Western Digital’s WD Blue SN550 Budget SSD is a well-reviewed popular NVMe device that has been regularly appearing on various sites’ “Best SSD” lists since its release in late 2019. The 3.0 interface and the novel were able to perform better than SATA SSDs for almost the same amount.
But that could change, thanks to the quiet component changes behind the scenes: Chinese site Xperia (via Tom’s Hardware and Xtreme Tech) says a new version of the drive, developed in July 2021, has a writing speed of about 390MB per second. Was writing data from The drive cache was full. According to the Express, this is about half the speed of the older version of the SN550. Tom’s hardware measured speeds of about 6,610MB per second during continuous written tests on the original SN550, so the exact amount of performance degradation may vary. Since both older and newer versions of the SN550 use the same SSD controller, the slowdown seems to be due to a lower NAND flash.
Modern SSDs typically combine a large amount of slow NAND flash (for capacity) and a small amount of fast flash memory (for high speed advertised on the box). Relying on SSD, this cache memory is designed to hold anywhere between a few gigabytes and a few dozen gigabytes before it has to return to slow flash. Most of the time, you’ll never see the drive slow down, because you’re not going to fill the cache using your computer for basic browsing, office work, or even photo editing.
The ones who will notice are the professional video editors who regularly export, copy and rotate 4K video files all day long. It’s not uncommon for SSD’s advertised peak performances not to get 100 percent of the time, but for a much worse performance for a drive, professional reviews are at best misleading.
Computers, phones, tablets, and parts that go into them are common components sourced by multiple suppliers. If you can get something from more than one place, the slowness or interruptions in manufacturing at a single supplier are less likely to disrupt the flow of the finished product, and competition between suppliers can lower your costs. Is. But as important as it is to make sure that all the ingredients you are sourcing do more or less the same way, so that you don’t create a “lottery” gadget wherein a few buyers (and all reviewers) have your product. Get the “good” model of at the same time as the opposite caught with much less overall performance than expected.
It is unfortunately common for SSD makers to change components without updating their model numbers or specs – there is a long list of examples in Tom’s hardware. Sometimes, end users take advantage of component changes, such as when SSD manufacturers replace old flash memory for better flash with better fax. But in other cases, such as with the SN550 and Adata’s XPG SG8200 Pro, changes made to reduce costs or simplify production impair performance.
This is not the first time in recent history that a person has been caught playing fast and loose with a Western digital lens. Its hard drive division has betrayed the rotational speeds of some of its drives and has sold slow-acting shingled magnetic recording (or SMR) drives in its WDRED NAS drive lineup. Tried to just step back and re-brand them later.
We’ve reached out to Western Digital to follow the actual reporting. We will replace this tale if we get any new details.