Tag Archives: 3D NAND flash

2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Price + Specifications Revealed!

The WD Black NVMe SSD may be fast, but WD is now introducing a faster WD Black 3D NVMe SSD that combines a new NVMe controller with 3D NAND! Check out the details below!

 

2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Delivers Higher Speeds!

At their recent Computex 2018 showcase, WD demonstrated the performance of the WD Black NVMe SSD. They even showed how they can be used to create an 8TB SSD that is as fast as DDR4 memory!

Today, they introduced the new WD Black 3D NVMe SSD, that features their own SSD architecture and controller, and paired with their 3D NAND. It was engineered from the ground up on a new NVMe architecture, using a new NVMe SSD controller paired with their 3D NAND.

The WD Black 3D NVMe SSD (Price Check) boasts a sequential read speed of up to 3.4 GB/s, and a sequential write speed of up to 2.8 GB/s! It also delivers up to 500,000 random read IOPS, and 400,000 random write IOPS, so it will easily handle any kind of workload, even the most intensive multi-threaded applications.

It comes in three capacities – 1 TB, 500 GB and 250 GB. The 1 TB model can handle up to 600 terabytes of writes (TBW) in its lifetime, while the 500 GB model can handle 300 TBW and the 250 GB model will handle up to 200 TBW.

 

2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Specifications

Specifications1 TB Black 3D NVMe500 GB Black 3D NVMe250 GB Black 3D NVMe
Model NumberWDS100T2X0CWDS500G2X0CWDS250G2X0C
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
InterfacePOIe 3.0 x8 (4 lanes)POIe 3.0 x8 (4 lanes)POIe 3.0 x8 (4 lanes)
Sequential Read3.4 GB/s3.4 GB/s3.0 GB/s
Sequential Write2.8 GB/s2.4 GB/s1.6 GB/s
Random Read500,000 IOPS410,000 IOPS220,000 IOPS
Random Write400,000 IOPS330,000 IOPS170,000 IOPS
Endurance600 TBW300 TBW200 TBW
MTTF1.75 million hours1.75 million hours1.75 million hours
Average Active Power140 mW110 mW110 mW
Low Power (PS3)100 mW70 mW70 mW
Slumber (PS4)2.5 mW2.5 mW2.5 mW
Operating Temperature0 °C to 70 °C0 °C to 70 °C0 °C to 70 °C
Shock1,500 G1,500 G1,500 G
Operating Vibration5.0 gRMS, 10–2000 Hz, 3 axes5.0 gRMS, 10–2000 Hz, 3 axes5.0 gRMS, 10–2000 Hz, 3 axes
Dimensions22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
22 mm wide
80 mm long
2.38 mm thick
Weight7.5 g7.5 g7.5 g
Warranty5 years5 years5 years

 

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2018 WD Black 3D NVMe SSD Price + Availability

The new WD Black 3D NVMe SSD (Price Check) is available at the end of July 2018 at the following price points :

All three models will come with a 5-year limited warranty.

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The 1TB WD Blue 3D SSD (WDS100T2B0A) Review

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD is the first Western Digital solid state drive to feature their 64-layer 3D NAND technology that delivers higher storage capacities, performance and endurance, with lower power consumption. Let’s see if the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD delivers on that promise!

 

The WD Blue 3D NAND SSD Family

The WD Blue 3D NAND SSD family consists of four models built upon the same technology. They mainly differ in storage capacities, with some performance characteristics. Here’s a table comparing their key specifications :

Specifications2 TB WD Blue 3D SSD1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD500 GB WD Blue 3D SSD250 GB WD Blue 3D SSD
Model NumberWDS200T2B0A WDS100T2B0AWDS500G2B0AWDS250G2B0A
Storage Capacity2048 GB (Total)
2000 GB (Effective)
1024 GB (Total)
1000 GB (Effective)
512 GB (Total)
500 GB (Effective)
256 GB (Total)
250 GB (Effective)
Overprovisioning48 GB (2.4 %)24 GB (2.4 %)12 GB (2.4 %)6 GB (2.4 %)
SSD ControllerMarvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2
NAND Flash Type64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)
SDRAM CacheNoneNone512 MB DDR3256 MB DDR3
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/s
Peak Sequential Read560 MB/s560 MB/s560 MB/s550 MB/s
Peak Sequential Write530 MB/s530 MB/s530 MB/s525 MB/s
Random Read I/O95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS
Random Write I/O84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS81,000 IOPS
Write Endurance500 TB400 TB200 TB100 TB
Slumber Power56 mW56 mW56 mW56 mW
DEVSLP Power5-12 mW5-12 mW5-7 mW5-7 mW
Mean Time To Failure (MTTF)Up to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hours
Ambient Temperature0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
0°C to 70°C (Operating)
-55°C to 85°C (Non-Operating)
Vibration Range5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
Shock1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine
Dimensions100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm
Weight57.9 g37.4 g37.4 g37.4 g
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years3 Years

 

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD Up Close!

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) comes in a deceptively light cardboard box. Let’s unbox it and take a closer look!

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is a low-profile 2.5″ drive, with a thickness of only 7 mm. This is thinner than the regular 9.5 mm drives, making it suitable for all 2.5″ drive bays, even in thin laptops.

Next Page > 3D NAND, nCache 2.0 Technology, SSD Controller & SATA Interface

 

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The WD 3D NAND Technology

Western Digital first announced their 64-layer 3D NAND technology, also known as BiCS3, last year. However, it was only slated for commercial volume production in the first half of 2017.

BiCS3 was developed jointly with their technology and manufacturing partner, Toshiba. It not only uses 64-layers, but also 3-bits-per-cell technology to achieve high capacity (256 to 512 gigabits per chip) and performance at a much lower cost.

 

SanDisk nCache 2.0 Technology

SanDisk nCache 2.0 is a proprietary pseudo-SLC caching technology that greatly increases the write performance of the solid state drive. Here is an old infographic (from their Ultra II SSD) that shows how it works :

A small portion (about 4%) of the NAND memory blocks are set to run in the SLC mode, which allows for a much higher write speed. This SLC portion serves as a fast write cache for all writes to the drive, allowing for write speeds of up to 530 MB/s.

The data is later transferred to the TLC portion using the special On Chip Copy feature. This proprietary feature allows the transfer to occur internally on-die without affecting any other transfers.

In a 1TB drive, about 40 GB is reserved for use as the nCache 2.0 write cache. That translates into an effective write cache size of about 13 GB.

