SanDisk Extreme Pro & WD Black M.2 NVMe SSDs Review (1TB) – 3.4GB/s and 500K IOPS

It is not often that we review two separate SSDs within the same report, however this is a rather unique opportunity. Back in 2016, Western Digital acquired SanDisk in one of the largest flash memory purchases ever; a very rare occasion for a company to actually purchase a flash manufacturer. Both companies had very strong customer support and both excel in storage.  SanDisk has always been known for  its Extreme Pro line, whereas Western Digital had its WD Black line, both being the cream of the crop in each companies storage.  Western Digital aims directly for PC Gaming and content creation where SanDisk takes care of the enthusiast segment….and also gaming and content creation.  Enter the SanDisk Extreme Pro and Western Digital Black NVMe SSDs.

Both SSDs have exactly the same components, short of branding.  Both have slightly different firmware, as we are told, to accommodate the market needs of each. One thing that we are certain both have in common is performance, as both are sure to prove that they are of the highest performing NVMe SSDs available today.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

The SanDisk Extreme Pro and WD Black are PCIe 3.0 x4 (four lane) SSDs that are compliant with the latest NVM Express 1.3 protocol.  They will be available in 250GB (WD Black only), 500GB and 1TB capacities initially, and we believe we may see a 2TB version soon enough. 

Listed performance is variable, depending on capacity, with the 1TB version capable of 3400MB/s read and 2800MB/s write data transfer speed, 500GB at 3400/2500 and 250GB at 3000/1600. With respect to IOPS, the 1TB version gets 500K read and 400K write IOPS, with the 500GB at 410K/330K and the 250GB at 220K/170K.

Both SSDs are of a single side form factor, available only as a 2280 (80mm) size and comes with a 5-year limited warranty.  The average power rating is 110-140mW with sleep at 2.5mW. Endurance is listed at 600TBW for the 1TB, 300TBW (500GB) and 200TBW (250GB). Advanced flash management includes SLC Cache technology, defect and error management, dynamic and static wear-leveling, bad block management, background garbage collection and error correction layers.  Both SSDs also have thermal throttling enabled to protect data and the SSD itself.

The largest ic lies almost dead center of the SSD PCB and is the SanDisk/WD Spectrum NVMe controller with two chips of SanDisks latest 3D NAND Flash memory on either side,  along with a SKhynix DRAM chip just to the left of the controller.

Each of the memory chips have a RAW value of 512GB for a total of 1TB, but once formatted, there is 931GB of storage available to the user.  

MSRP for the WDBlack (which will be very similar to the SanDisk Extreme Pro) is set at $119.99 (250GB), $229.99 (500GB) and $449.99 (1TB).  When comparing this with their only competitor, the Samsung 960 Pro NVMe SSD, pricing for the WD is just under $100 cheaper for the 500GB and a very healthy $175 cheaper for the 1TB version.  Check Amazon pricing now!