WD announced earlier this month the release of their new Black series PCIe NVMe SSDs that will be hitting shelves soon, making their move past their standard Blue series M.2 solid state drives and helping in the push towards NVMe.
The new drives take speeds to 3-4x that of their Blue series, making them perfect for professional users and gaming enthusiasts alike. Initially, PCIe driven SSD drives were no different from the SATA drives most have come to recognize over recent years. Average max transfer speeds floated around 500MB/s. The new Black series drives however take advantage of NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) protocol over SATA PCIe, which allows for a massive pipeline increase, resulting in crazy fast read/write speeds. Now, you will be able to find read speeds as high as 2050MB/s per WD’s release (and up to 800MB/s write speeds).
Although these speeds are 4x that of their Blue series, they don’t quite compare to some of the other options already available. Samsung’s 960 EVO Series for example, offers read speeds of up to 3200MB/s and write speeds up to 1800MB/s.
Given, the price point that WD is shooting for falls under that of Samsung’s. They plan to release the 256GB option for about $109 and the 512GB for $199. So it seems this is WD’s attempt to help create a more affordable niche for NVMe in general, which is great as budget enthusiasts patiently wait for the chance to buy into the new SSD option.
It won’t be long before these begin to replace the current price point of SATA solid state drives, significantly increasing boot times of operating systems, games and more across the world. Gone would be the obsession over spinning disk drives (HDD) outside of maximum storage capacity scenarios.
Until then, you will have to wait for their release. WD wasn’t able to give us a firm date, but they said you should plan to see them hit shelves during the first half of 2017 and as early as the middle of February. I know we can’t wait to get our hands on one to try out and share with you what we find.