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The Marvell 88SS1074 SSD Controller

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) uses the Marvell 88SS1074 SSD controller, which boasts the following key features :

  • Supports up to 4 NAND channels, with up to 8 NAND chips per channel
  • Features Marvell’s third-generation NANDEdge low-density parity check (LDPC) technology
  • Supports SATA 3.2 (6.0 Gbps)
  • Toggle 2 and ONFI2 support at up to 400 MT/s
  • Integrated DEVSLP (Device Sleep) mode for low power support
  • Supports 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Built on 28 nm CMOS process

The Marvell NANDEdge LDPC technology allows for reliable on-the-fly error correction of the 3-bit TLC flash memory, with minimal impact on latency, performance and power consumption.

However, the Marvell 88SS1074 is likely to fall short in sustained throughput, because it only supports 4 NAND channels. Competing controllers like the Phison S10, for example, boast 8 NAND channels, allowing twice as many NAND chips to be accessed simultaneously.

 

SATA 6 Gb/s Interface

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is a Serial ATA drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s interface. It is backward-compatible, so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers. However, the faster SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance because this SSD is capable of a peak transfer rate of 560 MB/s.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes with the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors, and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this solid state drive while the PC is still running. There is no jumper block, because there’s really nothing for you to set. It’s just plug and play!

Next Page > SSD Endurance & Maintenance

 

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SSD Endurance

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is rated for a lifetime write lifespan of 400 TBW (Terabytes Written). That does not seem like a lot (equal to overwriting the drive just 400 times), but it is considered enterprise-grade endurance. Many consumer-grade SSDs of equivalent capacity are rated at around 75-100 TBW.

Based on a typical consumer DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) of 20 GB per day, this 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) will last at least 54 years.

Please note that this long lifespan is due to the large capacity. The 500 GB and 250 GB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are rated at 200 TBW and 100 TBW respectively. That corresponds to an estimated lifespan of 27 years and 13.5 years respectively.

Like all other current SSDs, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) comes with certain features to help extend its lifespan :

Wear Levelling

Unlike hard disk drives, flash-based SSDs write and overwrite data in large blocks of 512 KB to 1 MB in size. Even if you only need to write one byte of data, it has to erase and overwrite an entire block. This causes a lot of wear on the memory cells and greatly reduces their lifespan.

To help extend the lifespan of the drive, SSDs perform wear levelling by spreading the writes, so that the flash memory cells have equal wear. The lifespan of the memory cells remain unchanged, but it prevents some of them from failing earlier due to excessive wear.

Write Combine Cache

SSDs also use a write buffer to temporarily store and combine the writes before they are actually written to the flash memory. This reduces the number of block erases required, and consequently, extends the lifespan of the flash memory cells.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) uses the aforementioned nCache 2.0 technology instead of a dedicated SDRAM write combine cache. It reserves about 4% of the NAND blocks and uses them in the SLC mode.

The resulting nCache 2.0 write cache may not be as fast as an SDRAM cache, but it is much larger in size. The 1TB WD Blue SSD, for example, boasts a large 1 GB DDR3L memory cache, but that is nothing compared to the 13 GB (or so) SLC cache in the 1TB WD Blue 3D SSD.

TRIM

Current SSDs support the TRIM command, otherwise known as the ATA8-ACS-2 DATA SET MANAGEMENT command. Operating systems that support TRIM (e.g. Microsoft Windows 7) will notify the SSD when data blocks are deleted in the file system. This allows the SSD to perform garbage collection in the background – internally erasing the affected blocks so that they are ready to be written to.

Without the TRIM command, the SSD will not know when a block of data has been deleted by the operating system. When new data is written to the same block of data, it will force the SSD to perform the time-consuming read-erase-modify-write cycle, which not only cripples performance but also increases wear on the affected memory cells.

Multi-Stream

This is a new SSD technology that was introduced in May 2015, as part of the T10 SCSI Standard. Multi-stream greatly improves performance and extends lifespan by reducing or even eliminating garbage collection.

It achieves this by marking data writes that are associated with one another, or have a similar lifetime, with a unique stream ID. This allows the SSD controller to pack all data writes with the same stream ID into the same block.

When the operating system deletes data, it is likely that they are all packed into the same block. If the block has not been written to the SSD, then this eliminates the pending write operation completely. If the block has been written to the SSD, then this would only require that single block to be erased, instead of multiple blocks (which would happen if the data was not all packed into the same block).

 

SSD Maintenance

First of all, you should never, ever defragment solid state drives. Spatial fragmentation of data on the SSD has no effect on its performance. Fragmented data are accessed as quickly as nicely-packed blocks, so it’s pointless to defragment the data blocks. Doing so will only reduce the lifespan of the flash memory cells by putting them under additional wear.

3D NAND flash memory will only last about 1,000 erase/write cycles – about the same as TLC NAND memory. You will want to minimise the number of times each flash memory cell is erased.

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You should also use an operating system that supports the TRIM command. If you are using one of the following operating systems, then you have nothing to worry about :

  • Microsoft Windows 7, or better
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, or better
  • Linux 2.6.33, or better
  • FreeBSD 8.2, or better
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard, or better

If not, you should consider upgrading your operating system. Otherwise, you will need to perform manual garbage collection on a regular basis, either using a manufacturer utility, or newer defragmentation software that specifically supports solid state drives.

Basically, these utilities will retrieve the list of free blocks from the operating system’s file system and pass it to the SSD in the form of TRIM commands, so that it will know which blocks to erase internally. Again, these utilities are not necessary if you are using an operating system that supports TRIM.

Next Page > Over-Provisioning, Capacity, Transfer Rate Profile, WinBench Results & Transfer Rate Range

 

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Testing The SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND SSD

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
SSD & HDD Drives 8 TB Western Digital Gold
1 TB + 120 GB WD Black²
1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD
1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD
1 TB WD Blue SSD
1 TB WD VelociRaptor
256 GB OCZ Vector
240 GB HyperX Savage
240 GB Intel 520 Series
160 GB Intel X25-M G2
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

Testing Methodology

 

Over-Provisioning & Usable Capacity

This 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) has a maximum storage capacity of 1,024 GB, courtesy of eight 128 GB SanDisk 3D NAND chips. Of that, a mere 24 GB has been set aside for garbage collection, wear levelling and replacement of failing blocks.

Ordinarily, the limited 2.4% over-provisioning may impact long-term performance and lifespan. However, Western Digital mitigated that using a large 13 GB pseudo-SLC write cache they call nCache 2.0.

