Announced globally in June this year, Western Digital’s new crop of SSD drives with 64-bit 3D NAND technology are in town. Aimed at the DIY enthusiast, upgrader and casual gamer, the new WD and SanDisk drives offer unprecedented storage capacity, power efficiency and I/O performance.
What’s 3D NAND? It’s basically a stacking technology that enables one silicon wafer to be stacked on another, with the NAND string connecting the two. Each wafer has 32 layers each. It’s an extremely high precision process, and Western Digital expects 75% of its 3D NAND bits this year to feature the 64-layer design. Samsung has a different implementation for 3D NAND, but that’s a discussion for another day.
So, why stack wafers? There’s a limit to how much you can pack within a physical die area. The fact is, 2D NAND has reached a physical limitation. Over the years, die sizes have reduced from 43nm down to 15nm currently.
Technically, you can increase density per cell:
- Single-level Cell (SLC) – 1 bit/cell
- Multi-level Cel (MLC) – 2 bits/cell
- Triple-level Cell (TLC) – 3 bits/cell
- Quad-level Cell (QLC) – 4 bits/cell
However, a couple of important things to note. As cells get closer, the “Proximity Effect” kicks in where it is impossible to shrink NAND die sizes further. Also, packing more bits per cell will deliver larger capacity, but at the expense of endurance.
3D NAND technology offers distinct advantages:
- Higher capacity with a more compact form factor
- Lower power draw (25% savings)
- Built to last and reliable – up to 2TB and up to 500TBW, industry-leading 1.75M hours MTTF
- Performance – maximised SATA performance
3D SSD drives can deliver up to 560MB/s sequential read speeds and up to 530MB/s sequential write speeds.
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD drives are targeted at DIY enthusiasts, new system builders, content creators and casual gamers. They come in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB storage capacities, in 2.5-inch cased drive, or single-sided m.2 2280 form factor.
SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD
For upgraders, gamers and SanDisk loyalists, SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities in traditional 2.5-inch cased drive form factor.
WD Blue 3D and SanDisk Ultra 3D are essentially the same cutting-edge drives that target different market segments.
Users can download free tools like Acronis True Image WD Edition and WD SSD Dashboard to monitor capacity and performance, as well as perform firmware updates.
Pricing and availability
The new WD and SanDisk 3D NAND range are available at all authorised WD and SanDisk retailers. Drives are covered by a 3-year limited warranty.
WD Blue 3D NAND SSD + SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD (2.5-inch):
- 250GB – MYR620
- 500GB – MYR1,100
- 1TB – MYR2,000
- 2TB – MYR3,800
WD Blue 3D NAND m.2 2280:
- 250GB – MYR640
- 500GB – MYR1,150
- 1TB – MYR2,100
- 2TB – MYR3,950