When Western Digital introduced their brand-new Black 3D NVMe SSD at the start of April, it seemed prefer it would possibly lastly deliver some a lot wanted competitors to the omnipotent Samsung 960 Evo and doubtlessly trigger a late-game upset in our Best SSD for gaming rankings.
With superior claimed sequential write speeds, equal sequential learn speeds, a extra beneficiant endurance score on the 250GB mannequin and so-close-you-can-feel-them-breathing-down-your-neck pricing, the WD Black NVMe SSD (2018) seemed like a mighty superb prospect for anybody considering an improve to their SSD setup. And in some respects, it very a lot is a mighty superb prospect. Then Samsung went and gazumped them with the discharge of their 970 Evo and, nicely, fully tipped it down on WD’s parade.
Available in three sizes with costs ranging from £105 / $110 at 250GB, £202 / $199 at 500GB and £380 / $400 at 1TB, WD say their Black NVMe SSD is able to sequential learn speeds of as much as 3400MB/s on the 1TB and 500GB fashions, dropping right down to 3000MB/s if you go for 250GB, and sequential write speeds of as much as 2800MB/s on the 1TB mannequin, 2500MB/s on the 500GB model and 1600MB/s on the 250GB one.
That’s fairly good going so far as the competitors’s involved, and it even matches or surpasses the Samsung 970 Evo in virtually each measurement class. As illustrated by the stunning desk beneath, the WD’s sequential write speeds are all quicker than Samsung’s claimed speeds, and it’s just about neck-and-neck on sequential learn speeds, too. Throw in a five-year guarantee throughout the board, and respective endurance scores of 200 terabytes written (TBW) at 250GB, 300TBW at 500GB and 600TBW at 1TB, and WD’s new M.2 type issue SSD stacks up as a reasonably first rate different.
|Samsung 970 Evo||WD Black 3D NVMe SSD|
|250GB||3400MB/s learn, 1500MB/s write||3000MB/s learn, 1600MB/s write|
|500GB||3400MB/s learn, 2300MB/s write||3400MB/s learn, 2500MB/s write|
|1TB||3400MB/s learn, 2500MB/s write||3400MB/s learn, 2800MB/s write|
|2TB||3500MB/s learn, 2500MB/s write||N/A|
In testing, these quicker sequential write speeds proved to be very a lot the case, too. I used to be despatched the 1TB mannequin for evaluate, and in AS SSD’s 1GB sequential check it managed a pace of 2680.1MB/s. That may not be fairly as excessive as marketed, however when the 1TB Samsung 970 Evo solely managed 2391.7MB/s write in the identical check, that’s nonetheless a mark within the WD’s favour.
That stated, the WD Black’s sequential learn efficiency was even farther from its claimed 3400MB/s, as my specific pattern solely completed in 2175.8MB/s. That’s fairly a bit behind Samsung’s 970 Evo, which managed a way more respectable 2954.1MB/s, whereas the 960 Evo got here in with 2484.6MB/s.
In fact, although, sequential speeds aren’t actually the perfect indicator of how briskly your SSD will likely be in actual life, as knowledge is never, most likely by no means, saved in good, adjoining blocks which can be all in a straight line. Instead, they’re chucked about everywhere, slightly bit saved right here, slightly bit there, and slightly bit in all places, even when your information all appear like they’re in the identical bodily location in Windows Explorer.
As a consequence, I put the WD Black NVMe SSD via AS SSD’s random 4K check as nicely, which reads and writes a gigabyte’s value of tiny 4K information throughout an SSD’s storage and is a way more correct illustration of how your SSD performs on a regular basis. Here, the WD Black managed a learn pace of 45.7MB/s and a write pace of 155.4MB/s.
This is just about on par with the earlier set of Samsung NVMe SSDs, the aforementioned 960 Evo (which produced 42.4MB/s learn and 143.9MB/s write), however this yr’s 970 Evo was streets forward in each classes, coming in with speeds of 56.1MB/s learn and 169.7MB/s write.
Okay, so possibly not fairly complete streets forward – maybe a lane, or a mews could be extra correct – however the WD Black NVMe SSD continues to be clearly on the again foot in the case of on a regular basis efficiency, as you’ll be able to see from the graph beneath (the place I’ve additionally included outcomes for the two.5in Samsung 860 Evo, simply so you will get an concept of how WD’s NVMe drive compares to as we speak’s greatest 2.5in SATA drive).
This could be superb if the WD was significantly cheaper, however when present costs put them kind of on a stage taking part in subject (the 970 Evo is definitely a bit cheaper at time of writing, costing £98 / $110 at 250GB and £176 / $199 at 500GB), the Samsung is unquestionably higher worth for cash total.
The identical factor occurred after I put the WD Black NVMe SSD via probably the most strenuous check on my benchmark listing – CrystalDiskMark’s workstation or server-grade 8-thread-8-queue workload – as nicely, returning a learn pace of 1737.7MB/s and a write pace of 1678.4MB/s.
Again, this might have been sensible if the WD Black NVMe SSD was competing in opposition to Samsung’s outdated 960 Evo, which was truly a bit slower after I examined it earlier this yr. But when the 970 Evo accomplished the identical check with outcomes of simply over 2000MB/s learn and write, it’s clear the WD Black NVMe SSD has plenty of catching as much as do earlier than it could actually actually go toe-to-toe with Samsung’s newest and best.
Of course, whether or not you’ll truly discover these variations in every day use is at all times onerous to quantify if you’re coping with these sorts of split-second speeds, however it will seem that Samsung has as soon as once more piped WD to the NVMe submit in the case of best-in-class SSDs.
Indeed, until WD’s pricing occurs to break down over the following couple of months, the Samsung 970 Evo continues to be very a lot the NVMe SSD you ought to be shopping for, particularly at 250GB and 500GB. At 1TB, issues get slightly extra attention-grabbing, as restricted inventory within the US appears to have truly pushed the 970 Evo loads larger than the WD Black NVMe SSD ($510 versus $400), however within the UK, the 970 Evo nonetheless reigns supreme throughout each measurement class.