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?
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
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