When WD or Western Digital first released their Blue line of SSD devices, they didn’t really make much of an impact in the market. But today, we see that the company has finally jumped on to the 3D NAND trend with their latest Blue 3D NAND M.2 which is definitely more competitive than their previous products.
There’s still a long way to go before they can reach the heights of Samsung’s 860 Evo, but compared to this, the Blue 3D NAND M.2 is much cheaper and is generally a great buy for anyone who wants to stay within their budget.
The company claims that their Blue 3D NAND M.2 has a sequential read & write speed of up to 550 MB/s (read) and about 525 MB/s (write) – something that could even be better than the popular 860 Evo.
Of course, we’d want to know if these claims are all true, so let’s find out how the Blue 3D NAND M.2 fares in practice, and if it’s something that is also worth purchasing. Before anything else, let’s go ahead and check out what’s inside the box of this new SSD from Western Digital.
WD Blue 3D NAND M.2 Review – What’s in the Box?
The WD Blue 3D NAND M.2 1TB SSD comes in a simple-looking rectangular box with a theme featuring white and blue hues. At the front portion of the box, you will find the image of the SSD plus the company’s logo, the name of the product, as well as a couple of important details about this – these are written in English and French.
At the back of the box, you will see several stickers of a couple of barcodes, as well as the SSDs serial number and other necessary manufacturing details.
There aren’t any other vital details on the box aside from those things we’ve mentioned, so you can go and check out what other items are included inside the package. When you open the box, you’ll first have to pull out the tab before you can actually see the Blue 3D which is set in a plastic container for more protection.
The way Western Digital packed and labeled the product hints that the company preferred to keep things simple and not do more than what was necessary for such a product. There aren’t any other items or accessories in the box, just the drive and a little document which is the warranty guide.
If you will ever need software tools, then visiting the Western Digital website would be the best option for your needs.
WD Blue 3D NAND M.2 Review – Affordable M.2 Storage
The Blue 3D NAND M.2 from Western Digital is a SATA drive that ensures supreme compatibility for you and all other users. It is great for a lot of devices since all desktops that are available feature SATA ports while most of the laptops around that can handle an SSD update right after purchase will need to have a SATA drive as well. Only a small number of laptops will be able to utilize the latest PCIe / NVMe drives.
Though updated and further improved, those who designed the Blue 3D didn’t alter the controller; so because of that, this SSD still makes use of the same Marvel 88-SS-1074 as before. The four-channel controller features a low-density parity check or LDPC technology that is necessary for error correcting.
It can also work with the TLC, MLC< and 3D NAND – TLC Flash. Together with the controller and fixed on the internal board, you’ll find one Micron-made cache module plus four Bit-Cost Scaling or BiCS 3D NAND.
The drive has an M.2 connector which is a card-edge style connection that a lot of desktop motherboards and laptops have. The specific drive utilizes the SATA interface just like with most hard drives, unlike the faster PCIe interface that the more expensive drives have. M.2 cards specifically keyed in a certain way to guarantee that its features will be available on the motherboard or laptop that you’re linking to.
With a read speed of up to 545 MB/s, as well as a write speed of up to 525 MB/s, the WD Blue 3D NAND M.2 delivers quick system boot times and lesser loading times.
Each WD Blue 3D SSD comes with a three-year warranty, so we can definitely say that you can trust the company when it comes to all your data needs.
The Adequate PC Form Factor
The WD Blue 3D NAND M.2 has evolved and developed for much thinner and smaller computers, thus, being more suitable for most desktop PCs and laptops today. There’s also a downloadable WD SSD Dashboard available which will give you a selection of tools to check on your SSD’s health. We think that this is a very convenient feature since knowing the state of your SSD is a must.
Downloadable Dashboard + Acronis Software
With the Dashboard and Acronis Software, you’ll be able to monitor the health and status of your drive with the free and downloadable WD SSD Dashboard + clone drives with the Acronis True Image software.
WD FIT Lab Certified
The Blue 3D NAND M.2 has been certified with the WD FIT Lab to be compatible with a large array of laptop and desktop PCs; with that, you can be sure that the WD Blue NAND will be the perfect fit for your device.
Another great feature of the Blue 3D NAND M.2 is that it is specifically developed for multitasking, allowing you to simultaneously run and utilize a couple of the most demanding applications seamlessly and with ease.
Enhanced Power Efficiency
Providing excellent and developed endurance, the Blue 3D NAND from Western Digital features an active power draw that reaches up to 25%. This is lower compared to the previous generations of Western Digital Blue SSDs which means that with lesser power utilized, you will be able to work longer before you even have to recharge your laptop. A really great and highly convenient feature.
