Western Digital has announced the WD Black PCIe SSD, their first PCIe SSD for the consumer market. While the WD Green and WD Blue SSDs introduced last fall were relatively minor updates to existing SanDisk products, the WD Black is an all-new product. The WD Black is aimed at the cheaper half of the M.2 PCIe SSD market rather than competing for the highest performance: it will be available in 256GB and 512GB capacities for $109 and $199.99 respectively, making it cheaper than any currently available M.2 PCIe SSD except the Intel 600p. The WD Black most likely uses the Marvell 88SS1093 controller and 15nm TLC NAND, a combination that will also be found in Plextor's upcoming M8Se (albeit with different firmware).

Write endurance ratings are 80 TB and 160 TB for the 256GB and 512GB models respectively, which are the lowest for this product class. On the other hand, the WD Black will carry a 5-year warranty and 1.75M hour MTTF rating.

WD Black PCIe SSD Series Specifications
Capacity 256GB 512GB
Form Factor M.2 2280
Interface PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe
Controller Marvell 88SS1093 ?
NAND SanDisk 15nm TLC ?
Sequential Read 2050 MB/s
Sequential Write 700 MB/s 800 MB/s
Random Read (4 KB) IOPS 170k 170k
Random Write (4 KB) IOPS 130k 134k
Power Peak 8.25 W
Idle 5.5 mW
Endurance 80 TBW 160 TBW
Encryption none
Warranty 5 years
Price $109 $199.99

The WD Black does not appear to include any heatspreaders, but Western Digital's firmware includes advanced power and thermal management algorithms that WD claims will allow for consistent performance and low power consumption. The WD Black is rated for operating temperatures up to 70°C, so it may engage thermal throttling at a lower temperature than some other PCIe SSD. (For example, the OCZ RD400 throttles around 80°C.)

The WD Black PCIe SSD will be available in the first half of 2017. With this announcement, Micron's Crucial is now the only major consumer SSD brand that does not have any PCIe SSDs. Last summer Micron abandoned plans for a Balistix TX3 product based on their 3D TLC NAND and Silicon Motion's SM2260 controller.

Source: Western Digital

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  • jimjamjamie - Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - link

    > WD Black

    > Blue PCB

    Great job, guys.
  • beginner99 - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Not to mention black branded HDDs used to be the best tier / fastest tier and here they offer a crappy TLC drive under that brand.
  • capedave - Friday, January 6, 2017 - link

    Ah, No mention anywhere what type of nand. TLC, crap! Figures. Too little too late. And now Black is entry level? Ouch, I'll stick with Samsung for sure.
  • edward1987 - Friday, January 6, 2017 - link

    Yes Samsung has much better performance: 3200 to 3500MB/s read speed. IOPS 300-330K 360-440K

  • xcopy - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Actually, for a "Black" drive the warranty stats are not that impressive when you look at Sandisk offerings and the competition. The 512gb, which is very small IMO, has a 160 TBW rating, making the 5 year warranty less useful. IOW, you're not getting much....

    Heck, even the bastardized WD Blue SSD - a Sandisk X400 clone with tweaks - has a much more robust expected longevity. Oh well, that's WD for you; stripping away as much as they can to improve their bottom line, always at the customers expense.....
  • vladx - Friday, January 6, 2017 - link

    Why does PCB color matter?
  • Batmeat - Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - link

    LOL ....agreed though. Not the best when it came to their marketing decision on that one.
  • Tchamber - Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - link

    Haha, right?
    But the prices are nice. Better than SATA performance, not as good as Samsung Pro, but the price...is right! I'm building a system this year, probably AMD, and narrowing it down to m.2. I hope these prices are accurate when they hit the streets.
  • WinterCharm - Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - link

    Yeah, the prices are excellent!
  • Magichands8 - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    $0.40 per GB.

    "Yeah, the prices are excellent!"

    Uh, wut?

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