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WD Blue 3D SSD & SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD Review (1TB) – Twins That Rival the Best

It has been quite a time since we have seen an update to the SanDisk Ultra product line; it has been long overdue. WD’s Blue SSD product line, on the other hand, looks to be right on track. The SanDisk Ultra II has held its own very well over the past three years with its 15nm planar TLC, capacity options ranging from 120GB all the way up to 960GB, and very reasonable prices. But, things are ever changing. These days we are seeing much more competition and this year we have been getting a healthy dose of 3D NAND everywhere. It is about time we get another does from WD and SanDisk, which is why you are here today.

Today, we bring you our review of the WD Blue 3D SSD and the SanDisk Ultra 3D. The all new SanDisk Ultra 3D couldn’t have been released at a better time or with a better name. While the wait was long, we must say, it was worth it. The third generation SanDisk Ultra features SanDisk’s latest third generation, 64-layer 3D BiCS TLC (3-bit) NAND. Threes across the board! It is a sign of something good. And since WD now owns SanDisk, what better a time to refresh their WD Blue SSD with the latest and greatest 3D TLC as well?

WD Blue 3D SSD & SanDisk Ultra 3D Side by Side

Now, typically, we don’t get too excited about SATA SSDs these days, especially TLC NAND based products, but these bad boys just might stir up some trouble for Samsung. Why is that, you may ask? It’s because (*spoiler*) the seemingly ordinary combination of Marvell’s trusty 88SS1074 controller and this latest NAND flash equates to something extraordinary. This combination enables these two SATA drives to reach performance numbers that rival the Samsung 850 EVO. That is a big accomplishment since very few high-end SATA based SSDs have a hard time keeping up, let alone a lower cost, value product. So, with that said, and we’re sure some of you have some excitement stirring, let’s get on with the review so you can see exactly what kind of performance these bad boys have in store.

SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY

For the most part, the WD Blue 3D SSD and SanDisk Ultra 3D have the same specifications. Both of these SATA 6GB/s SSDs are currently available at the following prices and capacities from Amazon.

WD: 250GB ($93.59), 500GB ($151.53), 1TB ($294.48), and 2TB ($584.75).

SanDisk: 250GB ($99.99), 500GB ($144.99), 1TB ($284.99), and 2TB ($679.00)

Both are rated for up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write speeds and their rated random read/write IOPS are 95K/84K, respectively. Each one comes in a 2.5″ 7mm form factor, however, the WD Blue 3D SSD is also available in an M.2 2280 form factor, while the SanDisk Ultra 3D is not. Each drive’s rating for endurance, listed from the smallest to largest capacity, are as follows: up to 100TB, 200TB, 400TB, or 500TB. They are also covered by 3-year warranties by their respective manufacturer.

Looking at the feature list, the WD Blue has a little more going for it than the SanDisk Ultra. Both SSDs feature the basics like TRIM, SMART, DevSleep, thermal throttling, and SLC write caching. Both also have similar SSD Toolboxes, SanDisk SSD Dashboard and WD SSD Dashboard. WD, however, offers Acronis® True Image™ WD Edition software as a free download. With it, you can backup and clone your system, data, and other drives. In addition to that, if you already have another WD drive, you may even be eligible to get a 2-year extension for your WD Blue 3D SSD’s warranty!

PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS

WD Blue 3D SSD Package SanDisk Ultra 3D Package

The packaging is physically identical for both drives, but their layouts are unique to their respective brand. WD obviously went with a white and blue, more mass consumer oriented theme, while SanDisk went with their traditional red, and silver, making it look a bit more creative professional focused. On the packaging are pictures of the products, their specs and on the backside, there is a cut out showing the SSD’s serial number.

WD Blue 3D SSD Exterior SanDisk Ultra 3D Exterior

While both these 2.5″ 7mm SATA 6Gb/s SSDs look different on the outside with their different labels, both drives are identical internally. Each features a Marvell 88SS1074 4-channel controller, eight 64-layer BiCS3 TLC NAND chips, and a single DRAM buffer chip. Once formatted in Windows, the total usable capacity for each is 931GB.

WD Blue 3D SSD & SanDisk Ultra 3D PCB WD Blue 3D SSD & SanDisk Ultra 3D Components

  • HERETIC

    Great-With 3D reaching the market,perhaps the “race to the bottom” is over.
    And we can send planer TLC and ram-less drives off to silicon heaven.

    Pretty please, can we get a review of the 250 size.
    Thanks

  • Dromo

    HOW will we know we are getting new stock rather than old slow stock?? is there a model number or suchlike? they are highly priced in the uk 90gbp for 250gb

    • Z Inter fan – Kuwait

      Just look for “3D” when buying.

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