WD’s Black 3D NVMe SSD is about to give Samsung’s 960 Evo a run for its money

Western Digital Black 3D NVMe SSD

Western Digital have a new NVMe SSD on the block. Dubbed the WD Black 3D NVMe SSD, this super-fast storage stick finally brings some much needed competition to Samsung’s 960 Evo and 960 Pro, as it will be going on sale later this month with prices starting from just $120 in the US.

UK pricing has yet to be revealed, but what we do know is that the WD Black 3D NVMe SSD will be available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities. It also uses the M.2 2280 form factor (for more info on what this actually means, check out our buying guide in our Best SSDs 2018 article), so you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a motherboard that supports it before you chuck it in your shopping basket.

The 1TB model will be particularly good news for anyone who’s been eyeing up Samsung’s 960 Evo range but hasn’t yet taken the plunge, as WD say the 1TB model will have sequential read speeds of up to 3400MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 2800MB/s. Samsung’s 1TB 960 Evo sequential speeds, by comparison, are only rated for 3200MB/s read and 1900MB/s write.

Sequential speeds fall slightly for the 500GB and 250GB models of the WD Black 3D NVMe SSD, but you’re still looking at a fairly zippy 3400MB/s read and 2500MB/s write for the former, and 3000MB/s read and 1600MB/s write for the latter.

WD have also including a tasty five-year warranty with its Black 3D NVMe SSD, along with an endurance rating of up to 600TBW (terabytes written) for the 1TB model. Again, this beats what’s on offer with the 1TB Samsung 960 Evo, as this only gives you a three-year warranty and a 400TBW endurance rating, making WD’s latest better value for money. The rest of the WD Black 3D NVMe SSD range, meanwhile, will offer a 300TBW endurance for the 500GB model and 200TBW for the 250GB version.

I’ll have to wait until review samples are available before I can put its performance claims to the test, of course – after all, sequential speeds aren’t the best indicator of what you’ll actually be getting in real-world use – but with the 250GB version costing $120, the 500GB model going for $230 and the 1TB one topping out at $450, it’s certainly looking like it could be a very tempting alternative, especially when the 1TB 960 Evo is currently going for $480.


  1. Ghostwise says:

    The last time there was a RPS article about the 960 Evo, I added a PSA in the comments. Stating that I would soon get a 960 Evo, and that Murphy’s Law made it inevitable that a better model would be announced within days.

    I installed my 960 four days ago. :-)

  2. tekknik says:

    I have two of these which replaced 2 Samsung 850 500GB and I’m actually pretty disapointed with real world performance. They are fast but generally I cannot notice any speed improvements over the 850s except now these NVMe drives are taking some of my PCI lanes

    • Jabberslops says:

      This is exactly why I tell people to stick with the SATA 6Gb. If they were already using something advertised as 500+MB read/write, they will likely not notice a difference unless their workload requires 1.5-3GB/s R/W speed.

      You also won’t be able to run as many drives because many motherboards cut off up to 2 SATA ports when an M.2 device is installed in the motherboard slot.

    • poohbear says:

      How much faster did you expect them to become outside of benchmarks? Do u mean loading screens aren’t even faster for games? Did you measure them with a timer?

  3. sosolidshoe says:

    All this push for MOAR SPEEEEED in SSDs is pointless. The vast majority of users don’t care if their PC boots up in four seconds rather than seven, and a bog-standard SATA SSD with “only” a few hundred MB/s read/write is more than quick enough to open almost any application pretty much instantly.

    What they need to be focusing on is *capacity* and *price*. Making them faster can come later once the price-per-byte has come down closer to traditional HDD – you can only get around 250GB of SSD storage for the price of *3TB* of HDD storage.

    • Koozer says:

      I tried an SSD a couple of years ago and was thoroughly underwhelmed at what I got for the price. I was promised mind-melting, life-changing, earth-shattering speeds that would improve my life in uncountable ways. What I got was saving a minute of my life on boot, a massive hole in my wallet, and a right faff in juggling files across a tiny SSD and a decent sized HDD.

      I use my PC boot time to go and make a cuppa anyway. The SSD was soon sent back.

      • sosolidshoe says:

        I managed to score a couple while they were on a deep discount, so I’m happy with my small OS drive and my 500GB games drive(it really does improve load times), but we’ve had two full gens of the same Samsung drives plus the advent of these PCI ones since I got them, and I see zero reason to upgrade now or for the foreseeable future.

        When you can pick up multi-TB SSDs at least in the same pricing ballpark as a midrange HDD, I’ll be interested again.

      • poohbear says:

        Which SSD did u get? I noticed a huge difference going from my HDD to SSD, so not sure if u got the cheapest of the cheap or what.