After it is formatted in NTFS, the actual formatted capacity is 1,000,202,039,296 bytes. This is slightly (202 MB) more than the official formatted capacity of 1,000 GB.

With about 124 MB of space allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity is just above 1,000 GB.

 

Transfer Rate Profile

We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) to the 1TB WD Blue SSD. As you can see, it has a sustained throughput of about 378 MB/s, which makes it almost twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD, which uses TLC NAND memory.

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Business Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did very well in this test, beating its brother, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) by 17%!

Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB 77.7 MB/s + 7.2% Review Lowest $
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB 72.5 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 63.1 MB/s – 14.9% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB 62.1 MB/s – 16.7% Review Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 62.0 MB/s – 16.9% Review Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 62.0 MB/s – 16.9% Review Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 61.9 MB/s – 17.1% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 50.4 MB/s – 43.8% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 29.8 MB/s – 143.3% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 211.2% Review Lowest $

 

High-End Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did very well in the High-End test, beating virtually all other competitors, except for the 240 GB HyperX Savage and the 240 GB Intel 520 Series SSDs.

Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB 283 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 277 MB/s – 2.2% Review Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 262 MB/s – 8.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 246 MB/s – 15.0% Review Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 220 MB/s – 28.6% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 215 MB/s – 131.6% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 172 MB/s – 164.5% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 212.8% Review Lowest $
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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of memory cell-to-controller transfer rates for SSDs, or the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track in HDDs.

Despite boasting an official peak read speed of 560 MB/s, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) could only hit 386 MB/s. That is impressive in its own right, but puts it below the 256 GB OCZ Vector and the 240 GB HyperX Savage SSDs.

Next Page > IO Meter Benchmark Results

 

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IO Meter

We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Throughput (Random Access)

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 371.71 MB/s 239.84 MB/s + 55.0%
512 KB Write 488.55 MB/s 257.09 MB/s + 90.0%
4 KB Read 32.48 MB/s 24.93 MB/s + 30.3%
4 KB Write 75.94 MB/s 53.31 MB/s + 42.4%

The small random reads and writes are the most important tests for applications that make a lot of random accesses, so these would be key performance indicators for SSDs that are often used as boot drives.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did incredibly well in this test, solidly beating the 1TB WD Blue SSD. Thanks to its built-in nCache 2.0 technology, it delivered almost twice the large random write performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD!

 

Random Access Time

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.41 ms 2.19 ms – 35.5%
512 KB Write 1.07 ms 2.04 ms – 47.4%
4 KB Read 0.13 ms 0.17 ms – 25.1%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.08 ms – 29.8%

The random write performance of the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) was truly stellar, in comparison to the 1TB WD Blue SSD.

 

Random CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 29.50 % 7.16 % + 312.0%
512 KB Write 30.12 % 7.31 % + 312.3%
4 KB Read 32.53 % 9.94 % + 227.2%
4 KB Write 35.72 % 11.91 % + 199.9%

The only downside – the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) uses up a lot more CPU performance than the 1TB WD Blue SSD. About 3X more CPU performance, on average!

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IO Meter (Sequential Accesses)

We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Sequential Throughput

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 510.62 MB/s 250.14 MB/s + 104.1%
512 KB Write 494.55 MB/s 255.54 MB/s + 93.5%
4 KB Read 84.74 MB/s 63.35 MB/s + 33.8%
4 KB Write 75.98 MB/s 59.15 MB/s + 28.5%

The sequential read and write performance indicators determine how fast you can copy and move files. This is also important in determining how fast you can launch an application or game.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did marvellously in this test, coming in twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD in large, sequential reads and writes.  It also had a large boost in small sequential read and write performance.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.03 ms 2.10 ms – 51.2%
512 KB Write 1.06 ms 2.05 ms – 48.3%
4 KB Read 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 26.7%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 22.4%

 

Sequential CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 29.61 % 8.69 % + 240.7%
512 KB Write 29.11 % 5.76 % + 405.4%
4 KB Read 36.38 % 15.93 % + 128.4%
4 KB Write 35.69 % 15.42 % + 131.5%

Again, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) took up a significant amount of CPU processing power.

Next Page > IOPS Scaling Results

 

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IOPS Scaling (Random)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

Even though the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) is rated for enterprise-class endurance, its Marvell 88SS1074 controller is just not capable of handling too many simultaneous operations. It appears to handle up to 8 simultaneous transactions.

Its nCache 2.0 technology appears to have compensated for its limited NAND channels, allowing it greatly supersede the performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 7,928 IOPS 6,086 IOPS + 30.3%
8 46,297 IOPS 38,444 IOPS + 20.4%
32 64,051 IOPS 36,145 IOPS + 77.2%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,539 IOPS 13,015 IOPS + 42.5%
8 49,559 IOPS 39,066 IOPS + 26.9%
32 51,495 IOPS 39,115 IOPS + 31.6%

 

512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 709 IOPS 457 IOPS + 55.0%
8 1,075 IOPS 537 IOPS + 100.4%
32 1,077 IOPS 544 IOPS + 97.9%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 932 IOPS 490 IOPS + 90.0%
8 946 IOPS 522 IOPS + 81.4%
32 961 IOPS 522 IOPS + 84.3%
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IOPS Scaling (Sequential)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) did much better than the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 20,688 IOPS 15,466 IOPS + 33.8%
8 66,011 IOPS 41,425 IOPS + 59.4%
32 65,146 IOPS 37,963 IOPS + 71.6%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,550 IOPS 14,440 IOPS + 28.5%
8 49,505 IOPS 38,840 IOPS + 27.5%
32 54,477 IOPS 39,188 IOPS + 39.0%

 

512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 974 IOPS 477 IOPS + 104.1%
8 1,079 IOPS 544 IOPS + 98.3%
32 1,065 IOPS 540 IOPS + 97.2%

 

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 943 IOPS 487 IOPS + 93.5%
8 1,025 IOPS 521 IOPS + 96.5%
32 1,026 IOPS 521 IOPS + 96.8%

Next Page > AS SSD Benchmark Results

 

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AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD Benchmark is a simple and easy-to-use SSD benchmark by Alex Intelligent Software. It not only tests the drive’s sequential transfer rates and access times, but also its performance at both single-threaded and multi-threaded 4K IOPS.

