Home Design Western Digital’s new budget NVMe SSD lineup arrives at peculiar price points

Western Digital’s new budget NVMe SSD lineup arrives at peculiar price points

Western Digital’s new budget NVMe SSD lineup arrives at peculiar price points

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In a nutshell: Western Digital has quietly updated its WD Blue line of budget-friendly SSDs. The new SN5000 NVMe devices, offered in various sizes and price points, are expected to deliver better performance than the existing SN580 series.

The WD Blue SN5000 NVMe SSD line is described as its next generation of storage units designed for creators and professionals. The PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280 drives are available in capacities from 500 GB to 4 TB, which means WD decided to retire the previously available 250 GB drive to make room for the larger 4 TB model.

The SN5000 family of WD Blue drives now delivers sequential reads up to 5,500 MB/s, although this level of performance is only available on the 4 TB model. Sequential write performance ranges from 4,000 MB/s (for the 500 GB model) to 5,000 MB/s (4 TB). Random read IOPS performance varies from 460K to 690K , while random write IOPS range from 770K to 800K.

Write endurance ranges from 300 TBW to 1,200 TBW, meaning users will need to perform hundreds of full-drive write workloads (up to 600 for the 4 TB unit) to eventually wear the drives down. Regarding the NAND flash technology employed in each drive, the lower capacity drives use 3D NAND TLC chips, while the 4 TB model opts for 3D NAND QLC chips.

All SN5000 drives use WD’s in-house NVMe controller, and additional features include a free download of Acronis True Image to manage data migration and file transfers between old and new drives. WD’s “nCache 4.0” technology provides fast file copy operations, although the SN5000 line doesn’t include any onboard DRAM cache like many other budget and mainstream SSDs.

WD’s four-channel controller supports a full PCIe x4 connection, allowing the new WD Blue SSDs to take advantage of the additional bandwidth provided by the PCIe 4.0 standard. The single-sided drives have no heatsink; instead, a thin graphene-based heat spreader manages cooling during intense I/O workloads.

The WD Blue SN5000 SSDs are currently priced between $70 and $280, with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a five-year limited warranty. For just $30 more, customers seeking larger SSDs could opt for the much faster WD_Black SN850X 4 TB drive. Conversely, budget-conscious users could choose the slightly slower Crucial P3 Plus drive and save around $60 ($217).

As the SN5000 line is intended to be a family of inexpensive SSDs, future retail pricing strategies could lower WD’s suggested prices.

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