Western Digital unveils compelling Black 3D NVMe SSD

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,503   +122
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Western Digital on Thursday announced a new solid state drive featuring its own SSD architecture and controller.

The Western Digital Black 3D NVMe SSD is an M.2 (2280) PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 drive offered in capacities of 250GB, 500GB and 1TB. It comes backed by a five-year limited warranty and is rated for up to 600TBW (for the 1TB model).

As is often the case, performance scales with capacity as highlighted below:

Sequential Read / Write

  • 1TB: Up to 3,400 MB/s Read, up to 2,800 MB/s Write
  • 500GB: Up to 3,400 MB/s Read, up to 2,500 MB/s Write
  • 250GB: Up to 3,000 MB/s Read, up to 1,600 MB/s Write

Random Read / Write

  • 1TB: Up to 500,000 IOPS Read, up to 400,000 IOPS Write
  • 500GB: Up to 410,000 IOPS Read, up to 330,000 IOPS Write
  • 250GB: Up to 220,000 IOPS Read, up to 170,000 IOPS Write

In early testing, the drive is performing remarkably well. PCWorld found it to be roughly as fast as Samsung’s 960 Pro despite being about $200 cheaper (at the 1TB capacity). Similarly, AnandTech found that WD’s work to develop 3D NAND and their new NVMe controller has paid off.

Western Digital plans to launch its new drives later this month priced at $119.99 for the 250GB model, $229.99 for the 500GB variant and $449.99 for the 1TB version.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,364   +5,774
Looks interesting but the price point is certainly going to need some attention before I throw any money at it.
 
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ghostf1re

Posts: 414   +265
Yeah the price is on the high end for sure. I got a 500gb Samsung Evo 850 for $120 about 3 months ago from Bestbuy. No way I'd be paying $100 more for the same drive space.
 
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Yeah the price is on the high end for sure. I got a 500gb Samsung Evo 850 for $120 about 3 months ago from Bestbuy. No way I'd be paying $100 more for the same drive space.
Your Evo 850 is a great drive for sure, but is capped at a 600 MB/s data rate because of it's SATA interface. These are M.2 PCIe drives so they have a data rate of up to 3,400 MB/s Read, up to 2,800 MB/s Write with the 1TB model. You could install Windows 10 in like 3-5 minutes with one of these drives, but they are not for everyone. And different than just moving from spinning HDD to SSD, not everyone will notice that level of performance jumping into one of these.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,597   +488
My question is what the thermal performance of these M.2 drives are like... My 950Pro required throwing on some chipset heatsinks to prevent thermal throttling on even medium workloads due to lack of airflow for instance. I wonder how these, being several years newer, handle the same environment/workload thermally.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,868
It's competing with the Samsung 960, which is about $200 more expensive.... If it really does perform on par with the 960, WD has itself a winner.
Actually, when comparing the Samsung 250 GB "Evo" model, the price is roughly the same. I think the 960 is about $120.00 at Newegg

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147593

That's USD, of course. I suppose we'll also have to wait to see if, or how much, the WD model gets dialed down from its MSRP

But also, I guess it depends if we're going to compare it with the Samsung "Evo", or, "Pro" models.

WD's earlier M.2 offerings were positively "lethargic", as least compared to the paper specs of Samsung "Evo".

(If you have the hubris to call 2200 MBs, "lethargic").
 
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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,329   +2,206
Actually, when comparing the Samsung 250 GB "Evo" model, the price is roughly the same. I think the 960 is about $120.00 at Newegg

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147593

That's USD, of course. I suppose we'll also have to wait to see if, or how much, the WD model gets dialed down from its MSRP

But also, I guess it depends if we're going to compare it with the Samsung "Evo", or, "Pro" models.

WD's earlier M.2 offerings were positively "lethargic", as least compared to the paper specs of Samsung "Evo".

(If you have the hubris to call 2200 MBs, "lethargic").
Except it’s supposed to compete with the PRO model... we’ll see if it does once it’s released...
 
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S

senketsu

My question is what the thermal performance of these M.2 drives are like... My 950Pro required throwing on some chipset heatsinks to prevent thermal throttling on even medium workloads due to lack of airflow for instance. I wonder how these, being several years newer, handle the same environment/workload thermally.
I have the 950 Pro 512 GB. Despite the genius at ASUS that has the drive mounted parallel to the motherboard in-between some components, I have never had overheating problems. I suspect it has hit 50 degrees C, but that's about it. Of course it depends on workload and case airflow
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,868
Except it’s supposed to compete with the PRO model... we’ll see if it does once it’s released...
The "Pro" model Samsung, isn't much (if any) faster than the "Evo" models. They have different controllers, and a different projected MTBF. (2,000,000 for the Pro, 1,500,000 for the Evo).

With Samsung drives, their migration software is top notch, and in itself is worth a few dollars more than many of the competing brands. At least if you go by Newegg reviews on competing brands such as "Adata", which pretty much conclude you have to jump through hoops to get their migration tool.

Now, AFAIK, Wester Digital has offered migration software along with their drives for decades (?) as a simple download, without issues.

