Western Digital’s SSD change reduces speed by almost 50%

The cause is different NAND flash memory usage

An manufacturing change of the popular Western Digital Blue SN550 SSD, released in 2019, rresulted in loss of performance, according to the Preview website. The new version manufactured in July this year changed the flash memories used and is affecting performance when the cache memory is full.

The current version of WD Digital Blue SN550 achieves speed of 390 MB writing per second after the cache memory is completely full. This speed is much lower compared to previous versions, which reached about 610 MB per second, according to Tom’s Hardware.

Both versions of the SSD have the same controller and what happened is due to the use of inferior NAND flash. One of the causes for the change in components may be lack of semiconductors, global crisis mainly due to the pandemic. An SSD that started manufacturing before this crisis used components different from what is manufactured today. The real problem, as Tom’s Hardware points out, is not letting the consumer know about this change.

According to the site, brands such as Adata, Patriot and Crucial have changed the components of their most popular SSDs recently. After finding the Expreview website, it seems that Western Digital is the new member of this group. And the worst thing is that none even changed the information in the boxes or anything like that.

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The WD Blue SN550 SSD uses a controller SanDisk (20-82-01008-A1) and NAND flash Sandisk with identification 60523 1Q00. The model purchased by the website was manufactured on July 28, 2021 and carries a different NAND flash identification number (002031 1Q00). In addition to this physical change, the new model comes with a new firmware version as well.

The benchmark done by Expreview website revealed that both versions of the WD Blue SN550 deliver similar performance as long as the cache memory is not full. The site didn’t provide the results with the previous version, but Tom’s hardware says that, in its tests, the WD Blue SN 550 achieved 610MB/s on 100GB transfer. The new revision with full cache would then have similar performance to the lower model, WD Green SN350.


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Via: Tom’s Hardware