WD Black PCIe SSD 256GB Review and Test


Western Digital’s entry into the SSD market is relatively recent. Earlier, we already got acquainted with the entry-level and mid-level solutions in the face of Green PC SSD 240GB and Blue PC SSD 250GB. Now it’s time to test a more advanced offering aimed primarily at enthusiasts – the WD Black PCIe SSD in the 256 GB version.

WD Black PCIe SSD 256GB (WDS256G1X0C)

Hard drives of the Black series at one time gained fame as one of the fastest and most productive HDDs on the mass market of information storage systems. This imposes on the beginner a certain baggage of expectations from buyers, who similarly expect to get the fastest SSD for a sane amount of money.

Manufacturer’s site wdc.com
Capacity, GB 256 512
Sequential read speed, MB/s 2050 2050
Sequential write speed, MB/s 700 800
Maximum random read speed (blocks of 4 KB), IOPS 170K 170K
Maximum random write speed (blocks of 4 KB), IOPS 130K 134K
Controller Marvell 88SS1093
Memory type SanDisk, 15 нм, TLC NAND
Total Bytes Written (TBW), TB 80 160
Mean time between failures (MTBF) 1 750 000
Connection interface PCI Express 3.0 (NVMe)
Power consumption (read / write), W 0,135
Form factor M.2 2280
Dimensions, mm 22 x 80 x 2.23
Weight, g 7,2
Cost, $ 109 199

On paper, the WD Black PCIe SSD’s feature set looks very attractive. Before us is an SSD with initial support for the promising NVMe protocol and a PCI-E 3.0 x4 connection interface, the data transfer rate of which reaches 2050 MB / s for reading and 800 MB / s for writing. Pricing for this class of device is pleasantly pleasing, and the base 256 GB version in the United States can be purchased for $109. Somewhat alarming is the fact that TLC NAND type circuits are used as flash memory, which means that we are dealing with a “pseudo-SLC” buffer, but first things first.

WD Black PCIe SSD 256GB (WDS256G1X0C)

The drive comes in a medium sized cardboard box. The spread contains information about the exact model name, amount of available space, serial number, date and country of manufacture. Through a simple scheme, Western Digital does not forget to remind you that to create an “ideal” PC, it is best to use a combination of a fast SSD and a reliable HDD, which can also be selected from a wide range of American brand devices.

WD Black PCIe SSD 256GB (WDS256G1X0C)WD Black PCIe SSD 256GB (WDS256G1X0C)

There is no delivery set as such. Inside the box, the user will find only the drive itself, fixed in a plastic blister to protect it from damage during transportation.

The first thing that catches your eye after unpacking is the minimum dimensions of the review hero. Being made in the M.2 2280 form factor, its dimensions are 22x80x2.23 mm, and the weight is only 7.2 grams. Against the background of the classic 2.5-inch SSD, it looks just tiny.

WD Black PCIe SSD 256GB (WDS256G1X0C)

The Marvell 88SS1093 controller, which was designed specifically to work with PCI-E 3.0 and NVMe, and 15-nanometer TLC NAND memory manufactured by SanDisk, with a guaranteed write resource of 80 TB for the younger model, are responsible for the speed. All microcircuits were placed on one side, as a result of which the back part remained completely empty.

WD Black PCIe SSD 256GB (WDS256G1X0C)WD Black PCIe SSD 256GB (WDS256G1X0C)

Interestingly, if you delve into the list of technologies supported by the WD Black PCIe SSD, then in addition to the usual ones related to garbage collection, you can also find mention of “complex thermal and power management algorithms”. The fact is that among fast drives in the M.2 format, the problem of strong heating during load is quite common. She did not bypass our test copy either. In the absence of additional airflow (standard tests in our case are carried out on an open bench), the WD Black PCIe SSD warmed up to 44 ° C in idle and up to 70 ° C during testing, which led to instability of the results obtained.

WD Black PCIe SSD 256GB (WDS256G1X0C)

Installing a 120mm fan at 700rpm helped to normalize the temperature – the peak temperature during a long period of continuous recording was 41°C. Thus, anyone who is thinking about buying an M.2 SSD, regardless of brand, needs to make sure that the PC case used has sufficient ventilation.


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