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Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe 1 TB SSD Benchmarked

Seeing blue. The budget PCIe x4 NVMe SSD offers sequential read rates of up to 2400 MB/s across all capacities. Write rates will vary depending on capacity while read/write performance during very small block sizes could be better.

Western Digital announced the Blue SN550 earlier this month as a successor to the Blue SN500 and SN520. The most notable upgrade will be performance: Sequential read rates are now rated at up to 2400 MB/s compared to "only" 1700 MB/s on the SN500. The WD Blue series is aimed at consumers, gamers or content creators on a budget in contrast to the enthusiast WD Black series.

See the official data sheet for the Blue SN550 here. Prices start from $70 to $125 USD with capacities ranging from 250 GB to 1 TB and a 5-year limited warranty.

CapacityMax Sequential Read (MB/s) Max Sequential Write (MB/s) Read IOPS Write IOPS Endurance (TBW)
250 GB 2400 950 170K135K  150
500 GB24001750 300K240K  300
1 TB24001950  410K405K  600

 

Test System

Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH
Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH

Our test PC will be the Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH. This particular system was chosen because it houses both an M.2 PCIe x4 slot and a 2.5-inch SATA III with easy servicing. Installing the drive is therefore a simple process, but keep in mind that most NVMe drives are not designed to be compatible with SATA III-based M.2 slots.

See our full review on the Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH here to learn more about the mini PC.

Empty M.2 slot inside our Intel NUC test PC
Empty M.2 slot inside our Intel NUC test PC
The drive fits snugly in place. Keep in mind that WD provides no screws in the packaging
The drive fits snugly in place. Keep in mind that WD provides no screws in the packaging

AS SSD & CrystalDiskMark

The OEM advertises sequential read rates of 2400 MB/s and we can indeed see those numbers when at a queue depth of 32 with 1 thread according to CrystalDiskMark. Pricier alternatives like the Samsung SSD PM981 can reach almost 3500 MB/s in this same benchmark.

AS SSD
AS SSD
AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM 5.5
CDM 5.5
CDM 6
CDM 6
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 1 TB WDS100T2B0C
Kingston KC600
 
Kingston A2000
 
Intel NUC8i7BEH Asura NVMe SSD
Asura Genesis Xtreme NVMe M.2 SSD 1 TB
Razer Blade Stealth i7-1065G7 Iris Plus
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV1T02
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-57%
6%
24%
-8%
-1%
Write 4K
234.3
132.8
-43%
193.7
-17%
272.4
16%
176.8
-25%
104.3
-55%
Read 4K
53.13
49.62
-7%
70.97
34%
57.13
8%
48.38
-9%
45.23
-15%
Write Seq
1978
416.1
-79%
2044
3%
2019
2%
1332
-33%
1729
-13%
Read Seq
1102
549.7
-50%
1992
81%
1701
54%
1644
49%
1861
69%
Write 4K Q32T1
572.5
339.2
-41%
623
9%
844.1
47%
440.6
-23%
509.2
-11%
Read 4K Q32T1
762.5
378.1
-50%
703.6
-8%
884.2
16%
559.2
-27%
388.5
-49%
Write Seq Q32T1
2011
483.9
-76%
2173
8%
2110
5%
1104
-45%
2813
40%
Read Seq Q32T1
2355
562.7
-76%
2279
-3%
3463
47%
3481
48%
2906
23%
Write 4K Q8T8
1468.9
343.4
-77%
1071.5
-27%
Read 4K Q8T8
1433.8
372.1
-74%
1167
-19%
AS SSD
-32%
37%
53%
-34%
38%
Copy Game MB/s
1487.63
716.99
-52%
1425.06
-4%
1577.15
6%
334.23
-78%
1823.85
23%
Copy Program MB/s
798.57
620.51
-22%
703.2
-12%
747.29
-6%
382.73
-52%
983.98
23%
Copy ISO MB/s
1495.77
1061.99
-29%
1612.39
8%
1541.93
3%
1417.94
-5%
3182.39
113%
Score Total
2280
1144
-50%
3413
50%
4454
95%
1644
-28%
3638
60%
Score Write
1396
457
-67%
1385
-1%
2193
57%
528
-62%
1693
21%
Score Read
598
444
-26%
1321
121%
1502
151%
770
29%
1294
116%
Access Time Write *
0.096
0.034
65%
0.075
22%
0.083
14%
0.09
6%
0.039
59%
Access Time Read *
0.024
0.037
-54%
0.024
-0%
0.031
-29%
0.085
-254%
0.05
-108%
4K-64 Write
1097.62
315.14
-71%
1041.08
-5%
1828.9
67%
309.94
-72%
1456.13
33%
4K-64 Read
386.36
358.15
-7%
1097.69
184%
1221.61
216%
530.55
37%
1077.98
179%
4K Write
165.72
96.47
-42%
150.57
-9%
173.28
5%
135.12
-18%
98.3
-41%
4K Read
26.84
41.69
55%
61.02
127%
51.94
94%
40.12
49%
43.25
61%
Seq Write
1321.65
452.08
-66%
1935.74
46%
1908.19
44%
826.55
-37%
1386.27
5%
Seq Read
1852.47
447.27
-76%
1622.45
-12%
2288.13
24%
1988.58
7%
1723.09
-7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-45% / -42%
22% / 24%
39% / 43%
-21% / -25%
19% / 24%

