If you need terabytes of storage then mechanical hard drives are still the best choice. If you want a fast-booting PC or laptop, then SSDs are the best choice. However, if you want blistering speed no other storage solution can get close to, then an M.2 PCIe SSD is the only drive to have. Western Digital offers a number of these drives already, but its latest Black-branded SSD is by far the fastest.
The older tech geeks among you will remember when Western Digital first introduced its Black-branded hard drives. Their storage was limited and they were quite loud, but worth it for the extra speed. Now that same Black brand is being used for a new Western Digital Black 3D NVMe SSD, and it offers the speed without any of the noise.
Samsung has been setting the pace with PCIe SSDs. The 960 Pro achieves 3,500MB/s read speeds and 2,100MB/s writes. The Black 3D manages 3,400MB/s reads and 2,800MB/s writes on the largest 1TB drive. Both are impressive storage devices, but Western Digital is aiming its new drive squarely at 4K gamers.
Three capacities will be offered: 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB and pricing is quite competitive. The 250GB drive is $119.99, the 500GB is $229.99, and the 1TB is $449.99. Compare that to the 960 Pro, which costs the same for 250GB (only in EVO form), but around $328 for 500GB and $615 for 1TB. Samsung also offers a 2TB version, but that costs an eye-watering $1,250.
Western Digital says the new drives use its own SSD architecture and controller. They can handle up to 500,000 random-read IOPs for the 1TB model and ship with a five year limited warranty. The 1TB drive also has the highest endurance rating of 600TBW, which means you can safely write 600 terabytes of data on to the drive before you should consider replacing it. That’s 120 terabytes a year during the warranty period.
All three models of the Black 3D NVMe are expected to become available this month. Be careful when searching for them though, as Western Digital has an older Black-branded SSD with much lower read/write performance (2,050/800MB/s).