US-based data storage provider Western Digital Corporation recently announced new WD Black PCIe solid state drives (SSDs), which are also the first WD-branded client PCIe SSDs. The 512GB WD Black PCIe SSD is a performance PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe-based SSD designed to deliver more than three times the sequential read speeds of current SATA SSDs.
Let’s take a look at how it performs.
The WD Black is a low-cost NVMe entry level SSD designed to encourage mainstream users to upgrade to PCI Express-based storage. The WD Black comes in only the two capacities -- 256GB and 512GB. The drive harnessed power from the Marvell 88SS1093 "Eldora" controller, which is the same controller featured on the Plextor M8Pe series. However, the Plextor drive uses 15nm planar MLC, whereas WD chose 15nm TLC NAND.
The WD Black PCIe SSD is an M.2 form factor drive and houses the controller, DRAM, and NAND packs at the top. The other side of the SSD is blank since the drive is single sided.
The WD Black PCIe SSD provides faster boot up times, quickly loads read-intensive games or applications, and users may realise a performance improvement of more than 10 seconds when compared to SATA SSDs.
Like all WD SSDs, the WD Black PCIe SSDs include free, downloadable, WD SSD Dashboard software, which allows continuous performance, capacity monitoring, and firmware updates.
WD claims the sequential read/write speed of the Black SSD up to 2,050/800 MB/s. We put those claims to test on our test bed comprising of Intel Core i7 CPU, 4GB Kingston DDR3 RAM and Windows 10 OS.
In Crystal Disk Mark benchmark, the Black SSD delivered (sequential) 1786 MB/s read and 732MB/s write speed. In the HD Tune Pro, it delivered maximum and minimum read speeds of 512.9 MB/s and 329.6 MB/s respectively.
In random access, the SSD performed 18052 IOPS operation/sec with 0.049 ms average access time, 1.020 ms maximum access time, and 8.624 MB/s average speed. In the 4KB file transfer sequential benchmark, it delivered 970851 KB/sec read and 729452 KB/sec write speed – not bad, decent enough.
In our real-world test where we transferred an assorted 10GB data including video, excel sheets, photos, and other media from our HDD drive to the WD SSD drive, it took three minutes and 10 seconds. While transferring same data from WD Black drive to the PC it took approximately four minutes.
Consumers looking to ramp up their PC configurations with PCIe performance, the WD Black PCIe SSD will prove to be an ideal storage solution – for both PC performance and for more graphic intensive gaming and VR-focused applications.