Western Digital cranks up the speed with WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD

Western Digital has upped the speed of its gumstick format PC+notebook boot drive by adding two more PCIe lanes.

The SN520 is a 250GB, 500GB, or 1TB drive M.2 2280 drive using 64-layer, TLC (3bits/cell) flash and NVMe running across 2 PCIe gen 3 lanes. The new Blue SN550 has the same capacities but uses 96-layer TLC flash and with 4 PCIe lanes.

This gives it a notable performance improvement. The SN520 does up to 270,000/280,000 random read/write IOPS, whereas the SN550 cranks out at 410,000/405,000. The SN520’s sequential read/write bandwidth of up to 1.7/1.4GB/sec increases to 2.4/1.95GB/sec with the SN550.

The endurance is 0.3 drive writes a day for five years – that translates tos 600TB written at the 1TB capacity point. The SN520 maxed out at 300TB written. 

WD said content creators will get faster content access, meaning death by PowerPoint slide decks can be devised faster.

The WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD is available in the U.S. at select Western Digital retailers, e-tailers, resellers, system integrators, and the WD Store. Prices in the WD’s UK store are £50 for the 250GB, £70 for the 500GB and £125 for the 1TB.