When new SSDs are reported these days, they are almost exclusively NVMe models with PCI Express. However, Western Digital is not yet completely turning its back on the slower SATA interface and is launching a new series in M.2 and 2.5-inch formats with the WD Blue SA510.
WD Blue SA510 for HDD upgraders
Instead of enthusiasts and gamers, the manufacturer is targeting PC owners with the WD Blue SA510 who still have a mechanical HDD. The leap in performance from a hard drive to a SATA SSD is immense. The significantly lower latencies in file access accelerate program starts noticeably and the transfer rates are also significantly higher.
Typical SATA SSDs
With a maximum of 560 MB/s when reading, the new WD Blue series practically exhausts the SATA interface. Write rates vary from 440MB/s to 520MB/s depending on the model, ranging from 250GB at the lowest performance to 1TB at the highest performance. The variant with 500 GB is in the middle. Since each version is available in the two formats mentioned, there are six models in the series. According to the data sheet (PDF), there are no performance differences between the different forms.
The 250 GB models are limited to a total bytes written (TBW) of 100 TB, the 500 GB models to 200 TB and the 1 TB models to 400 TB. From then on, the otherwise 5-year guarantee expires, but experience has shown that even more TB of data can be written before the first failures occur.
Differences WD Blue vs. WD Blue SA510
There are a few differences compared to the very similar-looking SATA SSD series WD Blue (no number). The storage volume in the older series is up to 4 TB and the performance is slightly higher overall. But the new SA510 version is significantly more economical. It remains to be seen which controller and NAND memory will be in the newcomers.
Prices and Availability
The SA510 is sold directly from Western Digital at prices of around 65 USD, USD 75 and USD 100 sold with availability in 1 to 2 weeks. The local retail trade will soon follow suit; The first listings are already available.
However, if you already have a system with support for M.2 SSDs with NVMe, you should rely on such a model directly, because there are often it the extra performance with almost no extra charge. A faster alternative from the same manufacturer is, for example, the WD Blue SN550 (test), which costs less than 90 euros in the 1 TB version. Gamers in particular should no longer rely on SATA when making new purchases due to the future better use of fast SSDs, including the DirectStorage API.