Tag Archives: Marvell 88SS1074

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

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 WD Blue SSD (WDS100T1B0A) Review

The new WD Blue and WD Green solid state drives are the first product of Western Digital’s acquisition of SanDisk in May 2016. However, it was not Western Digital’s first acquisition of a solid state manufacturer, or even their first solid state drive.

Western Digital acquired the SSD manufacturer, SiliconSystems and released the WD SiliconDrive family in 2009. However, the SiliconDrive family didn’t gain much traction. The SanDisk acquisition though was much larger and far more substantial. Western Digital not only gained access to a wide array of SSD and NAND intellectual property, they now have a substantial and stable NAND flash supply.

Today, we are going to take a look at their top-of-the-line solid state drive –  the 1TB WD Blue SSD (WDS100T1B0A), which features SanDisk’s second-generation 15 nm TLC NAND technology. Check it out!

 

The WD Blue SSD Family

The new WD Blue SSD family will offer 1 TB, 500 GB and 250 GB models, each available in either the 2.5″ or the M.2 form factor. Here is a specification comparison of the three main models :

Specifications1 TB WD Blue SSD500 GB WD Blue SSD250 GB WD Blue SSD
Model NumberWDS100T1B0A (2.5")
WDS100T1B0B (M.2)
WDS500G1B0A (2.5")
WDS500G1B0B (M.2)
WDS250G1B0A (2.5")
WDS250G1B0B (M.2)
Storage Capacity1024 GB (Total)
1000 GB (Effective)
512 GB (Total)
500 GB (Effective)
256 GB (Total)
250 GB (Effective)
Overprovisioning24 GB (2.4 %)12 GB (2.4 %)6 GB (2.4 %)
SSD ControllerMarvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2
NAND Flash Type15 nm SanDisk TLC NAND15 nm SanDisk TLC NAND15 nm SanDisk TLC NAND
SDRAM Cache1 GB DDR3L SDRAM
(Micron MT41K512M8RG-107 x 2)
1 GB DDR3L SDRAM
(Micron MT41K512M8RG-107 x 2)
512 MB DDR3L SDRAM
(Micron MT41K512M8RG-107)
InterfaceSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/sSATA 6 Gb/s
Peak Sequential Read545 MB/s545 MB/s540 MB/s
Peak Sequential Write525 MB/s525 MB/s500 MB/s
Random Read I/O100,000 IOPS100,000 IOPS97,000 IOPS
Random Write I/O80,000 IOPS80,000 IOPS79,000 IOPS
Write Endurance400 TB200 TB100 TB
Average Active Power70 mW70 mW70 mW
Max. Read Power2.85 W2.85 W2.35 W
Max. Write Power4.40 W4.00 W3.40 W
Slumber Power45-52 mW42-46 mW42-45 mW
DEVSLP Power6.0-9.7 mW6.0-7.7 mW4.9-6.0 mW
Mean Time To FailureUp to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hoursUp to 1.75 million hours
Ambient Temperature Range0°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)
4.0 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.0 gRMS, 7-800 Hz (Non-Operating)
5.0 gRMS, 10-2,000 Hz (Operating)
4.0 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 sine
Warranty3 Years3 Years3 Years
Dimensions2.5" : 100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm
M.2 : 80 mm x 22 mm x 2.38 mm
2.5" : 100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm
M.2 : 80 mm x 22 mm x 2.23 mm
2.5" : 100.5 mm x 69.85 mm x 7.0 mm
M.2 : 80 mm x 22 mm x 2.23 mm
Weight2.5" : 59.7 g
M.2 : 7±1 g
2.5" : 37.4 g
M.2 : 7±1 g
2.5" : 37.4 g
M.2 : 7±1 g

 

Unboxing & Closer Look

The 1TB WD Blue SSD comes in a sleek cardboard box. The colour-coded box leaves no doubt that this is a WD Blue drive.

Now, let’s unbox the 1TB WD Blue SSD, and take a closer look.

Next Page > The 1TB WD Blue SSD, Interface, SSD Controller, Flash Memory, SDRAM Cache

 

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The 1TB WD Blue SSD

The 1TB WD Blue SSD (WDS100T1B0A) looks like any other 2.5″ slim hard disk drive. It was, after all, built to conform to the 2.5″ form factor, allowing it to easily replace any 2.5″ hard disk drive with a height of 7 mm. But there’s no doubt about its solid state nature when you pick it up – it’s very light!

The label on the underside has a lot of important information, like the model and serial numbers in case you need to RMA it. The label also lists interesting details like the date and place of manufacture. This particular drive was manufactured in China on 9 September 2016.

