WD Blue SN550 1TB NVMe SSD review

Memory (DDR4/DDR5) and Storage (SSD/NVMe) 372 Page 1 of 18 Published by



Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe M.2.1TB SSD
Proper performance at TLC prices -- 119 USD for 1 TB

With a rather properly volume size of 1024 GB, we check out the SN550 from Western Digital. The all Sandisk based product is plenty fast for any modern age PC or laptop. A value NVMe proposition that is capable of rattling some cages. And for those that do not know, Sandisk was purchased by Western Digital a few years back.

We had the opportunity to test the 1TB model thoroughly. This NVMe once again SSD has SanDisk written all over it, literally. The Western Digital WD Blue SN550 is an M.2 2280 SSD with a storage capacity of 250 GB, 500 GB and 1TB version. The drive uses the PCIe Gen3 8 Gb/s, up to 2 lanes. According to Western Digital, the SSD achieves read speeds of up to 2400 MB/s and write speeds of up to 1950 MB/s. WD having acquired Sandisk, that NAND and controller would be produced by them.

The SN550 SSD allows you to purchase NVMe storage in the 12 cents per GB region. Currently, that's just 109 USD for the 1TB model (price at the WD store at the time of writing this article). The performance will differ slightly with different volume sizes as smaller versions use less NAND channels and thus have slower writing. That said, whatever size you choose, the perf will be great and delivers sequential read and write speeds up to 2,400 MB/s and 1,950 MB/s for the 1TB model but that's 950 MB/s writes for the 250GB model. We remain focussed on what we teste though, the random performance rated up-to 400k random read IOPS writes for 4K IOPS. 

The SSD is WDs latest iteration of their consumer-ready Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) M.2 form factor SSD series. The SSDs have been fitted with Sandisk NAND (96-layer) and a SanDisk NVMe controller. This means WD can fabricate pretty much everything in-house. The claimed endurance, or the total amount of data that can be written to the SSD, is 600 TBW for the 1 TB model. The SSD follows a smaller M.2 2280 (8cm) form factor so it will fit on most ATX motherboards capable of M.2 just fine. SSDs in the 250GB range is becoming less attractive - they contain fewer memory chips, the speed is often lower, and because the basic production costs are (almost) the same as those of higher-capacity units, they are relatively expensive. Next to that, most people deem ~500 GB NAND flash storage to be a good default minimum value for a modern-day 2020 PC, with 1 TB as preference. Western Digital offers an excellent 5-years warranty on this product. Have a peek, and then let's head onwards into this review.


The SSD is a Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe 1.3) M.2 form factor SSD, it has been fitted with new Vertically stacked NAND from micron (96-layer) TLC. The performance numbers a good SATA3 SSD offers these days are simply excellent, but with the more niche NVMe SSDs you can triple maybe even quadruple performance, which offers serious numbers. The unit follows a smaller M.2 2280 form factor (8cm) so it will fit on most ATX motherboards capable of M.2 just fine.  IOPS numbers are now reaching the 400K for read and writes (depends on volume size / smaller is slower). At just one-tenth the weight of a traditional 2.5-inch SSD, the M.2 SSDs are ideal for users looking to upgrade their desktop or ultra-thin PCs with high-capacity, high-performance storage. You do need a modern motherboard with capable NVMe supported M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 connected) interface though, please do check out your motherboard manufacturer for that. Yeah, have a peek, and then let's head onwards into this review.

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