Page 10 - Conclusion
Is the Western Digital WD_BLACK AN1500 2TB the greatest PCIe 3.0-based NVMe SSD ever made? As with almost every product we look at here at APH Networks, the answer is not so simple. What I can tell you is by linear read and write performance, the WD_BLACK AN1500 2TB is the fastest non-PCIe 4.0 drive money can buy. This is intrinsic to its design -- the AN1500 2TB has two SN730 1TB SSDs in RAID 0 configuration inside and connects to your motherboard via the PCIe 3.0 x8 interface. According to our benchmarks, we were able to get over 6500MB/s read and 4400MB/s write. That is amazing by any metric. I also like its large functional and sleek looking heatsink as well as configurable RGB LEDs in software. Of course, beyond the linear read and write speed, it is somewhat debatable whether this translates to real-world benefits. With small files and medium workloads, the AN1500 2TB was surprisingly too comparable to other performance-oriented PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSDs. Furthermore, in our real-world simulations, there were other single NVMe PCIe 3.0 drives that exceeded its numbers by a wide margin; namely, the Seagate FireCuda 510 1TB and Kingston KC2500 1TB. The best analogy to this is like buying a car that has a massive amount of horsepower that can win any race in a straight line, but is no faster than other sports cars with half the power on racetracks with lots of turns. Coincidentally, just like how big horsepower cars are usually not very fuel efficient, the AN1500 2TB is not very power efficient either. Its rated power consumption is considerably higher than the Western Digital Black 6TB mechanical hard drive circa 2015, which means the heatsink is not only there for aesthetics, but also as a necessity. Of course, power consumption does not matter as much in a desktop environment as it is on a laptop; not to mention the heatsink is pretty good at keeping temperatures stable with minimal airflow. The last thing I would like to point out is the projected write endurance of 800TBW is unimpressive for a high-end 2TB SSD. For about $550 at press time, the WD_BLACK AN1500 2TB comes at a hefty price tag. But if you do not have any NVMe slots left in your PC or if you want a PCIe 3.0-based SSD that can crack 6500MB/s, the AN1500 2TB has the capacity, speed, and looks to fit the bill.
Western Digital provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
Since April 30, 2007, Number Ratings have been dropped for all CPUs, motherboards, RAM, SSD/HDDs, and graphics cards. This is to ensure the most appropriate ratings reflected without the inherent limits of using numbers. Everything else will continue using the Number Rating System.
More information in our Review Focus.
The Western Digital WD_BLACK AN1500 2TB delivers some serious linear read/write performance of up to 6500MB/s on PCIe 3.0 with fancy RGB LEDs and a cool heatsink to go with it.
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 8.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach 18.104.22.168
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 5.70
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 10
9. Benchmark: PCMark 10