Western Digital announces first Blue NVMe drives

March 15, 2019 | 10:13

Tags: #3d-nand-flash #eval-bek #m2 #m2-2280 #nand-flash #ngff #nvme #solid-state-storage #ssd #wd-blue

Companies: #western-digital

Storage giant Western Digital has announced that it is bringing high-speed Non-Voltile Memory Express (NVMe) to its value-oriented Blue family of products, launching two WD Blue SN-series M.2 SSDs with more than three times the throughput of their SATA equivalents.

Part of a colour-coded family of products which includes low-power Green, NAS-oriented Red, and high-performance Black, Western Digital's Blue drives are designed for the mainstream consumer market focusing more on price than performance. Originally available solely in spinning-rust mechanical format, WD expanded its Blue family to solid-state storage back in 2016 with the launch of 2.5" and M.2 2280 form factor SATA drives.

Now the company is bringing Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) technology to the range for the first time. Designed to replace traditional SATA connectivity with higher-throughput interconnects based on PCI Express, NVMe offers a significant performance boost which can be seen in WD's stated performance figures: Its 500GB WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD, the largest of the two-drive family to be announced, tops out at a peak sequential read speed of 1,700MB/s to its SATA-based predecessor's 560MB/s.

The top-end, yet still mainstream, drive also claims a 1,450MB/s peak sequential write speed and power consumption as low as 2.7W. It is to be joined by a 250GB model for those on a tighter budget, the company has confirmed, with both being based on its in-house 3D NAND flash memory, the same architecture as its performance-oriented WD Black SN750, and in the M.2 2280 form factor.

'Content transitioning from 4K and 8K means it’s a perfect time for video and photo editors, content creators, heavy data users, and PC enthusiasts to transition from SATA to NVMe,' claims Eyal Bek, vice president of marketing for data centre and client computing at Western Digital, in support of the launch. 'The WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD will enable customers to build high-performance laptops and PCs with fast speeds and enough capacity in a reliable, rugged and slim form factor.'

UK pricing and availability for the drives has yet to be confirmed, with WD setting US suggested retail pricing at $54.99 and $77.99 for the 250GB WDS250G1B0C and 500GB WDX500G1B0C models respectively (around £41 and £59, excluding taxes).

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