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WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review (Page 2)

Chris Ramseyer | Apr 9, 2019 at 10:00 am CDT - 2 mins, 22 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 89%Manufacturer: Western Digital

256GB Class Performance Testing

Product Comparison

WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 300 | TweakTown.com

The new 250GB SN500 doesn't stand up very well against similarly priced models shipping today. Prices have fallen so low that the window between premium SATA and premium NVMe is really just a sliver compared to what it was last year with 256GB class models. We expect to see the SN500 price to shrink over time, as with all new SSDs. That hasn't happened just yet with this new release, but the other drives in this review have all hit record lows.

Sequential Read Performance

WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 001 | TweakTown.com
WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 002 | TweakTown.com

The new WD Blue SN500 NVMe delivers similar sequential read performance that we found in other purpose-built entry-level and mainstream SSDs. The PCIe x2 interface doesn't allow the drive to reach the same sequential levels as the drives with twice the available bandwidth.

Sequential Write Performance

WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 003 | TweakTown.com
WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 004 | TweakTown.com

We can say the same when it comes to large block size sequential writes. The SN500 delivers better than expected sequential write performance. The small number of flash die limit the write performance of modern 256GB SSDs. We point to the SN500 outperforming the Intel SSD 760p (with a x4 lane interface) and use the results to show how efficient BiCS FLASH can be.

Sustained Sequential Write Performance

WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 005 | TweakTown.com

The 250GB SN500 uses a relatively small SLC buffer size compared to many of the new controller designs with dynamic buffers. The cache is large enough for incoming random data but doesn't do a lot for your large block size files, like movies and music. The native TLC write performance is just over 400 MB/s, around 100 MB/s higher than many other SSDs in this capacity.

Random Read Performance

WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 006 | TweakTown.com
WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 007 | TweakTown.com

Of the drives tested for the charts today, the 250GB SN500 delivers the lowest random read performance. At QD1, the drive doesn't hit 8,000 IOPS and that's unfortunate in a world where mainstream SATA SSDs surpass 11,000 IOPS at the same queue depth.

Random Write Performance

WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 008 | TweakTown.com
WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 009 | TweakTown.com

We asked a WD representative about host memory buffer technology and were surprised to learn the drive doesn't use this technology. The drive still performs well in small block size random data writes. It performs much better than we expected, but we do foresee some issues with mixed random workloads without the technology.

70% Read Sequential Performance

WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 010 | TweakTown.com
WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 011 | TweakTown.com

Despite its interface disadvantage, the SN500 delivers strong sequential mixed read and write performance. The drive outperformed nearly every other drive on the chart other than the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro with a similar controller architecture.

70% Read Random Performance

WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 012 | TweakTown.com
WD Blue SN500 NVMe 250GB SSD Review 013 | TweakTown.com

The weak random read performance is difficult to overcome in the mixed test with 70% reads. At lower queue depths, the SN500 is in line with the other mainstream NVMe SSDs on the chart.

Last updated: Sep 25, 2019 at 12:28 am CDT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Chris Ramseyer

Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

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