Western Digital Black NVMe SSD 1TB Review (Page 2 of 11)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

The Western Digital Black NVMe SSD 1TB looks nothing like your traditional Serial ATA solid state drive, and this is because it is not your traditional solid state drive. The Western Digital Black NVMe SSD 1TB is actually an M.2 2280 format SSD. If you are not familiar with the M.2 physical standard, M.2 2280 means it the size of the drive is 22mm by 80mm, hence its numerical designation. Its components are located on the black printed circuit board located behind the branding sticker, which we will take a closer look at in just a moment. The Western Digital Black NVMe SSD 1TB works on the NVMe 1.2.1 logical device interface and plugs into compatible motherboards directly. Electrically, M.2 NVMe interfaces with PCIe 3.1. The Black uses four lanes for up to 4000MB/s bandwidth in each direction. The specified weight is a paltry 7.5g for this SSD.

Flipping the Western Digital Black NVMe SSD 1TB around, and you will find no components of interest. A label on the Black NVMe SSD itself carries miscellaneous information such as its model name, capacity, serial number, and regulatory certifications on the other side. Other than that, it is completely blank, as all the components are located on the other side, as shown in our photo above. Like many Western Digital products we have reviewed in the past, this SSD is made in Malaysia.

Peeling the sticker back, and you can see what the Western Digital Black NVMe SSD 1TB is made from. There are three components that can be seen. At the heart of Western Digital's Black NVMe SSD 1TB is a custom controller labeled 20-82-00700-A1. It is an NVMe solution on the M.2 socket to overcome traditional Serial ATA bandwidth bottlenecks. An SK Hynix H5AN8G6NAFR DDR4-2400 2GB memory chip is present; it is used by the controller for system memory. The Black's flash memory are SanDisk branded 64-layer BiCS 3D triple-level cells in two chips labeled 05561-512G. Its rated write endurance is a whopping 600TB, which equates to about 330GB per day for five years. This is really impressive by any metric. Its rated power consumption of 140mW average, 100mW low power, 2.8A peak power, and 2.5mW sleep is quite efficient. 24GB out of the 1024GB total capacity -- just under 3% -- is provisioned for the drive controller for overhead, so the actual usable space is 1TB, as advertised. You will see 931GB in Windows.

Specified at 3400MB/s read, 2800MB/s write, and up to 500,000 IOPS over NVMe 1.2.1 on PCIe 3.0 x4, these figures are really impressive. It is roughly seven times to speed of a regular SATA 6Gb/s drive, and by far the highest rated drive we have ever tested here at APH Networks. For comparison, the Patriot Hellfire M.2 240GB is rated at 3000MB/s read, 2300MB/s write, and up to 185,000 IOPS. Meanwhile, the OCZ RD400A 512GB is rated at 2600MB/s read, 1600MB/s write, and up to 190,000 IOPS. To see how it translates to numbers in our benchmarks, we will pit them against the big boys of this game to see how this new flagship from Western Digital steps up against some popular PCI Express based SSDs from manufacturers like Gigabyte, Kingston, Patriot, and Toshiba OCZ in the next nine pages or so.

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.6GHz
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D15S
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB
Graphics: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB
Chassis: Fractal Design Define R6 Blackout TG
Storage: OCZ Vector 180 240GB; Crucial MX200 500GB
Power: Seasonic PRIME Ultra Titanium 850W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD
Optical Drive: LiteOn iHAS224-06 24X DVD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Compared Hardware:
- Western Digital Black NVMe SSD 1TB
- Gigabyte M.2 PCIe SSD 256GB
- Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 480GB
- OCZ RD400A 512GB
- OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB
- Patriot Hellfire M.2 240GB
- Toshiba RC100 240GB

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 4.60
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 9.0
9. Benchmark: PCMark Vantage
10. Benchmark: PCMark 8
11. Conclusion