£119) $100 (£117) $126 (£128)

These jumps in efficiency all come because of ditching the PCIe 3.0 x2 bandwidth that restricted the WD Blue SN500’s peak capability to 500GB and hindered the sequential learn and write speeds. As a substitute, the WD Blue SN550 has doubled its lanes utilizing PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth.

Associated: Learn our {hardware} glossary for assist with tech phrases

WD has additionally doubled the quantity of terabytes the drive can write throughout its lifetime, not solely beating older Blue NVMe drives, however standing tall over the dearer WD Black vary. Positive, it doesn’t fairly hit quadruple digits just like the Addlink S70, however 600TBW ought to final you fairly a while and there’s nonetheless the assured 5-year guarantee backing you if one thing goes incorrect.

PCGamesN Check Rig: Intel i7 9900K, Nvidia RTX 2080, Asus Maximus XI, 32GB G.Ability DDR4, Corsair RM650X ATX, Acer Predator Z35P

Our benchmarks present that WD is sort of sensible concerning the SN550’s rated sequential write efficiency, however the identical can’t be stated for learn speeds, which fall between 100MB/s and 200MB/s quick. It nonetheless runs circles across the WD Blue SN500, nevertheless, and manages to do what its predecessor couldn’t: beat the sequential write speeds of the 2018 WD Black PCIe drive.

This won’t sound a lot of an achievement over two years later, however a finances Blue drive standing toe to toe with a premium Black drive reveals simply how far we’ve come. And the enhancements don’t cease there, both, because it leaves the newer WD Black SN750 within the rearview mirror in AS SSD 4k random checks, making it the best boot drive.

The WD Blue SN550 additionally has exceptional temperatures contemplating its leap in efficiency, shaving 5°C off its most for a comparatively cool 59°C – the bottom we’ve seen at these speeds. Bear in mind, the sooner a drive is, the warmer it naturally runs, which is similar motive we we pop the most effective CPU coolers on our processors. The drop in temperature right here is partly on account of intelligent engineering, shifting the NAND flash package deal means over to the opposite aspect of the PCB. Because it’s now not sitting subsequent to the reminiscence controller, the 2 have extra room to breathe.

Be aware: There are different elements that contribute to the time it takes to load right into a recreation, akin to associate logos and well being warnings flashing on display screen, the synchronisation to the cloud, DLC checks, and connecting to on-line servers.

Artificial benchmarks are an effective way to broadly inform how a drive performs, however the scores aren’t consultant of how they fare in the actual world. For that, we’ll want to have a look at file transfers and boot occasions of the most recent video games.

The WD SN550 1TB is roughly 19% sooner than the unique, shaving a decent 37 seconds off the time it takes to switch a 30GB file on common. Higher but, it’s solely 5 seconds slower than the WD Black SN750 1TB whereas being $35 / £26 cheaper at MSRP. It’s as much as you ways a lot worth you need to place on the valuable time you’d save, however the price-to-performance ratio is definitely sturdy with the brand new entry stage SSD.

We’re seeing an growing development in builders recommending SSDs for the optimum expertise, and for good motive. With the SN550, you may be exploring the busy world of Cyberpunk 2077 in 50 seconds, or choosing which recreation mode to play in Name of Responsibility: Black Ops Chilly Warfare inside a minute. In lower than a minute and a half you could be working round rural England in Murderer’s Creed Valhalla. It’s not instantaneous, but it surely’s fairly darn shut for a drive at this worth level.

At simply ten cents per gigabyte, the WD Blue SN550 1TB boasts the most effective worth of its total household and is a formidable finances M.2 SSD that gives a snug possibility for these unwilling to pay the additional for the premium WD Black mannequin. Its unique $129.99 price ticket made it troublesome to advocate because it exists in the identical world because the $126.99 Addlink S70, but it surely frequently sits round $100, making it probably the most reasonably priced SSDs of its caliber. Plus, like all M.2 drives, it’s compact sufficient to fit into the most effective mini PC, too.

Constructed-in M.2 slots are briefly provide with motherboards usually boasting one or two, so it’s value totally contemplating a sooner drive earlier than trying out – in any case, it’s not so simple as relegating it to a secondary drive when upgrading once more for those who don’t have the house. However for those who’re juggling the place to allocate your funds for a brand new construct or upgrading a number of components, the WD Blue SN550 1TB has earned its place as our favorite finances drive on our checklist of greatest SSDs for gaming because of its stability of worth, efficiency, capability, and endurance.

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