Western Digital has announced the WD Black PCIe SSD, their first PCIe SSD for the consumer market. This particular SSD is aimed at the cheaper half of the M.2 PCIe SSD market rather than competing for the highest performance: it will be available in 256GB and 512GB capacities for $109 and $199.99 respectively, making it cheaper than any currently available M.2 PCIe SSD except the Intel 600p.
The WD Black makes use of the PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe interface, and offers sequential read speeds of 2050 MB/s for both 256 GB and 512 GB capacities, with the smaller capacity drive offering sequential write speeds of 700 MB/s and its bigger sibling upping that to 800 MB/s.
The drives’ random read (4 KB) is rated at 170K IOPS, whereas the random write (4 KB) is rated at 130k IOPS on the 256 GB drive and 134K on the 512 GB one. Both drives sport peak power consumption of 8.25W, and idle of just 5.5 mW. Write endurance ratings are 80 TB and 160 TB for the 256GB and 512GB models respectively, with Western Digital throwing in a 5-year warranty and 1.75M hour MTTF rating for good measure.
Western Digital says its firmware includes advanced power and thermal management algorithms that supposedly allow for consistent performance and low power consumption. The WD Black is rated for operating temperatures up to 70°C, so it may engage thermal throttling at a lower temperature than some other PCIe SSD.
The WD Black PCIe SSD will be available in the first half of 2017.