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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]
We tested the 1,000 GiB WD Blue SSD from Western Digital. Let’s seek how does it perform.
After acquiring SanDisk last year, Western Digital (WD) launched the WD Blue SSD family, which is a mainstream line, and the WD Green, which are aimed to low cost and low energy consumption. Both families are available on 2.5 inches and M.2 2280 form factors, both using SATA-600 interface.
We tested the WD Blue 1,000 GiB with 2.5″ form factor, part number WDS199T1B0A. Besides this one, manufacturer also offers WD Blue in 250 GiB and 500 GiB models.
The 1,000 GiB WD Blue has internally 1,024 GiB, but since it spares 24 GiB for overprovisioning and wearing balancing, it is sold as 1,000 GiB. It is important to say that this model is actually not 1 TiB, since 1 TiB equals 1,024 GiB.
Before proceeding, we highly suggest that you read our “Anatomy of SSD Units” tutorial, which provides all the background information you need to know about SSDs.
The WD Blue SSD uses TLC (triple level cell) memories. This kind of memory stores not two, as on most MLC memory chips, but three bits instead. It allows a higher data density and, thus, a smaller manufacturing cost for a same capacity chip.
The issues with TLC memory chips, compared to the two-bit MLC chips (and even more compared to the SLC memory chip, that store only one bit per cell) are the smaller speed (due to the error correcting mechanism) and a shorter lifespan, because there is more cell wearing on the erasing process (executed before writing new data).
The TBW (total bytes written, which means the amount of data written on the drive before it begin to experience tearing problems) for this model is 400 TiB (the same of the 960 GiB Kingston UV400, for example). Obviously, this is a very high number and must not worry most users, but it makes this model inadvisable for applications that need a big amount of data writing, like servers, for example.
We compared the WD Blue 1,000 GiB to the HyperX Savage 480 GiB, since we had no other SSD with similar capacity at our lab by now. So, keep in mind that the two SSDs compared are not direct competitors.
In the table below, we compared the tested units. All of them use SATA-600 interface and the 2.5” form factor, with 7 mm height.

Manufacturer

Model

Model #

Nominal capacity

Price

Western Digital

WD Blue

WDS100T1B0A

1,000 GiB

USD 265

Kingston HyperX

Savage

SHSS37A/480G 480 GiB

USD 189

In the table below, we compared technical specs of the tested drives.

Model Controller Buffer Memory
WD Blue Marvell 88SS1074 2 x 512 MiB DDR3-1866 8 x 128 GiB SanDisk 05478 128G
HyperX Savage Phison PS3110-S10 512 MiB DDR3L-1600 16 x 32 GiB Kingston FQ32B08UCT1-C0

[nextpage title=”The WD Blue 1,000 GiB”]
Figure 1 shows the box of the WD Blue 1,000 GiB.

WD Blue 1TB SSDFigure 1: The WD Blue 1,000 GiB package

On Figure 2, we see the WD Blue 1,000 GiB, which has an aluminum case with plastic cover.

WD Blue 1TB SSDFigure 2: the WD Blue 1,000 GiB

On the bottom of the drive, there is a sticker with unit info, as seen in Figure 3.

WD Blue 1TB SSDFigure 3: bottom side

Opening the WD Blue (removing four Phillips screws), we see the PCB. At the solder side, there are no chips.

WD Blue 1TB SSDFigure 4: solder side of the PCB

At the component side, we see wight flash memory chips, two DDR3 memory chips that work as a buffer, and the controller chip. Notice the SanDisk logo at the corner; the WD Blue 1,000 GiB is actually an updated version of the SanDisk X400 SSD.

WD Blue 1TB SSDFigure 5: component side of the PCB

The controller used by the WD Blue 1,000 GiB is the Marvell 88SS1074, presented in Figure 6.

WD Blue 1TB SSDFigure 6: controller chip

There are two DDR3-1866 memory chips, with 512 MiB capacity each, model Micron MT41K512M8RG-107, that work as a data buffer.

WD Blue 1TB SSDFigure 7: buffer memory

The flash memory chips are from SanDisk, and unfortunately we couldn’t find the official chip specs.

WD Blue 1TB SSDFigure 8: flash memory chip

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”] During our testing procedures, we used the configuration listed below. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the SSD being tested.

Hardware configuration

  • Processor: Core i7-6950X @ 3.8 GHz
  • Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Extreme6/3.1
  • Memory: 64 GiB DDR4-3000, four HyperX Predator 16 GiB modules
  • Boot drive: Kingston HyperX Predator 480 GiB
  • Video display: Samsung U28D590D
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX750
  • Case: Thermaltake Core P3

Software Configuration

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Benchmarking Software

Error Margin We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% cannot be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.
[nextpage title=”Compressible Data Test”] As you will have gathered from the previous page, we measured the performance of each drive using CrystalDiskMark.
It is important to note that we connected the SSDs to a SATA-600 port on our motherboard rather than a SATA-300 port, which could cause performance limitations.
First, we set CrystalDiskMark to “All 0x00 Fill mode” to evaluate the performance of the SSD when dealing with compressible data.
WD Blue 1TB SSD
On the sequential read benchmark, the WD Blue performed similarly to the HyperX Savage.
WD Blue 1TB SSD
On the sequential write benchmark, there was also a technical tie.
WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random read test with 512 kiB blocks, the WD Blue was 18% slower than the HyperX Savage.

WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random write test with 512 kiB blocks, the WD Blue was 7% slower than the HyperX Savage.
WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random read benchmark with 4 kiB blocks, the WD Blue was 60% slower than the HyperX Savage.

WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random write benchmark with 4 kiB blocks, the WD Blue was 6% faster than the HyperX Savage.

WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random read benchmark with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the WD Blue was 9% slower than the HyperX Savage.

WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random write benchmark with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the WD Blue was 12% slower than the HyperX Savage.
[nextpage title=”Incompressible Data Test”] For this test, we set CrystalDiskMark to the default mode, which uses incompressible data.
WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the sequential read benchmark, the WD Blue performed similarly to the Savage.

WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the sequential write benchmark, the WD Blue the WD Blue was 5% slower than the HyperX Savage.

WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random read test with 512 kiB blocks, the WD Blue was 4% faster than the HyperX Savage.

WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random write benchmark with 512 kiB blocks, the WD Blue was 4% slower than the HyperX Savage.
WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random read benchmark with 4 kiB blocks, the WD Blue was 14% faster than the HyperX Savage.

WD Blue 1TB SSD

And on the random write benchmark with 4 kiB blocks, the WD Blue was 12% faster than the HyperX Savage.
WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random read benchmark with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the WD Blue was 11% faster than the HyperX Savage.

WD Blue 1TB SSD

On the random write benchmark with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the WD Blue was 22% slower than the HyperX Savage.
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
Analyzing the data obtained on our tests, the first conclusion is that the WD Blue 1,000 GiB maintains the same performance with compressible and uncompressible data on reading and writing operations, which is great.
Compared to the HyperX Savage 480 GiB, the WD Blue 1,000 GiB was, on average, a little slower with compressible data, but a little faster with uncompressible data. This is a good thing for the WD Blue, which has not the intention to be a high-end SSD.
So, we conclude the WD Blue offers an excellent cost/benefit ratio, since it is one of the most affordable models with this capacity, and offers a performance level similar to performance-aimed models.