Solid-state drives (SSD). Like the traditional hard disk drive (HDD) when it was still the norm, the lightning-fast storage option has gradually increased in performance, capacity, and most certainly decreased its cost per gigabyte over the years.
Today, NVMe SSDs with an average capacity of 1TB is more commonplace and as such have become more affordable than it was just a few years ago. One prime example of this is Western Digital (WD) and its Blue SN550 M.2 SSD.
What Is It?
If the title and the introduction still hasn’t clued you in, the WD Blue SN550 is the brand’s latest SSD to join the company’s WD Blue line of storage devices. More to the point, it is also the first NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD for the sub-brand, as well as the first one in its line to ship out with a storage capacity of 1TB.
Like all NVMe SSDs in today’s market, the SN550 comes in the standard M.2 2280 form factor and can be installed on to any motherboard that supports that feature, which practically covers motherboards launched from 2018 onwards.
Is It Any Good?
The WD Blue SN550 is available in three storage capacities: 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. For full disclosure, the model we got for review is the latter with its 1TB capacity.
All three SKUs have the same sequential read speeds fo 2400MB/s, while their sequential write speeds actually differ from one to the other. At the bottom, the model with 250GB storage has a write speed of 950MB/s, the 500GB with 1750MB/s, while the 1TB model has a maximum write speed of 1950MB/s.
Apart from the increased capacity, the SN550 also comes with an improved WD Architecture controller and an improved 96-layer TLC NAND flash memory. On that note, if you take a closer look at the product itself, you’ll see that the entire stick housing the single NAND module at the other end of the fins.
Speaking of controllers, it’s possible that the one used on the SN550 is the same as the one being used with WD’s Black SN750 SSD, albeit with fewer channels and cores.
On top of that, using the SN550 as your daily driver means you also gain access to WD’s SSD Dashboard and cloning software. Allowing you to keep a constant lookout on the state of the SSD’s health. Oh, and let’s not forget WD’s generous 5-year warranty for its product.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
While the sequential read and write speeds of the 1TB SN550 is undeniably fast, and at an SRP of RM589, it’s also reasonably priced. But, it should come as no surprise that there are a couple of options out there, either with higher speeds, comparable prices, or both.
In this instance, if you were willing to top an additional RM30, there is the PNY XLR8 1TB NVMe SSD. It’s faster too, with sequential read and write speeds of 3500MB/s and 3000MB/s respectively. Beyond this point though, there’s really very little to suggest that the SN550 would not be a worthwhile investment or upgrade, either to one’s desktop PC or laptop.
Should I Buy It?
If you’re aiming towards getting an NVMe SSD that sports above average speeds and isn’t going to hurt your wallet too much, then the answer is a resounding yes. At RM589 for 1TB and with a 5-year warranty, the WD Blue SN550 1TB is, in my opinion, a worthwhile purchase. Be it as a replacement for a system’s primary storage, or as a secondary storage option for files that benefit from NVMe SSD speeds.
To be clear, I’m not saying that this is the best deal on a 1TB NVMe SSD on the market. Naturally, with just a bit of sleuthing, I am fairly certain that you will be able to find better deals on faster SSDs out there.