 

Sequential Transfers

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 516.0 MB/s + 1.9% Price, Review
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 506.6 MB/s Baseline Price
OCZ Vector 500.3 MB/s – 1.2% Price, Review
SanDisk Ultra 3D 493.5 MB/s – 2.6% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 293.9 MB/s – 42.0% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 280.6 MB/s – 44.6% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 260.2 MB/s – 48.6% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 179.0 MB/s – 64.7% Price, Review

 

Single-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 48.2 MB/s Baseline Price
SanDisk Ultra 3D 48.1 MB/s – 0.2% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 45.7 MB/s – 5.1% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 40.2 MB/s – 16.5% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 38.6 MB/s – 19.9% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 35.0 MB/s – 27.4% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 31.7 MB/s – 34.2% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 30.7 MB/s – 36.3% Price, Review
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Multi-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
SanDisk Ultra 3D 347.3 MB/s + 1.5% Price, Review
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 342.3 MB/s Baseline Price
OCZ Vector 338.6 MB/s – 1.1% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 257.8 MB/s – 24.7% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 193.6 MB/s – 43.5% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 177.5 MB/s – 48.2% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 164.9 MB/s – 51.8% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 125.2 MB/s – 63.4% Price, Review

 

Access Time

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 0.065 ms – 13.4% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 0.067 ms – 10.1% Price, Review
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD 0.075 ms Baseline Price
SanDisk Ultra 3D 0.076 ms + 1.3% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 0.078 ms + 4.7% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 0.089 ms + 18.8% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 0.119 ms + 59.1% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 0.162 ms + 116.8% Price, Review

Next Page > ATTO Disk Benchmark Results, Verdict, Award & Prices

 

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ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark is a free benchmark that allows you to compare the performance of solid state drives using a variety of transfer sizes. It also allows us to determine if the SSD performs data compression to improve performance, and extend lifespan.

 

I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 6.5 MB/s 145.1 MB/s 5.8 MB/s 143.6 MB/s
Write Speed 5.6 MB/s 137.2 MB/s 6.1 MB/s 134.2 MB/s

The Marvell 88SS1074 controller does not perform any data compression, which is why the performance results are the same for both compressible and non-compressible data. The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 1 MB.

 

Multiple I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 8.8 MB/s 147 2 MB/s 10.2 MB/s 147.5 MB/s
Write Speed 8.3 MB/s 139.6 MB/s 9.0 MB/s 136.5 MB/s

With just 8 simultaneous transactions, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 128 KB.

 

Our Verdict & Award

The first 1 terabyte solid state drive we tested was the 1TB WD Blue (WDS100T1B0A) SSD. While it had a large storage capacity, high endurance and a affordable price point, it was not particularly fast.

That changed with the introduction of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology, which not only increases storage capacity and performance, but also reduces cost and power consumption. Now we can have our cake and eat it too.

The 1TB WD Blue 3D SSD (Price Check) is the first Western Digital solid state drive to make use of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology and it sure impressed us with its performance.

Despite using the same SSD controller as the 1TB WD Blue, the 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) was twice as fast in large reads and writes. It accomplished this without using any SDRAM cache, thanks to nCache 2.0 technology.

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The 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD (Price Check) will work well as a boot drive, thanks to its excellent small random performance. It will be particularly attractive as an upgrade option for laptops still running on hard disk drives, or smaller SSDs.

Just note that its high performance requires a significant amount of CPU performance. So make sure you pair it with a fast processor.

We like its combination of great performance, large storage capacity and lower cost so much, we think it deserves our Editor’s Choice Award. Great work, Western Digital!

 

WD Blue 3D NAND SSD Prices & Warranty

The WD Blue 3D SSDs are available in storage capacities from 250 GB to 2 TB in the 2.5-inch / 7mm cased drive form factor, at the following price points :

  • 2TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $520.97 | RM 3,800
  • 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $259.99 | RM 1,596 (MSRP : RM 2,000)
  • 500GB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $134.99 | RM 777 (MSRP : RM 1,100)
  • 250GB WD Blue 3D NAND SSD : $83.19 | RM 458 (MSRP : RM 620)

The WD Blue 3D SSD is also available in the single-sided M.2 2280 form factor.

All WD Blue 3D NAND SSDs come with a three-year limited warranty.

Go Back To > First Page | Reviews | Home

 

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The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (SDSSDH3-1T00) Review

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD is the first SanDisk solid state drive to feature their 64-layer 3D NAND technology that delivers higher storage capacities, performance and endurance, with lower power consumption. Let’s see if the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD delivers on that promise!

 

The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD Family

The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD family consists of four models built upon the same technology. They mainly differ in storage capacities, with some performance characteristics. Here’s a table comparing their key specifications :

Specifications2 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D500 GB SanDisk Ultra 3D250 GB SanDisk Ultra 3D
Model NumberSDSSDH3-2T00SDSSDH3-1T00SDSSDH3-500GSDSSDH3-250G
Storage Capacity2048 GB (Total)
2000 GB (Effective)
1024 GB (Total)
1000 GB (Effective)
512 GB (Total)
500 GB (Effective)
256 GB (Total)
250 GB (Effective)
Overprovisioning48 GB (2.4 %)24 GB (2.4 %)12 GB (2.4 %)6 GB (2.4 %)
SSD ControllerMarvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2
NAND Flash Type64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)64-layer WD 3D NAND (BiCS3)
SDRAM CacheNoneNone512 MB DDR3256 MB DDR3
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/s
Peak Sequential Read560 MB/s560 MB/s560 MB/s550 MB/s
Peak Sequential Write530 MB/s530 MB/s530 MB/s525 MB/s
Random Read I/O95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS95,000 IOPS
Random Write I/O84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS84,000 IOPS81,000 IOPS
Write Endurance500 TB400 TB200 TB100 TB
Slumber Power56 mW56 mW56 mW56 mW
DEVSLP Power5-12 mW5-12 mW5-7 mW5-7 mW
Ambient Temperature Range0°C to 70°C (Operating)0°C to 70°C (Operating)0°C to 70°C (Operating)0°C to 70°C (Operating)
Vibration Range5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.9 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
Shock1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine1,500 G @ 0.5 ms half sine
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years3 Years
Dimensions100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm

 

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD Up Close!

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) comes in a deceptively light cardboard box. Let’s unbox it and take a closer look!

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is a low-profile 2.5″ drive, with a thickness of only 7 mm. This is thinner than the regular 9.5 mm drives, making it suitable for all 2.5″ drive bays, even in thin laptops.

Next Page > 3D NAND, nCache 2.0 Technology, SSD Controller & SATA Interface

 

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The WD 3D NAND Technology

Western Digital first announced their 64-layer 3D NAND technology, also known as BiCS3, last year. However, it was only slated for commercial volume production in the first half of 2017.

