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April 2, 2022 0 Comments

WD Black NVMe SSD 1TB (2018) Detailed Review

WD returned to the drawing board with their SSD lineup. The initial batch of Blue, Green and Black SSDs have already entered a saturated market with very few offers compared to the competition. Even the price, WD Blue says, was similarly a little higher than the performance drive which makes it a solid purchase. However, the new WD Black lineup with support for the NVMe protocol under its belt is ready to make a name for itself. Powered by a proprietary WD (SanDisk) controller, this new lineup shows promise.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB Specification

As mentioned earlier, the controller is owned by WD Black NVMe SSD. We know very little about these puppies because the paper numbers seem to be really competitive. It should also be noted that the exact same model can be purchased as SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD by model number SDSSXPM2-1T00. The controller uses PCIe x4 lanes which means these drives have plenty of headroom to do their magic. Let’s take a look at the specifications of this particular SKU.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB Specification
Interface M.2 NVMe
Regulator Proprietary WD controller
Nanda SanDisk 15nm TLC
RAM Micron DDR4 2400 512 GB
Read Sec speed 3400
Sec writing speed 2800
Random read IOPS 500,000
Write randomly IOPS 400,000
Tolerance (TBW) 600
Active energy consumption 140 MW
Maximum power consumption 9.24 watts
Disable PS3 100 MW
Disable PS4 2.5 MW
MTTF 1.75 thousand hours
Form factor M.2 2280
Height 2.38 mm
Weight 7.5 g
Warranty 3 years
Price Rs 32,999
Cost per GB Rs

Construction and design

The layout of the new WD Black NVMe SSD is fairly simple in that the proprietary WD controller takes up a lot of real estate in the center. As mentioned earlier, this controller was created by SanDisk and the exact same configuration is being marketed as a SanDisk SKU.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB (2018)

A sticker is running across the entire upper face. Now talking about a sticker may be a silly thing but what other manufacturers do is they have a copper plate on which the information is printed. Thus, the sticker itself acts as a huge heat sink, and when you mount it on motherboards that have extra heat sinks on top, the copper ends up as a better thermal interface than non-conductive plastic stickers.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB (2018)

Back in NAND, with these new SKUs, WD is using the new 64-level BiCS 3D NAND they unveiled with the SanDisk Ultra 3D and WD Blue 3D NAND SSDs launched last year. So both the NAND and the controller have changed this time.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB (2018)

After all, we have SDRAM memory that comes from microns. The FBGA code MT40A512M16JY-083E: indicates a part numbered B indicating that it is a DDR4 chip rated 1200 MHz or DDR4-2400. It’s also an upgrade over SanDisk’s SATA SSD that uses the DDR3L memory chip.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB (2018)

The underside of the WD Black NVMe SSD (2018) is awesome. A strategy to keep the bottom clean is to ensure compatibility with the lower riding M.2 socket. So we are not blaming WD here.

Overall, the WD Black NVMe SSD (2018) is a completely new package thanks to its proprietary controller. However, it still marks a significant change in the way they have designed SKUs Now WD is targeting enthusiasts with NVMe, so let’s see how well this drive performs.


We start by running some of the synthetic industry’s favorite benchmarks before conditioning the drives. In CrystalDiskMark’s random and hierarchical testing, we found the QD32 to have a read speed of 3400 MB and a write speed of about 2850 MB / s, which is close to the spec sheet. The only difference between random and 0-fill runs is the sequential transfer which differs by 200 MB / s for random data. So that’s always a good sign.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB (2018)

Another benchmark we use for SSDs is anvil which is slightly wider than the crystal disk mark. However, it is also run before conditioning. IOPS statistics for the writing cycle are synonymous with those mentioned in the data sheet but for the reading cycle, it falls below the datasheet metrics.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB (2018)

The net score, however, is quite high. We then moved on to the SSD’s conditioner to wear something in the NAND to mimic a more realistic situation where the SSD would work for the longest time of its life. Let’s check the results after conditioning.

Sequential reading performance

The WD Black NVMe (2018) surprised us by matching or better matching the performance of Samsung 960 Pro. While the 960 Pro holds a lead in sustainable sequencing, the WD Black NVMe is ahead in first performance. However, Intel’s 760p 3D X-Point drive still performs better in the Barsty.

Performance of serial writing

Again, the WD Black NVMe SSD (2018) has surpassed the competition in the cycle of bursty and sustainable writing. It is better than Intel 760p as well as Samsung 960 Pro.
It turns out that the new proprietary controller from WD is actually a good performer in all the most important parameters.

SSD performance is not just about pure reading speed or writing speed. All new controllers are able to easily handle synthetic loads that lead to metrics that do not indicate real-world performance. So we’re going to look at the latency timing for each operation across different row depths.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB (2018)

Here the Y-axis is the latency in microseconds whereas the X-axis contains IOPS statistics. We can see that the read delays create a growing curve with very shallow gradients which indicates consistency in latency time. However, when we look at the writing delay it flies in the sky around the 150K IOPS mark. Incidentally, the Anvil benchmark also tops the 170K IOPS. There seems to be a reciprocal relationship here.

WD Black NVMe SSD 1 TB judgment

The new WD Black NVMe SSD is a really good SSD. It has managed to make some of the most enthusiastic loved ones among the several benchmarks. The Intel 760p and Samsung 960 Pro were somewhat competitive in the end but in the end, the WD Black NVMe turned out to be the best drive. The latency times for writing activities seem a bit uncomfortable, hopefully a firmware upgrade should be taken care of in the future. This unit is a bit hard to find online and is the only dedicated computer store that carries it. Since it has become quite an overchiever, it should be changed and you will find it in all your favorite ecommerce stores. For the price of Rs 32,999, the cost per GB has come down to Rs 33 which is quite profitable. Let’s just say that WD’s efforts with the new controller and NAND finally worked their magic.

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