The gap in pricing between 2.5-inch SATA and M.2 NVMe solid state drives is shrinking by the day. Reinforcing this notion, Western Digital is shipping its new Blue SN550 NVMe SSDs at prices that are some of the best we've seen for an SSD at launch.
Typically when a manufacturer introduces an SSD line, the retail prices are a bit on the high side, compared to street pricing for similar products. WD, however, has come out swinging. Here's how the capacity options and pricing on WD's website shake out:
- WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 1TB—$99.99, WD Store (opens in new tab)
- WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 500GB—$64.99, WD Store (opens in new tab)
- WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 250GB—$54.99, WD Store (opens in new tab)
The 1TB option is the most intriguing out of the three—it's capacious and priced identically to Crucial's P1 1TB, the best SSD for gaming. It's also cheaper than some 2.5-inch SATA options, like Samsung's 860 Evo, which is on sale for $109.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Here's the thing about SSDs as it applies to gaming—it doesn't really matter if you go for a SATA-based or PCIe (NVMe) model. Generally load times and system responsiveness are going to be pretty much the same whether you slap a modern 2.5-inch SATA SSD into your PC, or a M.2 NVMe.
That said, WD's Blue SN550 series is faster than a SATA-based SSD, according to the rated specs. Here's what we're looking at:
- WD Blue SN550 1TB—2,400MB/s sequential read, 1,950MB/s sequential write
- WD Blue SN550 500GB—2,400MB/s sequential read, 1,750MB/s sequential write
- WD Blue SN550 250GB—2,400MB/s sequential read, 950MB/s sequential write
Those figures are higher than Crucial's P1 series across the board (the 1TB model is rated to deliver up to 2,000MB/s reads and 1,700MB/s writes, and the 500GB model is rated at 1,900MB/s for reads and 950MB/s for writes).
We haven't tested WD's Blue SN550 drives yet, but if the performance comes close to what's advertised, this could be the affordable NVMe SSD line to beat.