BiCS3 was developed jointly with their technology and manufacturing partner, Toshiba. It not only uses 64-layers, but also 3-bits-per-cell technology to achieve high capacity (256 to 512 gigabits per chip) and performance at a much lower cost.

 

SanDisk nCache 2.0 Technology

SanDisk nCache 2.0 is a proprietary pseudo-SLC caching technology that greatly increases the write performance of the solid state drive. Here is an old infographic (from their Ultra II SSD) that shows how it works :

A small portion (about 4%) of the NAND memory blocks are set to run in the SLC mode, which allows for a much higher write speed. This SLC portion serves as a fast write cache for all writes to the drive, allowing for write speeds of up to 530 MB/s.

The data is later transferred to the TLC portion using the special On Chip Copy feature. This proprietary feature allows the transfer to occur internally on-die without affecting any other transfers.

In a 1TB drive, about 40 GB is reserved for use as the nCache 2.0 write cache. That translates into an effective write cache size of about 13 GB.

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The Marvell 88SS1074 SSD Controller

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) uses the Marvell 88SS1074 SSD controller, which boasts the following key features :

  • Supports up to 4 NAND channels, with up to 8 NAND chips per channel
  • Features Marvell’s third-generation NANDEdge low-density parity check (LDPC) technology
  • Supports SATA 3.2 (6.0 Gbps)
  • Toggle 2 and ONFI2 support at up to 400 MT/s
  • Integrated DEVSLP (Device Sleep) mode for low power support
  • Supports 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • Built on 28 nm CMOS process

The Marvell NANDEdge LDPC technology allows for reliable on-the-fly error correction of the 3-bit TLC flash memory, with minimal impact on latency, performance and power consumption.

However, the Marvell 88SS1074 is likely to fall short in sustained throughput, because it only supports 4 NAND channels. Competing controllers like the Phison S10, for example, boast 8 NAND channels, allowing twice as many NAND chips to be accessed simultaneously.

 

SATA 6 Gb/s Interface

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is a Serial ATA drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s interface. It is backward-compatible, so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers. However, the faster SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance because this SSD is capable of a peak transfer rate of 560 MB/s.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes with the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors, and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this solid state drive while the PC is still running. There is no jumper block, because there’s really nothing for you to set. It’s just plug and play!

Next Page > SSD Endurance & Maintenance

 

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SSD Endurance

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is rated for a lifetime write lifespan of 400 TBW (Terabytes Written). That does not seem like a lot (equal to overwriting the drive just 400 times), but it is considered enterprise-grade endurance. Many consumer-grade SSDs of equivalent capacity are rated at around 75-100 TBW.

Based on a typical consumer DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) of 20 GB per day, this 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) will last at least 54 years.

Please note that this long lifespan is due to the large capacity. The 500 GB and 250 GB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are rated at 200 TBW and 100 TBW respectively. That corresponds to an estimated lifespan of 27 years and 13.5 years respectively.

Like all other current SSDs, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) comes with certain features to help extend its lifespan :

Wear Levelling

Unlike hard disk drives, flash-based SSDs write and overwrite data in large blocks of 512 KB to 1 MB in size. Even if you only need to write one byte of data, it has to erase and overwrite an entire block. This causes a lot of wear on the memory cells and greatly reduces their lifespan.

To help extend the lifespan of the drive, SSDs perform wear levelling by spreading the writes, so that the flash memory cells have equal wear. The lifespan of the memory cells remain unchanged, but it prevents some of them from failing earlier due to excessive wear.

Write Combine Cache

SSDs also use a write buffer to temporarily store and combine the writes before they are actually written to the flash memory. This reduces the number of block erases required, and consequently, extends the lifespan of the flash memory cells.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) uses the aforementioned nCache 2.0 technology instead of a dedicated SDRAM write combine cache. It reserves about 4% of the NAND blocks and uses them in the SLC mode.

The resulting nCache 2.0 write cache may not be as fast as an SDRAM cache, but it is much larger in size. The 1TB WD Blue SSD, for example, boasts a large 1 GB DDR3L memory cache, but that is nothing compared to the 13 GB (or so) SLC cache in the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD.

TRIM

Current SSDs support the TRIM command, otherwise known as the ATA8-ACS-2 DATA SET MANAGEMENT command. Operating systems that support TRIM (e.g. Microsoft Windows 7) will notify the SSD when data blocks are deleted in the file system. This allows the SSD to perform garbage collection in the background – internally erasing the affected blocks so that they are ready to be written to.

Without the TRIM command, the SSD will not know when a block of data has been deleted by the operating system. When new data is written to the same block of data, it will force the SSD to perform the time-consuming read-erase-modify-write cycle, which not only cripples performance but also increases wear on the affected memory cells.

Multi-Stream

This is a new SSD technology that was introduced in May 2015, as part of the T10 SCSI Standard. Multi-stream greatly improves performance and extends lifespan by reducing or even eliminating garbage collection.

It achieves this by marking data writes that are associated with one another, or have a similar lifetime, with a unique stream ID. This allows the SSD controller to pack all data writes with the same stream ID into the same block.

When the operating system deletes data, it is likely that they are all packed into the same block. If the block has not been written to the SSD, then this eliminates the pending write operation completely. If the block has been written to the SSD, then this would only require that single block to be erased, instead of multiple blocks (which would happen if the data was not all packed into the same block).

 

SSD Maintenance

First of all, you should never, ever defragment solid state drives. Spatial fragmentation of data on the SSD has no effect on its performance. Fragmented data are accessed as quickly as nicely-packed blocks, so it’s pointless to defragment the data blocks. Doing so will only reduce the lifespan of the flash memory cells by putting them under additional wear.

3D NAND flash memory will only last about 1,000 erase/write cycles – about the same as TLC NAND memory. You will want to minimise the number of times each flash memory cell is erased.

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You should also use an operating system that supports the TRIM command. If you are using one of the following operating systems, then you have nothing to worry about :

  • Microsoft Windows 7, or better
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, or better
  • Linux 2.6.33, or better
  • FreeBSD 8.2, or better
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard, or better

If not, you should consider upgrading your operating system. Otherwise, you will need to perform manual garbage collection on a regular basis, either using a manufacturer utility, or newer defragmentation software that specifically supports solid state drives.

Basically, these utilities will retrieve the list of free blocks from the operating system’s file system and pass it to the SSD in the form of TRIM commands, so that it will know which blocks to erase internally. Again, these utilities are not necessary if you are using an operating system that supports TRIM.

