The Western Digital Blue 3D and the SanDisk Ultra 3D give us our second look at BiCS 3 flash. The first time we got our hands-on BiCS 3, it was with Toshiba's XG5. We have been impressed with BiCS 3 on both occasions. BiCS 3, as far as we know, will be only of the TLC variety. That's fine by us because we are seeing MLC-like performance coming from much more affordable TLC flash. With 64-Layer BiCS 3 flash now hitting the market, low-cost, high capacity SSDs will become more prevalent.
We are very pleased with the sustained write performance we got from both test subjects. Unlike planar-based TLC SSDs, the Blue 3D and the Ultra 3D can sustain write transfers in the 500MB/s range no matter how large the file size may be. Additionally, both SSDs deliver excellent low queue depth random read performance. Great low QD random read performance translates into excellent moderate workload performance, as demonstrated by our PCMark testing.
For two years now, we've been hoping for a TLC based SSD that could challenge the 850 EVO for supremacy. In terms of sheer performance, the Blue 3D and Ultra 3D come very close, but the 850 EVO is still the faster SSD. However, when performance between competitors is this close, we need to step back and look at the overall value when recommending one over the other. As it stands at this moment, we would have to go with the 1TB Ultra 3D or the 1TB Blue 3D over the 1TB 850 EVO, because they are both priced significantly lower. As we see it, less money for virtually the same user experience wins out.
User Experience: As you might imagine, any drive that delivers performance that rivals the 850 EVO is going to deliver a stellar user experience. Whether it be booting, transferring large files, or running moderate consumer workloads, the Western Digital Blue 3D and the SanDisk Ultra 3D both deliver a true tier-one SSD experience for less money than the competition. The Western Digital Blue 3D and the SanDisk Ultra 3D are both TweakTown recommended.
- Overall Performance
- Low QD Random Read Performance
- Heavy Workload Performance
|Overall TweakTown Rating||97%|
The Bottom Line: Both the Western Digital Blue 3D and SanDisk Ultra 3D deliver a true Tier-1 SSD experience for less money than the competition.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United Kingdom: The WD Blue 3D NAND Internal SSD 2.5 Inch SATA - 1 TB retails for £125.54 at Amazon UK.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at the Amazon Canada website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, Pricing & Availability]
- Page 2 [Drive Details]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and Properties]
- Page 4 [Synthetic Benchmarks – ATTO & Anvil's]
- Page 5 [Synthetic Benchmarks – CDM & AS SSD]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks (OS) - Vantage, PCMark 7, PCMark 8 & SYSmark 2014 SE]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks (Secondary) – IOPS, Response & Transfers]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks – 70/30 Mixed Workload & Sustained Sequential Write]
- Page 9 [Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)]
- Page 10 [Final Thoughts]