Review: WD Blue 3D 1TB SSD
Reviewed by: J.Reynolds
Provided by: Western Digital
Welcome to Myce’s review of the WD Blue 3D 1TB SATA SSD
(hereafter referred to as the WD Blue 3D).
Having published many Enterprise Storage reviews this is my
first review of a Client (or Consumer) grade SSD.
The WD Blue 3D is a state of the art SATA SSD using 64 layer
3D BiCS (‘Bit Cost Scalable’) TLC NAND. It is available in two form factors –
2.5” and M.2 2280.
On the face of it the WD Blue 3D offers excellent performance
at an excellent price – please read on to see what we find.
The WD Blue 3D uses the Marvell 88SS1074 Controller.
To enhance the performance of its TLC NAND the WD Blue 3D
uses what is known as an ‘SLC Write Cache’.
This is how OCZ (who pioneered the idea) describes an SLC
Write Cache –
Certain SSDs utilize a feature called SLC Write Cache to
enhance write performance. Using this method, a portion of the available
capacity is being treated as SLC (1bit-per-cell) NAND flash memory. When the
drive is performing a write just one bit, instead of three in case of TLC, is
being written thus improving the write speeds drastically. Once the SLC Write
Cache has been filled, it will be “flushed” to the rest of the drive
to free up the cache again. Under common desktop workloads, the user typically
does not experience this transition. However, under heavy workloads, there may
be a temporary drop in performance once the SLC Write Cache is filled and the
drive is still being written to. The drive’s performance will recover once the
cache has been flushed.
We will look out for signs of the SLC Write Cache and its
impact on performance in our testing.
Let’s start by having a look at the WD Blue 3D’s packaging –
Market Positioning and Specification
This is how WD positions the WD Blue 3D –
Here is WD’s specification for the WD Blue 3D –
WD provides the WD SSD Dashboard and a licence to use
Acronis True Image (which can, for example, be used to move the contents of an
old drive to a new SSD).
Here are some screenshots showing the functionality provided
by the WD SSD dashboard –
Now let’s head to the next page, to look at my approach
to testing Client SSDs…..