Next Page > Over-Provisioning, Capacity, Transfer Rate Profile, WinBench Results & Transfer Rate Range

 

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Testing The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
SSD & HDD Drives 8 TB Western Digital Gold
1 TB + 120 GB WD Black²
1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD
1TB WD Blue SSD
1 TB WD VelociRaptor
256 GB OCZ Vector
240 GB HyperX Savage
240 GB Intel 520 Series
160 GB Intel X25-M G2
120 GB OCZ Vertex 2 (E)
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

Testing Methodology

 

Over-Provisioning & Usable Capacity

This 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) has a maximum storage capacity of 1,024 GB, courtesy of eight 128 GB SanDisk 3D NAND chips. Of that, a mere 24 GB has been set aside for garbage collection, wear levelling and replacement of failing blocks.

Ordinarily, the limited 2.4% over-provisioning may impact long-term performance and lifespan. However, SanDisk mitigated that using a large 13 GB pseudo-SLC write cache they call nCache 2.0.

After it is formatted in NTFS, the actual formatted capacity is 1,000,202,039,296 bytes. This is slightly (202 MB) more than the official formatted capacity of 1,000 GB.

With about 124 MB of space allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity is just above 1,000 GB.

 

Transfer Rate Profile

We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) to the 1TB WD Blue SSD. As you can see, it has a sustained throughput of about 410 MB/s, which makes it almost twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD, which uses TLC NAND memory.

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Business Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) virtually matched the 1TB WD Blue SSD in this test.

Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB 77.7 MB/s + 25.3% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 120 GB 74.4 MB/s + 20.0% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 63.1 MB/s + 1.8% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB 62.1 MB/s + 0.2% Review Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 62.0 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 62.0 MB/s Review Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 61.9 MB/s – 0.2% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 50.4 MB/s – 23.0% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 29.8 MB/s – 51.9% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 62.4% Review Lowest $

 

High-End Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) did very well in the High-End test, beating virtually all other competitors, except for the 240 GB HyperX Savage and the 240 GB Intel 520 Series SSDs.

Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Intel 520 Series 240 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
OCZ Vector 256 GB Beyond limit NA Review Lowest $
SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB 277 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 262 MB/s – 5.7% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 120 GB 250 MB/s – 10.8% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 246 MB/s – 12.6% Review Lowest $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 62.0 MB/s – 25.9% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 215 MB/s – 128.8% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 172 MB/s – 161.0% Review Lowest $
WD Gold 8 TB 23.3 MB/s – 208.3% Review Lowest $
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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of memory cell-to-controller transfer rates for SSDs, or the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track in HDDs.

Despite boasting an official peak read speed of 560 MB/s, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) could only hit 411 MB/s. That is impressive in its own right, but puts it below the 256 GB OCZ Vector and the 240 GB HyperX Savage SSDs.

Next Page > IO Meter Benchmark Results

 

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IO Meter

We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Throughput (Random Access)

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 388.48 MB/s 239.84 MB/s + 62.0%
512 KB Write 494.05 MB/s 257.09 MB/s + 92.2%
4 KB Read 31.57 MB/s 24.93 MB/s + 26.6%
4 KB Write 75.97 MB/s 53.31 MB/s + 42.5%

The small random reads and writes are the most important tests for applications that make a lot of random accesses, so these would be key performance indicators for SSDs that are often used as boot drives.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) did incredibly well in this test, solidly beating the 1TB WD Blue SSD. Thanks to its built-in nCache 2.0 technology, it delivered almost twice the large random write performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD!

 

Random Access Time

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.35 ms 2.19 ms – 38.3%
512 KB Write 1.06 ms 2.04 ms – 48.0%
4 KB Read 0.13 ms 0.17 ms – 22.8%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.08 ms – 29.9%

The random write performance of the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) was truly stellar, in comparison to the 1TB WD Blue SSD.

 

Random CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 30.21 % 7.16 % + 321.9%
512 KB Write 29.72 % 7.31 % + 306.8%
4 KB Read 32.15 % 9.94 % + 223.4%
4 KB Write 35.61 % 11.91 % + 199.0%

The only downside – the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) uses up a lot more CPU performance than the 1TB WD Blue SSD. About 3X more CPU performance, on average!

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IO Meter (Sequential Accesses)

We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSD. If you wish to see how the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD compares to other solid state drives, take a look at our Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide, which we will be updating shortly.

 

Sequential Throughput

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 511.36 MB/s 250.14 MB/s + 104.4%
512 KB Write 494.07 MB/s 255.54 MB/s + 93.3%
4 KB Read 84.83 MB/s 63.35 MB/s + 33.9%
4 KB Write 75.63 MB/s 59.15 MB/s + 27.9%

The sequential read and write performance indicators determine how fast you can copy and move files. This is also important in determining how fast you can launch an application or game.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) did marvellously in this test, coming in twice as fast as the 1TB WD Blue SSD in large, sequential reads and writes.  It also had a nice boost in small sequential read and write performance.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 1.02 ms 2.10 ms – 51.2%
512 KB Write 1.06 ms 2.05 ms – 48.3%
4 KB Read 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 26.8%
4 KB Write 0.05 ms 0.07 ms – 22.1%

 

Sequential CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
512 KB Read 30.17 % 8.69 % + 247.1%
512 KB Write 30.11 % 5.76 % + 422.7%
4 KB Read 36.07 % 15.93 % + 126.4%
4 KB Write 35.74 % 15.42 % + 131.9%

Again, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) took up a significant amount of CPU processing power.

Next Page > IOPS Scaling Results

 

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IOPS Scaling (Random)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

Even though the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is rated for enterprise-class endurance, its Marvell 88SS1074 controller is just not capable of handling too many simultaneous operations. It appears to handle up to 8 simultaneous transactions.

