Western Digital is unveiling its latest addition to the WD Blue family today - the SN570 NVMe SSD. A DRAM-less PCIe 3.0 x4 drive, it brings in performance improvements over the current lead product in the line - the SN550. In order to better appeal to the content creators market, WD is also bundling a free month of membership to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Similar to the SN550, the SN570 is also available in three capacities - 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. All drives are single-sided, come with a 5-year warranty, and carry a 0.3 DWPD rating. The key performance improvement over the SN550 is the increase in sequential read speeds from 2400 MBps to 3500 MBps. Though Western Digital wouldn't officially confirm, we believe this is likely due to the move from BiCS 4 96L 3D TLC to BiCS 5 112L 3D TLC. We did obtain confirmation that these drives are set to be equipped with 3D TLC over their complete lifetime, and will not move to QLC.

Western Digital SN570 SSD Specifications
Capacity 250 GB 500 GB 1 TB
Controller WD In-House?
NAND Flash Western Digital / Kioxia BiCS 5 112L 3D TLC NAND?
Form-Factor, Interface Single-Sided M.2-2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.4
Sequential Read 3300 MB/s 3500 MB/s
Sequential Write 1200 MB/s 2300 MB/s 3000 MB/s
Random Read IOPS 190K 360K 460K
Random Write IOPS 210K 390K 450K
SLC Caching Yes
TCG Opal Encryption No
Warranty 5 years
Write Endurance 150 TBW
0.3 DWPD
300 TBW
0.3 DWPD
600 TBW
0.3 DWPD
MSRP $50 (20¢/GB) $60 (12¢/GB) $110 (11¢/GB)

The WD Blue series started getting credible competition in the entry-level DRAM-less NVMe SSD space recently from Samsung's 980 series. Using 128L V-NAND technology with higher flash speeds, Samsung was able to advertise better sequential performance numbers that the WD Blue. Our review did find the original SN550 holding up better for heavier workloads, but the advertised numbers are hard to dismiss for the average consumer. The new SN570 should solve that problem for WD. On the other hand, Samsung enables TCG Opal support in the 980, while WD opts not to enable it for the Blue series.

In terms of pricing, the SN570 matches the 980 (at least at the 250GB capacity point). Assuming that the SN570 can match the SN550's performance for real-world workloads, the Adobe Creative Cloud value-add might just tilt the choice in its favor - at least for the content creators market. We are yet to receive the final datasheet, and the table above will be updated once we have additional details.

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  • YB1064 - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    Why even write an article if every spec is unknown "?"
  • zdz - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    Endurance is provided, low enough not to care about rest of specs or the drives at all.
  • sdsdv10 - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    I'm regularly curious about these endurance comments. I have a Crucial 256GB M400 SSD for the last 12 years and barely have 10TB written total. What is it that you do for which 100+ TB written is too small an amount?
  • sdsdv10 - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    Sorry, can't edit. Meant to write 10 years. Built my last PC in 2011.
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, October 7, 2021 - link

    Windows 11 is killing machines that are newer. Wait until 12 hits!
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, October 18, 2021 - link

    Nah, it's not.
  • ballsystemlord - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    As a power user I assure you it's quite possible to use up that much storage. Granted, casual web browsing with an addon-less browser will not create that much traffic.
    How, you might ask? Well, if you're developing SW (SoftWare) you'll have to compile that SW. Even with -pipe, it still will write quite a bit of stuff to the disk, and with pipe, even more.
    Now you might not want to develop SW yourself, but there are plenty of people who want to use some applications or games which will require you to compile some source code. Now, you can argue everything should be pre-compiled and packaged, but then someone is still compiling the stuff.
    You might also want to find the fastest FS (Filesystem) for your PC. Should I chose ext4? Btrfs? Nilfs2? Reiserfs? Or, maybe I should chose something more exotic for HPC? (High Performance Computing)
    Then there's benchmarking your SW. Does it go fast? Where's it getting caught at? Can I reuse more of the codebase to get more out of the caches? When that program writes data to the disk and when you modify that program and recompile, it uses up more of those TBW.

    Now this will all seem ethereal to most people. But the *WHOLE* reason your PC runs "fast" is because people, in both the HW (Hardware) and SW communities got to thinking, how can it be faster?
    Thus, it benefits you indirectly to have affordable and high endurance SSDs on the market (the same goes for other HW), because the more efficient and less expensive the process of making things faster, the more people will be able to invest in it. And when they make it faster, then they can pass that speed and efficiency increase down to you. This does, of course, also translate to lower power usage (race to halt). So your PC will also run more quietly.
  • ballsystemlord - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    TLDR: When money can't be, or isn't a sufficient motivation, it's the enthusiasts that make your PC faster. You do well, therefore, to support them in any way you can. (Verbally here.)
  • sdsdv10 - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    Okay, but that is not really the market that this product is targeting. This appears to me to be a low cost mainstream product. I don't see software developers buying this when there are much better products on the market for that use case. This is not a high end/enthusiast product. It's write endurance is perfectly fine for its target audience/consumer. I just chuckle a little bit when I constantly read these "endurance sucks" reply's to any SSD article. :-P
  • twotwotwo - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    Yep, given the connection between bits-per-cell and how much capacity you get out of the Flash, "mainstream PC SSDs should be more like datacenter ones" (and have worse cost/GB) is a lot like "your car should be a heavy-duty truck" (and have worse fuel economy). 🤷‍♀️

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