* ... smaller is better

Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 1 TB WDS100T2B0C
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 2355 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2011 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 762.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 572.5 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1102 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1978 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 53.13 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 234.3 MB/s
CDM 6 Write 4K Q8T8: 1468.9 MB/s
CDM 6 Read 4K Q8T8: 1433.8 MB/s

ATTO

ATTO tests read and write speeds at a wider range of block sizes to paint a bigger picture of overall performance. It is here where we can see cutbacks; read and write rates of very small blocks (512 B, 1 KB, 2 KB) are much slower than expected. The competing Kingston A2000, for example, is able to outperform our WD drive by over 10x in this particular category.

WD Blue SN550
WD Blue SN550
Asura Genesis Xtreme
Asura Genesis Xtreme
Kingston KC600
Kingston KC600
Kingston A2000
Kingston A2000
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMeKingston KC600Kingston A2000Intel NUC8i7BEH Asura NVMe SSDSamsung 960 Pro 1TB
ATTO Disk Benchmark
-70%
17%
34%
41%
8192KB write
1830000
463350
-75%
2000000
9%
1960000
7%
2079890
14%
4096KB write
1760000
461260
-74%
2000000
14%
1960000
11%
2090010
19%
2048KB write
1760000
456120
-74%
1860000
6%
1970000
12%
2090010
19%
1024KB write
1780000
453100
-75%
1760000
-1%
1960000
10%
2100230
18%
512KB write
1810000
452100
-75%
1940000
7%
1960000
8%
2090010
15%
256KB write
1780000
448790
-75%
2000000
12%
1920000
8%
2098690
18%
128KB write
1780000
434550
-76%
2000000
12%
1940000
9%
2078800
17%
64KB write
1740000
418330
-76%
1920000
10%
1870000
7%
2073620
19%
32KB write
1640000
434340
-74%
1760000
7%
1620000
-1%
2054220
25%
16KB write
1390000
405410
-71%
1410000
1%
1160000
-17%
1102410
-21%
8192KB read
2260000
533330
-76%
2030000
-10%
2970000
31%
2960680
31%
4096KB read
2310000
529660
-77%
2060000
-11%
2960000
28%
3019900
31%
2048KB read
2290000
524830
-77%
1990000
-13%
2920000
28%
3026480
32%
1024KB read
2260000
526030
-77%
1870000
-17%
2860000
27%
3263860
44%
512KB read
1630000
523640
-68%
2060000
26%
2820000
73%
3197250
96%
256KB read
2280000
517570
-77%
2080000
-9%
3080000
35%
3230230
42%
128KB read
2070000
501720
-76%
2070000
0%
2670000
29%
3003310
45%
64KB read
1430000
517280
-64%
2030000
42%
2550000
78%
2458920
72%
32KB read
917140
497710
-46%
1730000
89%
2190000
139%
2432300
165%
16KB read
550840
463630
-16%
1450000
163%
1440000
161%
1257110
128%

Data Compression

Write rates could have been more stable when compressing data. As shown by our graph below, speeds drop to as low 1200 MB/s more frequently when compared to drives from Kingston or Samsung.

WD Blue SN550
WD Blue SN550
Samsung 970 EVO Plus
Samsung 970 EVO Plus
Kingston A2000
Kingston A2000
Kingston KC600
Kingston KC600

Temperature

Temperatures reach up to 51 C after two successive runs of CDM 6. WD says performance will be throttled should the junction temperature 'exceed the maximum temperature allowable for the product' without actually stating what that temperature ceiling is. 

System idle
System idle
System after two CDM 6 benchmark runs
System after two CDM 6 benchmark runs

Verdict

In review: Western Digital Blue SN550. Test unit provided by WD
In review: Western Digital Blue SN550. Test unit provided by WD

The Blue SN550 is at its weakest when reading and writing very small block sizes of 4 KB or smaller. If your work involves moving gigabytes of these small files, then the SN550 might not be the best choice. Fortunately, most applications like gaming or editing involve much larger files where the WD SSD is at its best.

The SN550 series will begin shipping on January 2020. Note that the base $70 250 GB option will have less than half the write speeds of the top-end 1 TB option.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe 1 TB SSD Benchmarked
Allen Ngo, 2019-12-23 (Update: 2019-12-24)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.