Its nCache 2.0 technology appears to have compensated for its limited NAND channels, allowing it greatly supersede the performance of the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 7,706 IOPS 6,086 IOPS + 26.6%
8 46,752 IOPS 38,444 IOPS + 21.6%
32 64,618 IOPS 36,145 IOPS + 78.8%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,547 IOPS 13,015 IOPS + 42.5%
8 49,086 IOPS 39,066 IOPS + 25.6%
32 52,569 IOPS 39,115 IOPS + 34.4%

 

512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 741 IOPS 457 IOPS + 62.0%
8 1,078 IOPS 537 IOPS + 101.0%
32 1,078 IOPS 544 IOPS + 98.1%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 942 IOPS 490 IOPS + 92.2%
8 952 IOPS 522 IOPS + 82.4%
32 966 IOPS 522 IOPS + 85.2%
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IOPS Scaling (Sequential)

In these tests, we tested the drive’s ability to tackle multiple input/output operations. We compared the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) against the 1TB WD Blue SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) did much better than the 1TB WD Blue SSD, even though they both use the same SDD controller.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 20,709 IOPS 15,466 IOPS + 33.9%
8 65,241 IOPS 41,425 IOPS + 57.5%
32 65,160 IOPS 37,963 IOPS + 71.6%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 18,465 IOPS 14,440 IOPS + 27.9%
8 51,812 IOPS 38,840 IOPS + 33.4%
32 50,670 IOPS 39,188 IOPS + 29.3%

 

512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 975 IOPS 477 IOPS + 104.4%
8 1,070 IOPS 544 IOPS + 96.6%
32 1,045 IOPS 540 IOPS + 93.4%

 

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB WD Blue SSD Difference
1 942 IOPS 487 IOPS + 93.3%
8 1,048 IOPS 521 IOPS + 100.9%
32 1,008 IOPS 521 IOPS + 93.4%

Next Page > AS SSD Benchmark Results

 

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AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD Benchmark is a simple and easy-to-use SSD benchmark by Alex Intelligent Software. It not only tests the drive’s sequential transfer rates and access times, but also its performance at both single-threaded and multi-threaded 4K IOPS.

 

Sequential Transfers

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 516.0 MB/s + 4.6% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 500.3 MB/s + 1.4% Price, Review
SanDisk Ultra 3D 493.5 MB/s Baseline Price
Intel 520 Series 293.9 MB/s – 40.4% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 280.6 MB/s – 43.1% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 260.2 MB/s – 47.3% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 179.0 MB/s – 63.7% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 172.3 MB/s – 65.1% Price, Review

 

Single-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
SanDisk Ultra 3D 48.1 MB/s Baseline Price
Intel 520 Series 45.7 MB/s – 4.9% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 40.6 MB/s – 15.5% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 40.2 MB/s – 16.3% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 38.6 MB/s – 19.7% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 35.0 MB/s – 27.3% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 31.7 MB/s – 34.1% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 30.7 MB/s – 36.2% Price, Review
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Multi-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
SanDisk Ultra 3D 347.3 MB/s Baseline Price
OCZ Vector 338.6 MB/s – 2.5% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 257.8 MB/s – 25.8% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 193.6 MB/s – 44.3% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 177.5 MB/s – 48.9% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 164.9 MB/s – 52.5% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 125.2 MB/s – 64.0% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 122.1 MB/s – 64.9% Price, Review

 

Access Time

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 0.065 ms – 14.6% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 0.067 ms – 11.3% Price, Review
SanDisk Ultra 3D 0.076 ms Baseline Price
WD Blue SSD 0.078 ms + 3.3% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 0.089 ms + 17.2% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 0.119 ms + 57.0% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 0.148 ms + 95.4% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 0.162 ms + 113.9% Price, Review

Next Page > ATTO Disk Benchmark Results, Verdict & Award

 

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ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark is a free benchmark that allows you to compare the performance of solid state drives using a variety of transfer sizes. It also allows us to determine if the SSD performs data compression to improve performance, and extend lifespan.

 

I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 11.6 MB/s 426.1 MB/s 11.6 MB/s 427.1 MB/s
Write Speed 7.6 MB/s 526.3 MB/s 7.6 MB/s 525.1 MB/s

The Marvell 88SS1074 controller does not perform any data compression, which is why the performance results are the same for both compressible and non-compressible data. The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 1 MB.

 

Multiple I/O Comparison

Results Compressible Data Non-Compressible Data
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Read Speed 25.8 MB/s 559 2 MB/s 26.7 MB/s 580.5 MB/s
Write Speed 16.2 MB/s 538.1 MB/s 16.1 MB/s 538.1 MB/s

With just 8 simultaneous transactions, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 128 KB.

 

Our Verdict & Award

The first 1 terabyte solid state drive we tested was the 1TB WD Blue (WDS100T1B0A) SSD. While it had a large storage capacity, high endurance and a affordable price point, it was not particularly fast.

That changed with the introduction of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology, which not only increases storage capacity and performance, but also reduces cost and power consumption. Now we can have our cake and eat it too.

The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) is the first SanDisk solid state drive to make use of the 64-layer 3D NAND technology and it sure impressed us with its performance.

Despite using the same SSD controller as the 1TB WD Blue, the 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) was twice as fast in large reads and writes. It accomplished this without using any SDRAM cache, thanks to nCache 2.0 technology.

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The 1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (Price Check) will work well as a boot drive, thanks to its excellent small random performance. It will be particularly attractive as an upgrade option for laptops still running on hard disk drives, or smaller SSDs.

Just note that its high performance requires a significant amount of CPU performance. So make sure you pair it with a decent processor.

We like its combination of great performance, large storage capacity and lower cost so much, we think it deserves our Editor’s Choice Award. Great work, SanDisk!

 

SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD Price Check

The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are available in storage capacities from 250 GB to 2 TB in the 2.5-inch / 7mm cased drive form factor.

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The WD + SanDisk SSDs With 64-Layer 3D NAND Revealed!

Western Digital earlier announced the development of 64-layer and 96-layer 3D NAND technologies, and now, they are introducing the availability of consumer-grade WD Blue 3D NAND SSDs and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs. These are the world’s first consumer-grade solid state drives that use the 64-layer 3D NAND technology to deliver lower power consumption with higher performance, endurance and capacities.

 

The WD + SanDisk SSDs With 64-Layer 3D NAND Technology

Targeting DIY enthusiasts, resellers and system builders, the WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs boast an industry-leading 1.75 million hours MTTF, as well as the quality backing of WD Functional Integrity Testing Lab (F.I.T. Lab) certification.

The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs, on the other hand, are intended for gaming and creative enthusiasts who want to improve their PCs. The product delivers enhanced endurance and reliability, no-wait boot-up, shorter application load times, and quicker data transfers.

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The WD 3D NAND Technology

Western Digital first announced their 64-layer 3D NAND technology, also known as BiCS3, last year. However, it was only slated for commercial volume production in the first half of 2017.

BiCS3 was developed jointly with their technology and manufacturing partner, Toshiba. It not only uses 64-layers, but also 3-bits-per-cell technology to achieve high capacity (256 to 512 gigabits per chip) and performance at a much lower cost.

