For quite some time, Samsung has been considered as the undisputed leader in the world of Solid State Drives. They’ve also been constantly acknowledged as the best producers of SSDs with some of the fastest NVMe drives to date. While a lot of companies have attempted to dethrone Samsung’s undisputed lead, a lot of them have also failed to provide the same level of speed and quality for their products.
However, the titan of hard drives made its move and Western Digital was able to create an SSD that goes head-on with the best from Samsung. The company has come up with the WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD and it is able to keep up with Samsung’s latest product; plus, it’s also one of the fastest and most efficient writing drive that is available today.
This is one notable product from Western Digital, so if you’re interested to learn more about the Black NVMe SSD, just sit back, relax, and we’ll give you more details on its performance, features, and if it’s something worth investing on.
WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD Review – What’s in the Box?
The WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD is packed in a rather small box with a visible image of the drive right at the front. Western Digital is obviously enthusiastic about letting everyone know that this product is a very fast drive that has a 3,400 MB/s read; this is also displayed right at the bottom-left corner of the package.
Next to it, you will find three boxes that exhibit the drive’s capacity, details that it makes use of 3D NAND, plus, it also comes with a five-year warranty.
When talking about the rear portion of the box, you’ll see a little clear plastic panel that allows you to view the drive even if it’s still securely kept within the package.
Other than the basic details about the product, there aren’t any other important information about the WD Black NVMe, so you can focus on opening the box to see the NVMe SSD itself. Aside from the product, the only other items present in the package are the warranty guide and technical support document.
WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD Review – A Great Way to Speed Things Up
The layout of the WD Black NVMe’s components are rather different compared to other M.2 drives that we’ve seen. This is because the company positioned and fixed the controller right in the middle of the drive which is amid the two NAND packages.
Western Digital’s WD Black NVMe is a one-sided PCB design so the drive’s rear is empty, and all of its components are concealed by the product label on the top portion. Each of the WD Black NVMe SSDs also makes use of a tiny piece of SLC or Single Level Cell 3D NAND which is known for being one of the fastest types of flash memory. This is a fact even if it can only move a tiny number of bits.
A bigger portion of the drive depends on the TLC or Triple Level Cell 3D NAND that is more adequate for read uses such as storing information and data. However, the company has actualized tiered caching to boost the overall system. An example would be this: if you had to move a large number of images, the drive would first try to transfer just as much data via its dedicated SLC blocks. This is due to the fact that they’re specifically created for burst workloads such as this.
Any form of spillover would automatically shift to the much slower reqd-focused TLC NAND; and at the same time, the drive will also utilize the SLC blocks whenever it is necessary to transfer the data.
Basically, the WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD from Western Digital is made to utilize the most rapid flash memory every time and decreases the latency with a lot of other cleaning and trash collecting background processes. This 1TB drive utilizes two 512 GB BiCS 3, 64-layer TLC packages.
Set amidst the controller and one of the packages is one SK Hynix H5A-N8G6-NAFA, 1024MB DDR4 2666 cache IC. Western Digital designed their new controller to have a couple of data pass the processor without exhausting clock cycles that are necessary for data processing. This method decreases the power consumption and temperature while simultaneously boosting, as well as improving its performance.
The WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD has a controller that passes most of the incoming write operations and go straight to the SLC cache; however, when it comes to other controllers, this isn’t always an ideal option.
There are a couple of SSDs that force all incoming data to pass the cache even before this moves the data to the main TLC storage pool. This can definitely slow down the transfer speed especially when the SLC cache have already saturated the data being transferred. So to bypass this issue, Western Digital’s controller can directly write to the TLC flash whenever necessary; this will then remove the process of flushing out the SLC cache even before accepting new data.
When it comes to this, we actually think it’s more favorable and convenient; and based on a couple of our internal tests, it only proves that bypassing the cache is much faster when transferring bigger files such as Blu-Ray ISOs from another high-speed storage.
Writing data straight to the TLC flash increases flash wear, so the company struck a positive balance between these two techniques.
The WD Black NVMe SSD that we have has a capacity of 1 Terabyte and it makes use of a PCIe Gen 3.0 4x NVMe interface; and also, the product has an M.2 2280 form-factor. When it comes to the dimensions, the WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD has a measurement of 80 x 22 x 2.38 millimeters and the drive weighs a total of 7.5 grams.
The WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD drive also clocks in at 3,4000 MB/s of consecutive read while it has 2,800 MB/s of consecutive write. The random read / write figures reach up to the 1 Terabyte drive which has a rate of up to 500,000 IOPS for reads as well as 400,00 IOPS for the write. The endurance TBW figures go up to 600 for this 1 Terabyte model.
Low Power Consumption Despite the Heavy Workloads
The WD Black 1TB NVMe SSD is designed to keep up with the heaviest workloads. The device comes with an innovative thermal throttling and power management technology which prevents overheating, providing you with fast and seamless performance.
