One of the simplest ways to get extra performance and squeeze more life out of an aging PC is by upgrading the storage to a more spacious or faster solid-state drive. This is especially true if your system relies on a slower hard disk drive. Though solid-state drives, or SSDs, are generally more expensive than their hard drive counterparts, Western Digital is making the upgrade more affordable for consumers with the launch of the WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD, which starts at $55 and uses the faster NVMe technology, rather than the cheaper SATA-based SSDs.
The M.2 format card is available in either 250GB capacity or an upgraded 500GB model. The upgraded model tops out at $78. WD’s pricing compares favorably to Crucial’s $80 P1 NVMe drive and Samsung’s $150 970 EVO in the same capacity. For comparison, Western Digital sells its 500GB WD Blue PC Mobile hard drive for $42, but you won’t get the speed, power efficiency, and reliability that an SSD offers at that price.
“The new SSD delivers three times the performance of its SATA counterpart while maintaining the reliability the WD Blue product line is known for,” the company said in a press release. “For content creators and PC enthusiasts, the WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD is optimized for multitasking and resource-heavy applications, providing near-instant access to files and programs.” Western Digital boasts 1,700MB per second sequential read speed and 1,450MB per second sequential write speed for the 500GB model. The WD Blue SATA SSD, for comparison, tops out with a maximum sequential read speed of just 560MB per second.
The WD SN500 NVMe SSD utilizes Western Digital’s 3D NAND technology, firmware, and in-house controller, and the Blue series drive is based on the company’s premium WD Black SN750 series. Western Digital is positioning the SSD at slim form factor notebooks and desktop PCs. The company claimed that the affordable storage capacities make these M.2 form factor SSDs ideal for content creation, including 4K and 8K video work, as well as multitasking and resource-heavy applications and programs. Western Digital’s Blue SN500 SSD is backed by the company’s five-year warranty.