The specs and prices on WD's first offerings of PCI-E M.2 drives offered no compelling reason to switch away from Samsung's, in either the Evo or Pro lines. But yeah, it would be fun to have a good alternative on the market. FWIW, I have a WD 160 GB SATA 1 HDD, I've been pounding away at for 13+ years, without a single issue, or even a hint that it's ready to fail.
 
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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,329   +2,206
The "Pro" model Samsung, isn't much (if any) faster than the "Evo" models. They have different controllers, and a different projected MTBF. (2,000,000 for the Pro, 1,500,000 for the Evo.
I know that... but it's the PRICE of the Pro that is more expensive than the WD.... and the warranty of the WD puts it with the Pro, not the Evo as a direct competitor... again, there's no point arguing until we actually have the drive released and reviewed...
 

D3z4R1

Posts: 51   +9
FWIW, I have a WD 160 GB SATA 1 HDD, I've been pounding away at for 13+ years, without a single issue, or even a hint that it's ready to fail.
I too have an aging WD drive; a 150GB WD Raptor EL150, to be exact. It’s been relegated as a boot drive for my nephew’s gaming rig. *crosses fingers* Thus far, it hasn’t shown any signs of failing. :D

Although, such reliability can’t be said about the plethora of Seagate drives I’ve used. I’ve only had two 4TB WD Reds fail in my Drobo 5N. I’m going to bite the bullet and replace(/upgrade?) them with 10TB Seagate Ironwolf drives.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,868
I know that... but it's the PRICE of the Pro that is more expensive than the WD.... and the warranty of the WD puts it with the Pro, not the Evo as a direct competitor... again, there's no point arguing until we actually have the drive released and reviewed...
Making a comparison isn't normally considered a "argument" per se. Well, Maybe it's different up in Canada.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,597   +488
I have the 950 Pro 512 GB. Despite the genius at ASUS that has the drive mounted parallel to the motherboard in-between some components, I have never had overheating problems. I suspect it has hit 50 degrees C, but that's about it. Of course it depends on workload and case airflow
Mini-ITX build, where they put the M.2 slot on the backside of the motherboard... lol
 

hqxt1964

Posts: 57   +18
Looks like WD's purchase of SanDisk is showing some payoff. If only Toshiba would have taken advantage of OCZ (who purchased Indilinx) in-house talent. The Barefoot controller showed a lot of promise and could have easily been updated to support low power states and TLC NAND. But they shelved it. I don't really know why Toshiba bought OCZ.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,868
But they shelved it. I don't really know why Toshiba bought OCZ.
This is going to be a "FWIW", rant.

I personally have had the worst luck with Toshiba mechanical drives. Way back when DVD writers were 60 bucks a pop, I had to take an eMachines back for a bad drive, and soon thereafter, the new TSST DVD writer failed as well.

But wait, there's more. I had a quirky habit of keeping free standing DVD recorders, to record from the TV, as well, as transfer VHS to DVD. I had 2 Pioneer recorders, which probably popped out a 1,000 discs each before the remotes failed.

Then, I bought a Toshiba. I doubt if I got 100 discs out of it, before it started pitching up, "bad disc" errors. Well, no matter what disc you put in it, apparently, "it's bad". :mad:

Anyway, I was walking through MicroCenter, and they had Toshiba 1 TB spinners, for $30.00 a pop, so I grabbed one We're not trusting to anything critical, just storage for DVD images and recording TV.

And well, I think I'll stick with Newegg's house brand "Gskill" memory, now that I know Toshiba owns OCZ.

I feel much better now that we've talked about that..;):)
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,868
I too have an aging WD drive; a 150GB WD Raptor EL150, to be exact. It’s been relegated as a boot drive for my nephew’s gaming rig. *crosses fingers* Thus far, it hasn’t shown any signs of failing. :D
Dear god, how much did you have to pay for that little devil when it was new?
Although, such reliability can’t be said about the plethora of Seagate drives I’ve used.
I can honestly say, I dodged all of Seagate's big problem debacles, their big drives bricking for everyone but me it seemed. I have a working 3 TB Seagate, although I did make sure I waited until everyone else bought up all the bad ones from the flood, or tsunami, or whatever befell the plant where they were building them.

Once upon a time, Seagate's 320 GB single platter drives were stellar as compared to the WD's in the same size and price range. They were much quieter, cooler, and noticeably faster than any comparable WD Blue.
I’ve only had two 4TB WD Reds fail in my Drobo 5N. I’m going to bite the bullet and replace(/upgrade?) them with 10TB Seagate Ironwolf drives.
Well, advance in material science and machining tolerances haven't, and likely never will be, able to keep up with the data density of current HDDs. Considering the size of a data block on a modern high capacity HDD, as opposed to the same data block on your little Raptor, the heads will be missing their mark and not tracking properly in a lot less hours in the new offerings.

That's my take on it. Manufacturers have tried to keep up with consumers demand for high storage and low prices. They've done so quite admirably, but I can't escape the thought that the piper is going to have to be paid sooner on today's humongous drives, than those of yesteryear.