Our Micro Center Community has received a cool new little card! With the release of high demand GPU cards, I expected to see an EVGA or ASUS GPU as the flashiest PCIe card, but Western Digital has taken that crown with the WD_BLACK AN1500 PCIe SSD. This card connects to a PCIe x4 slot (pretty much any slot that isn’t the smallest size), so installation is super easy! No wires to cable manage and no tiny screws to lose, this SSD is as simple as plug and go. The installation simplicity isn’t the only shining factor for this SSD; one of the “shining” parts of this SSD is the addressable RGB strip that wraps around the heatsink. Lastly, this card has some incredible read and write speeds that put it towards the top of high-end SSDs.
Let’s first take a look at our CrystalDiskMark results;
We are seeing some giant Sequential Read and Write results, with some of the better consumer SSDs out there only going to 3500 MB/s read and 2300 MB/s write. We are also observing Random Reads and Writes at all the Queue Depths and Threads are similar to higher-end M.2 NVMe SSDs putting the AN1500 as a speedy and reliable SSD. Keep in mind this is a short burst benchmark that doesn’t necessarily reflect practical cases.
Taking a look at our AIDA64 Benchmarks, with the first one being our Average Write Access or, essentially, the response time of the AN1500.
SSDs, in general, have a fast response time, with the average being anywhere between 0.03 and 0.30 ms, and we are seeing an average of 0.02 here for response time.
Following the response time benchmark, we ran the AIDA64 Linear Write benchmark, essentially a Sequential Write Benchmark, over a more extended period. Here, we can see the point where you may encounter some thermal throttling that will happen to SSDs that are writing for ample amounts of time. This is the most practical test if you find yourself frequently transferring single files with large amounts of data like videos.
Next, we ran the AN1500 through a Linear Write + Verify benchmark, which tests writing data and then rereading the data to verify the data was correct. Below are our results
We then ran the Random Write and Random Write + Verify benchmarks. These are similar to the Linear Write but mimic grabbing data from different areas such as a folder full of various items rather than one big thing. Results are below:
The Buffered Write benchmark tests the first few sectors of an SSD and continuously writes over it. This tests your cache as well. Results are below:
The WD_BLACK AN1500 is a speedy SSD with some extra bling to it. This is a straightforward install for someone who has a prebuilt computer and needs to add storage and someone who just doesn’t want to go through the hassle of mounting a 2.5’’ SSD or looking for their M.2 screws in their motherboard box from whenever they built their PC. A bit on the pricier side of SSDs, I think there is a fair amount of merit for this SSD, and I am definitely looking at this as my next storage upgrade.
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