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WD unleashes $28 PCIe 4 SSD

Super cheap Western Digital Blue SN580 promises 4,150MB/s read and write speeds, though it uses the same NAND and controller as the WD Black SN770.

WD Blue SN580

The age of expensive PCIe 4 SSDs is apparently over, as WD has just introduced its first PCIe 4 Blue drive, with prices starting at just $28. The WD Blue SN850 picks up the baton from WD’s previous Blue drives, such as the WD Blue SN550, which only used the PCIe 3 interface, but offered fantastic value for money.

There are a couple of catches, though. Firstly, $28 will only buy you a measly 250GB of storage space, although you don’t have to pay much more to double it. The 500GB version comes in at $32, while a 1TB drive costs $50.

The second catch is that the WD Blue SN850 looks suspiciously like a rebadged WD Black SN770. As Twitter user harukaze5719, pointed out after looking at the official photos, both drives use the same Sandisk 20-82-10082-A1 controller, and the same NAND flash memory as well.

That said, there are clearly differences in the spec elsewhere, as the WD is claiming the SN580 Blue has slower performance than the Black. According to WD, the sequential read and write performance of the Blue SN580 tops out at 4,150MB/s for the 1TB and 2TB drives, but the read speed drops to 4,000MB/s on the 250GB and 500GB drives, while the write speed plummets all the way down to 2,000MB/s on the 250GB drive.

WD Blue SN580 specs

The WD Blue SN580 specs list is:

Capacities 250 GB / 500 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB
Form factor M.2 2280
Interface 4x PCIe 4
Sequential read performance 4,150MB/s (2 TB drive)
Sequential write performance 4,150MB/s (2 TB drive)
Endurance 600TBW (2TB drive)
Random read performance 600,000 4KB IOPS (2 TB drive)
Random write performance 750,000 4KB IOPS (2 TB drive)

WD Blue SN580 price

The WD Blue SN580 has quite a high price at launch, particularly in the UK, but we’re hoping it will come down.

Price: $28 (£51) for 250 GB, $32 (£68) for 500 GB, $50 (£97) for 1 TB, $110 (£192) for 2 TB.

While we welcome PCIe 4 storage dropping in price, the claimed performance of the WD Blue SN580 isn’t far off the 3,500MB/s speed of PCIe 3 drives, such as the Samsung 980, which currently costs just $45 for a 1TB drive with the latest Samsung SSD offer. The UK pricing is also baffling at the moment – it will have to come down if the WD Blue SN580 is going to compete in this busy market.

Are you interested in picking up a PCIe 4 SSD for a song? Let us know your thoughts and questions on this post by joining the conversation on the Custom PC Facebook page, via Twitter, or join our Custom PC and Gaming Setup Facebook group and tap into the knowledge of our 390,000+ members. You can also find more SSD recommendations in our guide to the best gaming SSD.