As it only serves to protect the NAND chips, SSD controller and circuit board inside from static damage, the case is made from plastic. In fact, it will sound hollow when you tap on it because the SSD internally does not take up much space.

 

SATA 6 Gb/s Interface

The 1TB WD Blue SSD 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 545 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!

 

The Marvell 88SS1074 SSD Controller

The 1TB WD Blue SSD 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.

 

The SanDisk TLC Flash Memory

To keep costs low, the 1TB WD Blue SSD uses TLC (Triple Level Cell) flash memory chips, where each cell holds 3-bits. These are SanDisk second-generation planar TLC chips, built on the 15 nm process. There are a total of eight of these TLC flash memory chips, each with a capacity of 128 GB.

 

The Micron DDR3L SDRAM Cache

The 1TB WD Blue SSD has a large 1 GB write combine cache, courtesy of two Micron MT41K512M8RG-107 chips. These are DDR3L SDRAM chips with an effective clock rate of 1866 MHz (DDR), a voltage of 1.35 V, and a storage capacity of 512 MB.

This large SDRAM cache allows the WD Blue SSD to mitigate the TLC flash memory’s inherently poor write performance. It also allows writes to the SSD to be combined, reducing wear on the flash memory cells and extending their lifespan.

Next Page > SSD Endurance & Maintenance

 

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SSD Endurance

The 1TB WD Blue SSD 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 will last at least 54 years. Please note that this long lifespan is due to the large capacity. The 500 GB and 250 GB WD Blue 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 SSD 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 SSD boasts a large 1 GB DDR3L memory cache, which should help to really extend the limited lifespan of the TLC flash memory. This allows the 1TB WD Blue to get away with a very small amount of “over-provisioned” space.

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.

Remember – TLC flash memory will only last about 1,000 erase/write cycles. 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.

Western Digital does not provide such a utility for their WD Blue SSDs, so if you are using an older operating system, you will need to use a third-party SSD optimisation software. Note that those software are not necessary if you are using an operating system that supports TRIM.

Next Page > Testing The WD Blue SSD, Over-Provisioning & Usable Capacity, Transfer Rate Profile

 

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Testing The WD Blue 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 4 TB Western Digital Re
1 TB + 120 GB WD Black²
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
120 GB OCZ Vertex 2 (E)
90 GB Corsair F90
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

Testing Methodology

 

Over-Provisioning & Usable Capacity

This WD Blue SSD has a maximum storage capacity of 1,024 GB, courtesy of eight 128 GB Micron 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, it appears that Western Digital has opted to mitigate that using a large 1 GB DDR3L SDRAM cache.

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.

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Transfer Rate Profile

We compared the 1TB WD Blue SSD to the 240GB HyperX Savage. As you can see, it delivered a sustained throughput of between 230 MB/s and 249 MB/s, with occasional bursts to 280 MB/s.

Next Page > WinBench Results, Transfer Rate Range

 

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Business Disk WinBench 99

The 1TB WD Blue SSD did quite well in this test, matching the performance of the 256 GB OCZ Vector and 240 GB HyperX Savage SSDs.

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 $
Corsair F90 90 GB 71.1 MB/s + 14.7% Review
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 $
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 62.0 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 61.9 MB/s – 0.2% Review Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 50.4 MB/s – 18.7% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 29.8 MB/s – 51.9% Review Lowest $
WD Re 4 TB 20.4 MB/s – 67.1% Review Lowest $

 

High-End Disk WinBench 99

In the High-End test, the 1TB WD Blue SSD did not do so well, coming in the lower end of the chart, albeit significantly faster than the hard disk drives.

Drive Model Capacity Business 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 $
HyperX Savage 240 GB 262 MB/s + 19.1% Review Lowest $
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 120 GB 250 MB/s + 13.6% Review Lowest $
Western Digital Black² 120 GB 246 MB/s + 11.8% Review Lowest $
Corsair F90 90 GB 231 MB/s + 5.0% Review
WD Blue SSD 1 TB 220 MB/s Baseline Lowest $
Intel X25-M G2 160 GB 215 MB/s – 2.3% Review Lowest $
WD VelociRaptor 1 TB 172 MB/s – 21.8% Review Lowest $
WD Re 4 TB 138 MB/s – 37.3% 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 transfer rate of 545 MB/s, our tests show that the sustained transfer rate of the 1TB WD Blue SSD is much slower – between 230 and 249 MB/s. This makes it significantly slower than the other SSDs in this comparison. It is important to note though that the 1TB WD Blue SSD remains much faster than even top-of-the-line hard disk drives like the 1TB WD VelociRaptor.

