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WD Red SA500 2TB NAS SATA SSD Review

WD Red SA500 2TB NAS SATA SSD Review

WD intros the Red to its NAS SSD platform with the SA500 and today we take a close look at the 2TB model.

By: Tyler Bernath from Dec 16, 2019 @ 10:29 CST
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Western DigitalModel: WDS200T1R0A
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Building on its successful 3D NAND product lineup, WD has recently released its long-awaited NAS SSD into the Red family of drives. Today, we have the 2TB capacity in house.

With two iterations of the WD Blue and several SanDisk solutions carrying similar designs, it's only natural WD would leverage its tight relationship with Marvell for its 4-channel controller. This gives the WD Red a reliable and tested many times over platform to work from, and pairing it with the latest BiCS3 NAND flash from its partnership with Toshiba offers the reliability we expect from WD as a brand.

Capacity options for the WD Red include 500GB at the low-end and 4TB at the top. Performance is rated at 560 MB/s read and 530 MB/s write. These solutions are available in both 2.5" and m.2 SATA form factors. Endurance of these solutions is rated at 350TBW for the 500GB model, and that increases to a peak of 2500TBW for the 4TB and the 2TB model in house for testing offers 1300TBW with an active power consumption of 60mW.

MSRP of the 2TB WD Red SA500 comes in at $282.99 for the 2.5" model while the m.2 gets a small price break to $279.99. All SA500 models enjoy a five-year warranty.

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Packaging for the WD Red follows past models with a white box, colorway installed. Capacity is listed bottom right next to warranty.

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The back offers information about the drive, including a window to the drive.

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Below, we have the SA500 in its 2.5" form factor. Capacity is listed on the sticker, along with the model number.

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The sticker found on the back shows the capacity, model, and regulatory information.

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Opening the drive, we have a shortened PCB thanks to higher density NAND packages.

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The 88SS1074 sits to the left side next to Nanya DRAM. SanDisk/Toshiba BiCS3 sits above in two packages.

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Starting with CDM, our test system was able to reach 409 MB/s read and 488 MB/s write.

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ATTO reached slightly higher performance 128K through 1M at 515 MB/s read. Write performance was steady at 465 MB/s.

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The SA500 garnered a score of 4954 in PCMark8, storage bandwidth at 259 MB/s.

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Running our drive through Anvils, we see 516 MB/s read and 455 MB/s write for scores of 2027 and 1894, respectively. The overall score finished at 3921.

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Our game load scenario gave us an overall score of 15.23 for the SA500.

I was able to spend a reasonable amount of time with the SA500 over the last month and use it in several capacities, including the OS drive of the test system today. As a typical system drive, there are obvious performance downsides. Still, the overall build seems to be quite good, and in day to day activities, I didn't notice the lesser Q1 performance of the SATA interface.

As mentioned, the combination of the Marvell 88SS1074 and BiCS3 has been played out on many drives before the SA500, including the WD Blue and SanDisk X400 and X600 lineups, to name a few. This leaves us with a solid conclusion that we expect minimal issues, if any at all to come with the WD Red.

Addressing the elephant in the room, the WD Red SA500 is a NAS drive perfectly suitable to be your primary storage in an SFF platform like the Synology DS419slim or DS620slim. It can also complement high capacity platforms as cache in either 2.5" or 2280 m.2 form factors.

Pricing of the WD Red SA500 follows the consumer market closer with its MSRP at $282.99, while competing products like the IronWolf 110 in the 1.92TB capacity come in at $449.99.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

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Performance85%

Quality90%

Features90%

Value95%

Overall Rating90%

The Bottom Line

WD's Red SA500 SSD is a solid drive for NAS users wanting high capacity storage or cache for their build at a price point that lashes the competition.

TweakTown award
90%

WD Red SA500 NAS 2TB 3D NAND Internal SSD

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