Extremely Fast Performance
The WD Black’s sequential read and write speed rates reach up to 3,400 MB/s and 2,800 MB/s respectively, giving you the best experience whether you’re gaming, video editing, and a lot more.
With this WD F.I.T. Lab-certified drive, nothing can stop you from taking on different tasks since it is compatible with numerous high-performance PC configurations. Your WD 1TB Black NVMe is also backed by a limited warranty that is good for five years.
Designed for Greatness
The WD 1TB Black NVMe’s cutting-edge storage architecture has been optimized for power efficiency, low latency, as well as compatibility with a wide range of applications supported by the NVMe.
The WD Black Under Your Control
The software for the WD Black, WD SSD Dashboard, allows you to monitor your drive’s operating temperatures, available capacity, as well as SMART attributes. The Acronis True Image software is downloadable for free, and it lets you clone drives and backup your applications, settings, operating system, and the rest of your data.
Using the Product
The sequential read performance of the WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD has reached 3,500 MB/s and we were really impressed with its numbers.
For the sequential write performance, the brand new 3.0 nCache provides excellent results during the sequential write load; its results were among the highest that we have ever recorded during our tests, and this new WD 1TB Black NVMe is even faster compared to the higher end brands that we know of. This really impressed us, so Western Digital gets a thumbs-up for this.
As for the Black NVMe’s random performance, it also worked well unlike the other brands that we’ve tried and tested. For its random read, the device was quick to leap back to its full performance right after the PCIe bus shifted from a low-power state; also, the Black NVMe delivered over 12,000 IOPS during the longer test that we executed.
Overall, the new controller from Western Digital performed outstandingly especially during random write data. For the mixed sequential load, the WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD was able to top 3000 MB/s which is generally higher than what you’d usually see when it comes to standard applications. When we checked and tested the random and mixed workload, we were also able to get high results which is really great.
The Sequential Steady-State + Random Steady-State Performance
When it comes to these specific performances, the WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD was able to deliver high-class and quality performance after the ten-hour pre-conditioning period. It was able to exceed the more expensive brands and almost doubled the outcome of the next best SSD.
The WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD also performed faster compared to its competitors when it came to heavy write tasks; as for its power efficiency under heavy load, we can say that it was excellent as well. This definitely shows that Western Digital’s NVMe controller isn’t a power hog like what we first thought.
So, if you’ve ever tried Western Digital’s Black SSD from 2017, you’ll surely get blown away by the 2018 version’s performance. And during our tests, the WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD was once again the fastest in sequential copy performance.
Another thing that we really liked about the device is that it’s really easy to set up as long as your PC comes with an NVMe M.2 slot. If you’re utilizing a desktop computer, you can readily add the 1TB Black using an adapter. After you’ve installed this, the drive will automatically be recognized by the native driver of Windows 10. This only means that you can install Windows 10 from scratch just like how you would for a common SATA drive.
Since the WD 1TB Black NVMe SSD is also supported by the integrated driver of Windows 10, you can easily shift a computer from a SATA drive without having to go through pre-installing a proprietary driver or re-installing any software.
250GB, 500GB, 1TB
PCIe Gen3 8 Gb/s, up to 4 lanes
Up to 3,400 MB/s Read
Up to 2,800 MB/s Write
Up to 3,400 MB/s Read
Up to 2,500 MB/s Write
Up to 3,000 MB/s Read
Up to 1,600 MB/s Write
Up to 500,000 IOPS Read
Up to 400,000 IOPS Write
Up to 410,000 IOPS Read
Up to 330,000 IOPS Write
Up to 220,000 IOPS Read
Up to 170,000 IOPS Write
SSD Management Software
Western Digital’s SSD Management software is referred to as the SSD Dashboard; with this, you can easily monitor drive performance, status, update firmware, secure erase, as well as monitor temperature.
It also allows you to oversee SMART reports, update firmware, and check its performance in real-time. There aren’t any cloning tools built-into the utility, but you can simply download the Acronis True Image from Western Digital’s official website.
The disks under WD’s Black label has always been known for high performance and quality, however, a lot of people were not pleased with the original Black PCIe drive. Some have said that it should have been under the Blue label which was the company’s line of lower-end products that aren’t specifically for heavy loads.
Fortunately, Western Digital has released the WD Black NVMe SSD that did not just make up for the disappointment brought by its predecessor, but it also made the company more popular due to its excellent performance. With Western Digital having their own in-house controller for the Black NVMe SSD, allows the company to have better quality control over their products.
Indeed, this Black 1TB NVMe SSD is a great upgrade and unlike Western Digital’s previous Black NVMe drive, this one is absolutely worth purchasing and investing in. It is much faster and has a higher capacity; so if you ever need a drive that offers outstanding performance, we highly recommend Western Digital’s 1TB Black NVMe SSD.
Where to Buy
Add a much needed boost to your PC with the WD Black NVMe SSD. You can pick one up for only $399USD from the WD product page.