Next Page > IO Meter (Random & Sequential) Benchmark Results

 

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IO Meter

We compared the 1TB WD Blue SSD against the 240 GB HyperX Savage. If you wish to see how the WD Blue 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 SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
512 KB Read 239.84 MB/s 371.76 MB/s – 35.5%
512 KB Write 257.09 MB/s 488.15 MB/s – 47.3%
4 KB Read 24.93 MB/s 27.57 MB/s – 9.6%
4 KB Write 53.31 MB/s 53.52 MB/s

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 SSD held up well in small reads and writes, matching the 240 GB HyperX Savage SSD in writes, and coming in just 10% slower in reads. The large SDRAM cache seems to be doing its job very well.

However, it was much slower when it came to large reads and writes. This is due to the TLC the Phison S10 controller used in the HyperX Savage has twice the NAND channels of the WD Blue’s Marvell 88SS1074 controller.

 

Random Access Time

Test 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
512 KB Read 2.19 ms 1.41 ms – 35.6%
512 KB Write 2.04 ms 1.07 ms – 47.5%
4 KB Read 0.17 ms 0.15 ms – 11.8%
4 KB Write 0.08 ms 0.08 ms

The small random write access time of the 1TB WD Blue SSD was completely masked by the large SDRAM cache, allowing it to match the performance of the 240 GB HyperX Savage SSD. The small random read access time was also very good, coming within 12% of the HyperX Savage. However, due to the lack of NAND channels, its large access times were almost twice as long.

 

Random CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
512 KB Read 7.16 % 1.62 % + 342.0%
512 KB Write 7.31 % 1.81 % + 303.9%
4 KB Read 9.94 % 4.27 % + 132.8%
4 KB Write 11.91 % 8.97 % + 32.8%

For some reason, the 1TB WD Blue SSD took up considerably more CPU time than the HyperX Savage SSD.

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IO Meter (Sequential Accesses)

We compared the 1TB WD Blue SSD against the 240 GB HyperX SavageIf you wish to see how the WD Blue 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 SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
512 KB Read 250.14 MB/s 521.02 MB/s – 52.0%
512 KB Write 255.54 MB/s 486.12 MB/s – 47.4%
4 KB Read 63.35 MB/s 24.89 MB/s + 154.5%
4 KB Write 59.15 MB/s 53.65 MB/s + 10.3%

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 SSD did very well when the sequential reads and writes were small. It was particular good at small sequential reads. However, when it came to large sequential accesses, the WD Blue’s limited NAND channels came into play… giving it half the throughput of the HyperX Savage SSD.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
512 KB Read 2.10 ms 1.01 ms – 51.9%
512 KB Write 2.05 ms 1.08 ms – 47.3%
4 KB Read 0.07 ms 0.16 ms + 128.6%
4 KB Write 0.07 ms 0.08 ms + 14.3%

 

Sequential CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
512 KB Read 8.69 % 1.74 % + 399.4%
512 KB Write 5.76 % 2.17 % + 165.4%
4 KB Read 15.93 % 3.71 % + 329.4%
4 KB Write 15.42 % 9.34 % + 65.1%

Again, the 1TB WD Blue SSD required a lot more CPU time than the HyperX Savage SSD.

Next Page > IOPS Scaling (Random) 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 SSD to the 240 GB HyperX Savage SSD. For more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

Even though the 1TB WD Blue SSD 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 limited NAND channels also held back its performance in large reads and writes.

 

4 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
1 6,086 IOPS 6,729 IOPS – 9.6%
8 38,444 IOPS 42,254 IOPS – 9.0%
32 36,145 IOPS 58,728 IOPS – 38.4%

 

4 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
1 13,015 IOPS 13,068 IOPS – 0.4%
8 39,066 IOPS 55,906 IOPS – 30.1%
32 39,115 IOPS 57,441 IOPS – 31.9%
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512 KB Random Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
1 457 IOPS 709 IOPS – 35.5%
8 537 IOPS 1,072 IOPS – 49.9%
32 544 IOPS 1,076 IOPS – 49.4%

 

512 KB Random Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
1 490 IOPS 931 IOPS – 47.4%
8 522 IOPS 1,030 IOPS – 49.3%
32 522 IOPS 1,030 IOPS – 49.3%

Next Page > IOPS Scaling (Sequential) Results

 

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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 SSD to the 240 GB HyperX Savage SSDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at the Solid State Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

The 1TB WD Blue SSD did well in small sequential reads, but it remain limited to 8 simultaneous transactions. When it came to the larger accesses, it was limited by its 4-channel design.

