If you’ve ever wanted to be totally blasé with storage space and game installs then Western Digital’s 4TB TLC SATA SSD might be the drive for you. Set to rival Samsung’s 860 QVO 4TB drive in the affordable, high-capacity market, WD is offering TLC performance and enormous capacity at an awfully competitive price.
The WD Blue 4TB SSD is based on 64-layer TLC NAND from SanDisk, WD’s subsidiary, and comes in the usual 2.5-inch form factor. Since the SATA interface is limited on speed, this drive manages respectable 560MB/s read and 532MB/s write speeds expected of a TLC NAND/SATA combo. While WD has moved on to its own in-house controller for NVMe, it’s opted for a Marvell 88SS1074 with the 4TB Blue – the same one previously used within WD Blue SSDs.
While WD is yet to list the 4TB drive officially, it looks like some retailers have set the product live a little early. The drive comes with a price tag of €545. That’s €136 per TB or €0.14 per GB. We suspect an official release to follow along shortly.
Samsung is the biggest name in SSDs, and it’s one of the few that has adopted the 4TB capacity right now. It’s done so with the 860 Evo and 860 QLC drives – the latter price-conscious drive coming in at $548.
NVMe speed: Check out our WD Blue SN500 review
The price will probably shake out relatively similar between Samsung’s 860 QVO and the slightly pricier WD Blue once the drive gets a US release. But while the former features the slower, less enduring QLC memory, the WD is built with TLC flash. The Samsung QVO manages 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write.
The WD also trumps it on the warranty front too, coming with a five year warranty to Samsung’s three.
Samsung’s 860 EVO is similarly built upon TLC memory, or Samsung three-bit MLC, but that drive carries a price premium for the faster NAND. The Samsung 860 EVO costs somewhere in the region of $661.
QLC, or 4-bit NAND, is a high-density memory cell capable of storing greater bits than SLC, MLC, or TLC alternatives. But it’s not without drawbacks. QLC isn’t as durable as the others, and drive endurance will be lower than designs on the market already. Performance also suffers in the name of high density and lower cost per-GB.
By the time QLC had reached the market last year 3D NAND TLC had dropped in price considerably. That meant that QLC has had a hard time finding a foothold in the market. As proven here today by the WD Blue, gamers not only have plenty of great value TLC drives available to them, but there seems to be plenty more to come as NAND prices drop.