Superior Performance for Highly Improved Computing
For numerous computing applications such as HD media playback, gaming, or even creative software, the Blue 3D will definitely be able to seamlessly perform these for your convenience. The SSD enables sequential reading speed of up to 560 MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 530 MB/s; this is for faster system boot ups, rapid transfer speed, and instant application responses.
SSDs are normally designed without any moving parts. This is to further protect and safeguard against data loss if you ever encounter a situation wherein the SSD is dropped or bumped; and with 1.7M hours of mean time to failure or MTTF up to 500 Terabytes written, and a couple of error-correction technologies, WD Blue 3D NAND M.2 can definitely help protect your data for all the years to come.
All WD Blue 3D NAND SSDs have been verified to be compatible with a large number of laptop and desktop computers; plus, these also have certifications from the Western Digital FIT Lab. Each of the Blue 3D NAND M.2’s and other products under this line undergo extensive reliability and compatibility testings to guarantee that all the products meet the high standards of the company.
Using the Product
Now on to the performance of the Blue 3D NAND M.2: we’re really glad that the company was able to produce a TLC drive that can readily maintain over 450 MB/s performance during long periods of writes.
Up until now, the fastest maintained write speed that we have ever achieved out of a TLC drive after overstepping the cache is around 300 MB/s, so we’re really surprised and pleased by how the Blue 3D performed.
What’s interesting about the Blue 3D NAND is that it doesn’t only deliver the claimed 560 MB/s read and 530 MB/s write, but it also greatly exceeds these numbers during our tests. These are very notable numbers coming from any SATA connected drive, no matter what the brand is.
The IOPS has also been further developed and improved since it was able to reach 97.4K which is slightly higher than the promised 95K. Though the most impressive thing about the Blue 3D NAND M.2 is how it is able to maintain its performance and quality throughout a long haul, given that the SSD utilizes the TLC memory model.
We’ve recently seen a lot of drives that perform really well until the internal cache becomes saturated; at this point, the write performance drops to about half of what was initially given.
So if you’re someone used to spinning disks on your computer, then you’ll definitely be impressed with the Blue 3D’s performance. Your system will start really fast and all your programs will load seamlessly; and with that, we can definitely say that this product is one of the most cost-efficient upgrades that you can ever make to your laptop or desktop.
The Blue 3D NAND M.2 from Western Digital is able to continuously deliver excellent numbers even with big transfers that reach over 25 GB. So all in all, we can definitely say that the Blue 3D is a really great product and is capable of operating better than other brands that are out in the market.
WD SSD Dashboard and Acronis True Image – Software
The endurance, performance, as well as other features of the Blue 3D NAND M.2 are all in line with high end and quality SATA SSDs. Aside from this, Western Digital also provides you with a couple of beneficial utilities and tools that can be utilized together with the Blue 3D NAND M.2, and this includes the SSD Dashboard.
This specific kit will show you all the things that are necessary for the drive including its health, access to SMART or Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology, performance graphs, reports, and a lot more.
The SSD Dashboard from Western Digital will also help you sustain peak performance of the device in Windows operating systems via its user-friendly graphical interface that is specifically made for you and every other user. The software features tools for disk analysis including disk model, capacity, SMART attributes, firmware updates, and even firmware version.
The following operating systems that the software supports include Windows 10 32 / 64-bit versions, Windows 8.1 32 / 64-bit versions, and Windows 7 32 / 64-bit versions.
Together with the SSD Dashboard, you will also find the Acronis True Image software; this is a very useful and effective service that is necessary for replicating an existing system right on the WD Blue. We actually liked that this was included since it’s a favorite of ours when it comes to cloning software; it also corrects tone of the flaws with the previous drive’s roll out.
Overall, we were really impressed with the features and how well the WD Blue 3D NAND M.2 performed. It was excellent throughout all the tests we ran and it conformed itself just like a lot of the midrange SSDs that are around.
The Blue 3D NAND M.2 SSD is also considered as the best mainstream SATA drive today that features spot-on excellence and performance matched with solid endurance. For the price, the capacity ratings that it offers are also high; plus, it also has a complete downloadable software package which is something we really appreciate.
It offers everything that you’ll need from an SSD for home and business use. Another thing that we really liked about the Blue 3D NAND M.2 is that even if this product doesn’t feature the technology for high-performance gaming or video editing, it does offer great and seamless performance while being affordable and compatible with a lot of laptops and motherboards.
The WD Blue 3D NAND M.2 is excellent when it comes to its compatibility and price, so we highly recommend this product if you need an SSD that supports SATA M.2 and performs excellently.
Where to Buy
You can add one of these beasts to your gaming rig for only $249USD for the 1TB version over at the official WD website.