WD’s Silent Changes To Its Budget SSD Reduced Performance By 50%

Not-So-Solid State Drive?

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Western Digital’s WD Blue SN550 SSD (Solid State Drive) is a renowned model for budget NVMe drives. You ought to see that model if you ever search for “Best SSDs” on the internet. In the same vein, WD is a well-known brand that provides high-speed storage solutions.

The WD Blue SN550 uses the four-lane PCI Express 3.0, which gives it an edge over other SSDs on the same budget. However, Western Digital changed the structure of the same SSD resulting in decreased performance in certain cases.

Making Changes to WD SSDs Behind the Scenes

Major changes to the SSD model occurred back in July. Chinese site Expressview (discovered by Tom’s Hardware and Extremetech) reported that the drive was writing data at 390 MB per second after its cache was filled. As per Expressview, these speeds are half of what they used to be in the previous versions of SN550. The original SN550 displayed speeds of around 610 MB per second in the Tom’s Hardware test.

Initially, everyone suspected that the degradation in speeds was due to an inferior NAND flash as both models had the same SSD controller. Furthermore, Western Digital confirmed to Ars Technica that it had replaced the NAND flash and updated SN550’s firmware, as a matter of fact. Upon being caught, WD made clarifications to Ars.

Likewise, WD said it would announce any hardware changes in the future corresponding with the new model number. However, this isn’t the first time a company has done something silently for its own profits. Users sometimes benefit from the changes, but mostly they do not.

However, not everyone will even notice the changes made to that SSD. If you’re a power user who exports and imports quite a lot of files every day, then only you might notice the change in speeds. Moreover, it’s truly unjust towards users for they’re not getting what they paid for.

Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth Dudeja

An engineering student with a keen interest in most aspects of technology. Likes to write about Microsoft, Apple, Laptops, Gaming, etc.

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