WD Blue SN500 NVMe Review of the SSD: an excellent price-performance ratio


It was not so long ago, it seemed like the scoop was: "NVMe is awesome, but it's going to cost you a lot." Now, thanks to records like the new WD Blue SN500 (available on Amazon), the price is just not that huge of a problem – at least not when you consider the 4X speed gain it offers – for most users, no longer having to wait for their computer worth a little more money.

The Blue SN500 itself is a good performer who keeps fit for long writings, unlike most competitors offering similar prices. It's definitely a kick in the pants compared to SATA.

Design and features

Like all NVMe readers for consumer machines, the Blue SN500 uses the M.2 connector and is 22 millimeters wide. Also, like the majority, it is 80 millimeters long. You get an occasional shorty, such as the Toshiba RC100, but 80mm is the norm. This is PCIe 3.0×2, which limits the maximum bitrate to 2GB / s. We have not seen this yet, but remember that SATA is only about 550 Mbps, it's still pretty fast compared to what many of them have the habit of living.

The SN500 uses a 64-layer NAND TLC layer, some of which is used as a SLC cache. About one percent (see the Performance section.) There is no DRAM cache, but the drive works well without it.

Note that there are many existing systems that do not support booting from NVMe. You can use NVMe SSDs using a US $ 25 adapter card for high-speed secondary storage in almost any system, which can be beneficial if you are working with heavy video or audio applications. But without the ability to boot from NVMe, you will not get the overall liveliness of the system it is able to provide.


The closest competitor to the Blue SN500 in terms of price and performance is Crucial's P1, which he beat in some tests and lost in others. But keep in mind that not all NVMe drives have ridiculously fast search times, which gives the impression that the slowest of them is fast compared to SATA, at least up to ################################################################################## You are writing large amounts of data. There, the 500GB version of the SN500 that I tested has held its own.

With less cache (part of the TLC is treated as SLC by writing a single bit instead of three), the 250GB version (available on Amazon), for which WD claims roughly the same performance, will see its write speed slow down sooner than the 500GB version. The 500GB model ran out of cache at around 10GB during our test. 48 GB writing.

Note that I only included discs that are cost competitive with the Blue SN500. There are much faster discs, such as the WD Black SN750 NVMe and of course, the Samsung 970 Pro, the the best of the best.

48 GB wd sn500 IDG

The Blue SN500 performed very well in testing smaller files and folders, but was behind the Crucial P1 in writing our only 48GB file.

As you can see above, the SN500 (golden bars) worked quite well with smaller files and folders, but it lacked enough cache, which resulted in a sustained write speed at 750 Mbps. This has resulted in a somewhat sluggish file-writing time for NVMe.

The SN500 worked well in CrystalDiskMark, shown below, although it can not match Samsung's 970 EVO. Note that both competitors were 1 TB disks with more cache. The 970 EVO slows down similarly once there is no more SLC cache.

cdm wd sn500 IDG

4K performance indicates the speed at which a reader can write or retrieve many small files, which requires a lot of research and constraints for the controller. Again, the more expensive rules of the Samsung 970 EVO, although the Blue SN500 has performed rather well compared to other low-budget players

as ssd wd sn500 IDG

Considering that the Blue SN500 operates only two PCIe channels and has no DRAM cache, it performed remarkably well in our tests: largely on a par with the Crucial P1, but without the drastic drop in writing speed that strikes this player after exhausting its capacity. very generous cache. Good job, WD (and Sandisk – the company that WD bought for its NAND know-how.)

A good deal by car

The Blue SN500 is not the fastest NVMe drive on the market, but it's certainly fast enough for the average user, and the price is right. Given the available capabilities, I recommend it compared to the Crucial P1, which undergoes a serious slowdown on the rare occasions when there is more cache. I hope that a 1 TB model is in preparation because the limited capacity (compared to current standards) is what would prevent me from installing a Blue SN500 on my own computers.

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