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Western Digital’s latest entry-level SSDs offer decent performance but there’s a catch

Budget minded: Western Digital has introduced a new SSD lineup offering high performance and strong reliability without breaking the bank. Targeted at mainstream computers, the PC SN5000S NVMe SSD uses the company’s 3D QLC NAND memory to keep costs down while offering reasonable read and write speeds for everyday usage.

Western Digital’s latest consumer-grade SSDs feature the company’s next-generation 3D NAND and its latest in-house controller. They come with PCIe Gen4X4 technology and will be available in M.2-2230 and M.2-2280 form factors.

The new SSDs offer sequential read speeds of up to 6,000 MB/s, while sequential write speeds go up to 5,600 MB/s for the 2TB model. The base 512GB SKU goes up to 4,200 MB/s. The company claims random read and write IOPS of up to 750,000 and 900,000, respectively, for the top-end 2TB model.

While the performance levels are nothing to write home about when compared to high-end SSDs, they are still substantially higher than what most other entry-level drives with similar capacities have to offer.

The 2TB SKU has an advertised write endurance of 600 TBW, while the 1TB has 300 and the 512GB has 150. These figures suggest that the endurance levels of all three models are on the lower side, with the company’s own SN770 (WD Black) drives offering up to 1200 TBW of write endurance. Disappointingly, the quoted figures for the 1TB and 512GB models are even lower than some competing entry-level SSDs.

On the firmware side, the PC SN5000S drives support advanced encryption algorithms and TCG Opal 2.02 and Pyrite v2.01 technologies, ensuring that user data remains safe and secure. The drives also offer RSA-3K and SHA-384 security for extra protection, while a built-in dedicated boot partition grants more peace of mind.

Overall, the PC SN5000S drives offer a decent option for people looking at low-cost entry-level SSDs, but better options are available. That said, depending on their pricing, the new lineup could still be a success. Western Digital hasn’t announced price points yet, but we expect them to be affordable, making them relatively attractive for people wanting a cheap storage drive with decent performance.

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