We ran two benchmarks using PCMark 10: the Full System Drive Benchmark as well as the Data Drive Benchmark.
The WD Blue SN550 1TB lands squarely in the middle of the pack, which seems to be exactly where it was designed to land.
Just like the Full System Drive Benchmark, for the Data Drive benchmark, the WD Blue SN550 1TB manages to land exactly where it is designed – middle of the road.
SPECworkstation 3.0.2 Storage Benchmark
SPECworstation benchmark is an excellent benchmark to test systems using workstation type workloads. In this test, we only ran the Storage component, which is 15 separate tests.
The WD Blue SN550 1TB finishes exactly where it started – right in the middle of our result set.
We monitored the idle and maximum temperature during testing with HWMonitor to get some idea of the thermal performance and requirements of the drive. Please keep in mind that our test bench is an open frame chassis in a 22C room, and is thus not representative of a cramped low-airflow case.
We are unsure whether the unusual PCB layout of the WD Blue SN550 1TB had an impact on the thermal performance, but regardless of the cause, the thermals were completely acceptable. Decently low idle temperatures and a manageable 61C maximum should present no problems for most common deployment scenarios.
The WD Blue SN550 1TB is a mainstream PCIe 3.0 SSD that retails for around $125. At this price point, you are paying a small premium for the WD brand; other SSDs from smaller brands are available for the same price or less and some of those drives offer better-rated performance. With that said, many of the less expensive 1TB drives are QLC and the WD Blue SN550 will hold up better under sustained use thanks to using TLC. The lack of a DRAM cache had some negative impact, but an acceptable amount. This indicates that the controller and its built-in SRAM cache were up to the task. As intended, the WD Blue SN550 1TB maintained very middle of the road performance for a PCIe 3.0 SSD and would be appropriate for use as a workstation drive, server boot volume, or SSD read cache drive for a storage array or NAS device.
In the PCIe 3.0 space, the WD Blue SN550 1TB is nowhere near top tier PCIe Gen3 performance, but it still clearly distances itself from any SATA based competitor. It is also below many PCIe Gen3 and Gen4 SSDs. While many of our readers may want to purchase higher-end drives for themselves, these drives are often used in desktops to provide “NVMe” SSDs at a relatively low cost. That can be important for some of our systems integrator readers.
At the $125 price point, you are mostly purchasing the WD brand, since higher performance drives are available from smaller vendors. For some buyers though, that tradeoff will be acceptable, and as long as you have no need for chart-topping performance the WD Blue SN550 1TB can be a solid choice for a mainstream SSD.