CES 2017: Western Digital Launches WD Black NVMe PCIe SSD

Subject: Storage | January 5, 2017 - 05:32 AM |
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD, ssd, pcie, NVMe, CES 2017, CES, Black

Following up on their Blue and Green SSDs launched back in October, Western Digital has now launched a Black series SSD:

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Unlike the Green and Blue which are SATA products available in 2.5" and M.2 (SATA) form factors, the Black is a pure M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 product. These were rumored to have a Marvell controller, but the samples I saw floating around CES appeared to have SanDisk branding. Flash will very likely be SanDisk 15nm TLC (with SLC cache). Specs are as follows:

  • 256GB / 512GB
  • $109 / $199 ($0.42 / $0.39 / GB)
  • Random read: 170k
  • Random write: 130k/134k
  • Sequential read: 2.05 GB/s
  • Sequential write: 700 / 800 MB/s
  • Endurance 80 / 160 TBW
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Power: 5.5 mW idle / 8.25 W peak

Pricing looks very competitive for an NVMe SSD, but we will have to see how the performance shakes out when compared against other budget SSDs. The WD Blue 1TB performed very well in our new test suite, so here's hoping the Black is equally surprising.

WD's press blast appears after the break.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

WESTERN DIGITAL INTRODUCES WD BLACK PCIE SOLID STATE DRIVES TO ACCELERATE NVME ADOPTION

Las Vegas, NV - January 4, 2017

Western Digital Corporation ("Western Digital") (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced the availability of new WD Black® PCIe solid state drives (SSDs), the first WD-branded client PCIe SSDs. The new SSDs complement the recently announced WD Blue® and WD Green® SATA SSDs, as well as the company's industry leading family of hard drives for PCs and workstations, providing a full portfolio of WD storage devices for virtually any application.

The WD Black PCIe SSD is a performance PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe-based SSD that delivers more than three times the sequential read speeds of current SATA SSDs. The 256GB and 512GB capacities make it ideal as a boot drive when paired with a high-capacity hard drive, or as primary storage when building a future-ready PC. Consumers who are using  the new WD Black PCIe SSD to boot up, load read-intensive games or applications, or shut down a system may realize a performance improvement of more than 10 seconds when compared to SATA SSDs.1

"NVMe PCIe-based SSD adoption is poised to accelerate in 2017 and the years to follow," said Jeff Janukowicz, vice president, IDC. "Products like the WD Black PCIe SSD, with a broad ecosystem and compatibility testing, should give customers a significant performance increase over SATA SSDs and offer a straightforward solution for customers to update to or build future-ready systems."   

As a compatible and reliable solution to ramp up newer PC configurations with PCIe performance, the WD Black PCIe SSD is the ideal storage solution for the performance PC enthusiast and for more demanding gaming and VR-focused applications. The WD Black PCIe SSD delivers more than three times the sequential read performance of SATA SSDs, an industry-leading 1.75M hours MTTF, and WD Functional Integrity Testing (F.I.T.) Lab certification. The WD Black PCIe SSD has been designed with thermal and power management algorithms beyond the NVMe specification to help with consistent performance as well as low power consumption.

Like all WD SSDs, the WD Black PCIe SSDs include free, downloadable, WD SSD Dashboard software, which allows continuous performance, capacity monitoring, and firmware updates.
"We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation interface change," says Eyal Bek, senior director of client SSD, Devices Business Unit, Western Digital. "The WD Black PCIe SSD ramps up performance while delivering worry-free reliability for our customers worldwide. We believe that this will accelerate the transition that is already occurring from SATA to PCIe. Western Digital is uniquely positioned to offer customers a complete storage portfolio—HDD or SSD, and SATA or PCIe form factors for every segment of the market."

"ASUS is dedicated to advancing technologies and leading innovation. WD and ASUS worked closely together to ensure that the WD Black PCIe SSD delivers performance that our customers expect with hassle-free installation and use. With the latest ASUS motherboards and WD Black PCIe SSDs, gamers can focus on winning rather than the distraction of waiting for games or levels to load," said Joe Hsieh, corporate vice president and general manager, Motherboard Business Unit and New Product Planning Division, ASUS.

Pricing and Availability

WD Black PCIe SSD

WD Black PCIe SSDs will be available in 256GB and 512GB capacities in a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor. The WD Black PCIe SSD boasts up to 2050MB/s and 800MB/s sequential read and write speeds, a 5-year limited warranty and WD F.I.T. Lab™ certification for compatibility with many leading platforms. Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the WD Black PCIe SSD start at $109.00 USD for the 256GB and $199.99 for the 512GB. The WD Black PCIe SSD will be available worldwide and on www.wd.com during the first half of 2017.


January 5, 2017 | 07:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

yawn. need higher capacities than this.

January 5, 2017 | 08:17 AM - Posted by PCPerFan (not verified)

I'm guessing these are just another phison rebrand, in which case, this price is not anything special

January 8, 2017 | 04:31 AM - Posted by Casper042 (not verified)

WD bought SanDisk.
SanDisk, not a slouch in the world of NAND or SSDs also happens to own Fusion IO, pioneer of PCIe based SSDs who recently introduced their first NVMe products.

Hopefully WD kept it in the family for these...

January 5, 2017 | 11:33 AM - Posted by CB (not verified)

Not bad reads for the price if your options are this or sticking with SATA. Will be interesting to see how it compares to the Intel 600p.

Not much more money to jump to a 960 EVO for significantly more performance though.

January 5, 2017 | 12:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think they need to make WD Black drives in 2.5" as well.

I also think they need to adopt a new slogan for them.

http://i.imgur.com/v2MZP6v.jpg

January 6, 2017 | 06:30 AM - Posted by cornbreadman (not verified)

I hope that the WD Black M.2.'s PCB will be Black in the retail/OEM version!

January 6, 2017 | 09:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You could always spray paint it. Or look at your monitor instead of your computer.