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WD Blue SN500 M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Leaving SATA in the Dust (Updated)

WD's Blue SN500 brings SATA-like pricing to a speedy NVMe SSD.

WD Blue SN500 M.2

A lot of work and research has gone into the development of the new WD Blue SN500, which is reflected by the blend of performance and simplicity. With such a simple design, WD can bring the device to market at pretty low prices for an NVMe SSD, but without skimping out on quality. That makes it a good choice if you're looking to update to the latest tech.

Our testing shows that the Blue offers a clear advantage over SATA drives. With performance figures of up to 1.75 GB/s read and 1.3 GB/s write, the 250GB WD Blue SN500 leaves SATA drives in the dust. The top-end sequential performance is good, but we also saw performance improvements of up to 2-3x in real-world applications, too.

Performance isn’t all good, however. While WD found the small cache capacity to be plenty for most use cases, you will find yourself wanting for more if you have a heavy workload. But, then again, that’s what the beefier WD Black is for.

Like the WD Black, the WD Blue SN500 can be pretty power hungry at idle, although under load the power efficiency is very, very good. The drive also doesn’t come with secure erase or encryption support. But, while these may be deal breakers for the geekiest of tech geeks out there, most users will never notice.

The WD Blue SN500 competes with a wide range of SSDs, but, overall, it is a good product that's a solid value buy. We just wish WD had made drives with higher capacities. In either case, the 250GB and 500GB capacity points should be fine for small boot drives.

The WD Blue's pricing is quite attractive. The 250GB model will set you back just $54.99, or $0.22-per-GB, while the 500GB model is a much better value at just $23 more, or $0.16-per-GB. While SATA pricing is leading the way to the bottom, the WD Blue SN500 still manages to undercut the Samsung 860 EVO at the time of writing and is only a few dollars more than the WD Blue 3D. If you are in the market for a new NVMe SSD for your system build and are budget-oriented, give the new WD Blue SN500 a look.

Image Credits: Tom's Hardware

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  • thuckabay
    Since when did Tom's Hardware start passing off advertisements and propaganda as "positive reviews?" This drive, which Tom's Hardware is recommending, is grossly expensive for its capacity, and for just a few dollars more, any bargain hunter can find a higher capacity 1TB drive that is vastly more performant. I have seen this patter over the course of multiple reviews from Tom's Hardware, particularly on SSD drives, and it has dramatically reduced Tom's Hardware's credibility for independent reviews. I no longer trust opinions from Tom's Hardware as a consequence.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Grossly expensive?

    This WD Blue NVMe, 500GB
    $65
    https://www.amazon.com/Blue-SN500-250GB-NVMe-Internal/dp/B07P7TFKRH
    Crucial MX500 SATA III, 500GB
    $60
    https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-MX500-NAND-2280SS-Internal/dp/B077SQ8J1V

    Now...if you go for bottom of the barrel off brand SATA drives...sure, you can find them a lot cheaper.
    Cheap, for a reason.
    Reply
  • thuckabay
    USAFRet said:
    Grossly expensive?

    This WD Blue NVMe, 500GB
    $65
    https://www.amazon.com/Blue-SN500-250GB-NVMe-Internal/dp/B07P7TFKRH
    Crucial MX500 SATA III, 500GB
    $60
    https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-MX500-NAND-2280SS-Internal/dp/B077SQ8J1V

    Now...if you go for bottom of the barrel off brand SATA drives...sure, you can find them a lot cheaper.
    Cheap, for a reason.


    Your comparison is INVALID. You are here attempting to equate a SATA SSD with an NVMe SSD, which is apples to oranges. There are vastly more performant 1TB NVMe SSDs than the WD Blue NVMe 500GB and for only a few dollars more; the WD Blue is a comparatively poor deal.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    thuckabay said:
    Your comparison is INVALID. You are here attempting to equate a SATA SSD with an NVMe SSD, which is apples to oranges. There are vastly more performant 1TB NVMe SSDs than the WD Blue NVMe 500GB and for only a few dollars more; the WD Blue is a comparatively poor deal.
    Specifically, which "1TB NVMe" drives are you referring to, that are "only a few dollars more" than this 500GB WD?

    Degree of Difficulty in your upcoming list - No bottom of the barrel junk drives.
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    thuckabay said:
    Since when did Tom's Hardware start passing off advertisements and propaganda as "positive reviews?" This drive, which Tom's Hardware is recommending, is grossly expensive for its capacity, and for just a few dollars more, any bargain hunter can find a higher capacity 1TB drive that is vastly more performant. I have seen this patter over the course of multiple reviews from Tom's Hardware, particularly on SSD drives, and it has dramatically reduced Tom's Hardware's credibility for independent reviews. I no longer trust opinions from Tom's Hardware as a consequence.
    Advertisements and propaganda? Where? Have you not seen the test data? Of course, I would recommend it. Have you not read other reviews of this drive? It isn't the best, but that doesn't mean it isn't any good. It delivers good performance (similar to competitors in most applications give or take), quality brand and support, and it is decently priced, even now months after the review...

    What 1TB drive do you speak of that is faster for just dollars more than the 500GB WD Blue SN500. The market pricing is changing drastically monthly and sales don't count as current average market pricing, which should go without saying, I consider always.

    thuckabay said:
    Your comparison is INVALID. You are here attempting to equate a SATA SSD with an NVMe SSD, which is apples to oranges. There are vastly more performant 1TB NVMe SSDs than the WD Blue NVMe 500GB and for only a few dollars more; the WD Blue is a comparatively poor deal.
    Its not apples to oranges. Not all applications need high seq performance. Besides that, good SATA SSDs are nearly just as responsive in most office applications. Just look at the numbers...

    Please link that drive... I'm really curious.
    Reply
  • Ncogneto
    seanwebster said:
    Advertisements and propaganda? Where? Have you not seen the test data? Of course, I would recommend it. Have you not read other reviews of this drive? It isn't the best, but that doesn't mean it isn't any good. It delivers good performance (similar to competitors in most applications give or take), quality brand and support, and it is decently priced, even now months after the review...

    What 1TB drive do you speak of that is faster for just dollars more than the 500GB WD Blue SN500. The market pricing is changing drastically monthly and sales don't count as current average market pricing, which should go without saying, I consider always.

    Its not apples to oranges. Not all applications need high seq performance. Besides that, good SATA SSDs are nearly just as responsive in most office applications. Just look at the numbers...

    Please link that drive... I'm really curious.


    I don't think you will ever get that link ;)

    I would be curious to see how 2 of these perform in RAID, compared to a pricier 1 TB NVMe
    Reply
  • dmitche31958
    thuckabay said:
    Since when did Tom's Hardware start passing off advertisements and propaganda as "positive reviews?" This drive, which Tom's Hardware is recommending, is grossly expensive for its capacity, and for just a few dollars more, any bargain hunter can find a higher capacity 1TB drive that is vastly more performant. I have seen this patter over the course of multiple reviews from Tom's Hardware, particularly on SSD drives, and it has dramatically reduced Tom's Hardware's credibility for independent reviews. I no longer trust opinions from Tom's Hardware as a consequence.

    I question the rosy picture of this drive when it comes to the 50GB read/write. Those numbers for the 6GB read put the drive in 6th place behind the SSDs. That doesn't sound like a drive that I want to pay a premium for nor does it sound like "The end of the SSD drive" to me.
    Reply