 

Availability & Pricing

The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are available in storage capacities from 250 GB to 2 TB in the traditional 2.5-inch / 7mm cased drive form factor. They have the same MSRP:

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The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs are also available in the single-sided M.2 2280 form factor at the following prices:

All WD Blue 3D NAND SATA and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs come with a three-year limited warranty.

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WD Announces BiCS4 – World’s First 96-Layer 3D NAND Tech

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC), today announced that it has successfully developed its next-generation 3D NAND technology, BiCS4, with 96 layers of vertical storage capability. Sampling to OEM customers is expected to commence in the second half of calendar year 2017 and initial production output is expected in calendar year 2018.

 

The BiCS4 96-Layer 3D NAND Technology

BiCS4, which was developed jointly with Western Digital’s technology and manufacturing partner Toshiba Corporation, will be initially deployed in a 256-gigabit chip and will subsequently ship in a range of capacities, including a terabit on a single chip.

“Our successful development of the industry’s first 96-layer 3D NAND technology demonstrates Western Digital’s continued leadership in NAND flash and solid execution to our technology roadmap,” said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president of memory technology at Western Digital. “BiCS4 will be available in 3-bits-per-cell and 4-bits-per-cell architectures, and it contains technology and manufacturing innovations to provide the highest 3D NAND storage capacity, performance and reliability at an attractive cost for our customers. Western Digital’s 3D NAND portfolio is designed to address the full range of end markets spanning consumer, mobile, computing and data center.”

Western Digital also highlighted strong ongoing operations at its joint venture manufacturing facilities in Japan. In particular, the company reiterated its expectation that in calendar year 2017, the output mix of its 64-layer 3D NAND technology, BiCS3, will comprise more than 75 percent of its overall 3D NAND bit supply. The company now believes that, along with its partner Toshiba Corporation, the combined 64-layer 3D NAND bit output of the joint ventures in calendar year 2017 will be higher than any other industry supplier in calendar year 2017.

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The ADATA IM2P3388 Industrial-Grade SSD Launched

Taipei, Taiwan – June 15, 2017– ADATA Technology today launched the industrial-grade ADATA IM2P3388 PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 solid state drive. It employs 3D MLC NAND Flash and an SMI controller to deliver performance several times faster than SATA III SSDs, with read up to 2500MB/s and write reaching 1100MB/s.

The M.2 2280 form factor fits easily in the IT setup of industrial and enterprise users, while the IM2P3388 can withstand a wide temperature range, shocks, and vibration. The IM2P3388 is offered in up to 1TB and supports a range of features such as S.M.A.R.T, TRIM, power fail protection, and secure erase.

The ADATA IM2P3388 Key Features

Ultra-fast 3D MLC NAND M.2 SSD

The IM2P3388 complies with NVMe 1.2 specifications to provide performance optimized for low latency, big bandwidth PCI Express 3.0 x4 (four lanes). Users tap up to 2500MB/s read and 1100MB/s write, greatly accelerating data transfers to help increase productivity and efficiency.

ADATA is offering the IM2P3388 in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. All models carry premium 3D MLC NAND that has been carefully sorted, tested, and verified to the highest standards. SLC and DRAM caching provide speed boosts for sustained performance during even the most intense activity sessions, preventing bandwidth or IOPS drop offs.

Reinforced for industrial applications

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In addition to a wide temperature range of -40 to 90 degrees Celsius, the power efficient IM2P3388 is also rated for 20G vibration resistance and 1500G/0.5ms shock tolerance. It can work normally in diverse climates, notably relative humidity of 5% to 95%.

The ADATA IM2P3388 undergoes extensive testing to ensure EMI and ESD proofing. To protect data around the clock, the IM2P3388 has sensors to constantly monitor its status, covering estimated lifespan, power failure prevention, and data recovery. With the ADATA SSD Toolbox app, it supports secure erase to permanently remove sensitive data, wear leveling to promote balanced Flash utilization, and TCG Opal 2.0 encryption for improved data security and privacy protection.

Paving the way for greater SSD adoption

Traditionally, industrial users had to compromise capacity to get storage durability and performance. The IM2P3388 signals a continued shift towards the integration of high speed, compact, and large capacity M.2 SSD products in sectors such as manufacturing, data centers, surveillance, and transportation.

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Transcend SSD230 SSD With 3D NAND Flash Revealed

1 November 2016Transcend Information, Inc. is proud to announce the launch of a brand new SSD with built-in 3D NAND flash. With the growing needs for high-capacity and high-performance storage, Transcend has adopted 3D NAND flash technology for the 2.5” Transcend SSD230 solid state drives, boosting storage capacity, transfer rates, and reliability all at once.

3D NAND Flash Technology for Upgraded Capacity, Performance, and Endurance

To achieve higher densities, 2D planar NAND flash technology shrinks each memory cell onto a single layer of cells. However, this technology increases cell-to-cell interference and hence reduces reliability as it approaches its physical scaling limit. 3D NAND flash was developed to resolve this bottleneck, as it features multiple layers of memory cells stacked vertically.

3D NAND flash not only resolves the density limitations of 2D horizontal NAND, but also boosts read and write performance, as it does not require the invocation of algorithms to prevent data corruption. Free from cell-to-cell interference, state-of-the art 3D NAND flash technology also features higher endurance and lower power consumption.

Exceptional Performance up to 560MB/s and Enhanced Reliability

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Besides built-in 3D NAND flash, Transcend’s SSD230 is equipped with a DDR3 SDRAM cache that provides an incredible 4K random read and write performance of up to 340MB/s, making it the perfect choice as a boot disk for everyday computing tasks and programs.

Taking full advantage of the SATA III 6Gb/s interface and built-in SLC caching technology, the SSD230 achieves exceptional sequential transfer speeds of up to 560MB/s read and 520MB/s write. In addition to blazing-fast transfer speeds, the SSD230 also features a RAID engine and LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) coding, a powerful ECC algorithm, to keep data secure.

Exclusive SSD Scope Software

Developed for download and use with Transcend’s SSD products, SSD Scope is advanced, user-friendly software that makes it easier to maintain a healthy and efficient SSD. This software brings together the latest technology to determine the condition and optimize the performance of an SSD. SSD Scope’s useful features include: drive information and S.M.A.R.T. status monitoring, diagnostic scan, secure erase, firmware update, TRIM enabling, health indication, and system clone.

 

Transcend SSD230 Capacities & Warranty

The Transcend SSD230 solid state drives are offered in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities and backed by Transcend’s Three-year Limited Warranty.

 

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