 

4 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
1 15,466 IOPS 6,077 IOPS + 154.5%
8 41,425 IOPS 27,982 IOPS + 48.0%
32 37,963 IOPS 58,825 IOPS – 35.5%

 

4 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
1 14,440 IOPS 13,097 IOPS + 10.3%
8 38,840 IOPS 56,560 IOPS – 31.3%
32 39,188 IOPS 57,286 IOPS – 31.6%
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512 KB Sequential Read

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
1 477 IOPS 994 IOPS – 52.0%
8 544 IOPS 1,073 IOPS – 49.3%
32 540 IOPS 1,076 IOPS – 49.8%

512 KB Sequential Write

Outstanding I/Os 1 TB WD Blue SSD 240 GB HyperX Savage Difference
1 487 IOPS 927 IOPS – 47.5%
8 521 IOPS 1,031 IOPS – 49.5%
32 521 IOPS 1,030 IOPS – 49.4%

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.

The 1TB WD Blue SSD did quite well in this test, especially in the multi-threaded 4K IOPS test. Its sequential transfer rate was, again, limited by its 4-channel design.

 

Sequential Transfers

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 516.0 MB/s + 98.3% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 500.3 MB/s + 92.3% Price, Review
Intel 520 Series 293.9 MB/s + 12.9% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 280.6 MB/s + 7.8% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 260.2 MB/s Baseline Price
Intel X25-M G2 179.0 MB/s – 31.2% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 172.3 MB/s – 33.8% Price, Review
Corsair F90 140.0 MB/s – 46.2% Review

 

Single-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
Intel 520 Series 45.7 MB/s + 44.2% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 40.6 MB/s + 28.2% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 40.2 MB/s + 27.0% Price, Review
Corsair F90 39.9 MB/s + 25.8% Review
OCZ Vector 38.6 MB/s + 21.8% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 35.0 MB/s + 10.3% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 31.7 MB/s Baseline Price
Intel X25-M G2 30.7 MB/s – 3.1% Price, Review
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Multi-Threaded 4K IOPS Performance

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
OCZ Vector 338.6 MB/s + 74.9% Price, Review
HyperX Savage 257.8 MB/s + 33.2% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 193.6 MB/s Baseline Price
Intel 520 Series 177.5 MB/s – 8.3% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 164.9 MB/s – 14.8% Price, Review
Intel X25-M G2 125.2 MB/s – 35.3% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 122.1 MB/s – 36.9% Price, Review
Corsair F90 118.1 MB/s – 39.0% Review

 

Access Time

Drive Model Read + Write Average Difference Quick Links
HyperX Savage 0.065 ms – 17.3% Price, Review
OCZ Vector 0.067 ms – 14.1% Price, Review
WD Blue SSD 0.078 ms Baseline Price
Intel X25-M G2 0.089 ms + 13.5% Price, Review
Western Digital Black² 0.119 ms + 51.9% Price, Review
OCZ Vertex 2 (E) 0.148 ms + 89.1% Price, Review
Corsair F90 0.159 ms + 103.8% Review
Intel 520 Series 0.162 ms + 107.1% Price, Review

Next Page > ATTO Disk Benchmark Results, Our Verdict

 

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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 11.3 MB/s 246.8 MB/s 11.3 MB/s 249.7 MB/s
Write Speed 10.4 MB/s 269.5 MB/s 10.6 MB/s 269.5 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 SSD 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 26.6 MB/s 286 2 MB/s 26.6 MB/s 285.6 MB/s
Write Speed 24.5 MB/s 273.9 MB/s 24.8 MB/s 274.5 MB/s

With just 8 simultaneous transactions, the 1TB WD Blue SSD reached its peak transfer rate with a block size of 64 KB.

 

Our Verdict

The 1TB WD Blue SSD offers extremely quick random access times like other modern solid state drives. But it is no race car. Due to its 4-channel design, it was half as fast as comparable SSDs at transferring large files. On the other hand, it offers a tremendous amount of space at an affordable price point, and boasts enterprise-class endurance levels. So what does this mean for you, the user?

 

If you are looking for the absolute fastest SSD in the market, then the 1TB WD Blue SSD is not for you. You can find much faster SSDs in the market, albeit at much higher price points.

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But if you are looking for a decent solid state drive with a large storage capacity, and don’t want to sell an arm and a leg for it, the 1TB WD Blue SSD is worth considering. More so if you want something that will last you for many years to come.

The 1TB WD Blue SSD works well as a boot drive, booting up the operating system and applications much faster than any hard disk drive can. It may be much slower than comparable SSDs in certain benchmarks but in real life, it will only mean the operating system and applications start up a bit slower. In fact, you are unlikely to notice any difference unless you compare two systems side-by-side.

The WD Blue SSD‘s large storage capacity is a great boon to laptop users who cannot add a second hard disk drive for more storage. It would obviate the need to use a portable hard disk drive for extra storage. It also allows for an intriguing possibility – install it into a USB enclosure and you have a spacious portable drive that is impervious to shock and vibration!

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!