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An SSD is one of the best upgrades that you can do to your computer. A fast storage device can improve performance across the board, from speeding up your boot times to improving application launch performance and also improving loading times in games.
The WD Blue SN550 is an M.2 NVMe SSD. Unlike traditional 2.5-inch SSDs that rely on your motherboard’s SATA interface, M.2 drives plug directly into the PCIe bus of your motherboard, providing faster transfer speeds.
How much faster? Consider a traditional 2.5-inch SSD, which has a transfer speed that maxes out at around 550MB/s. The SN550, on the other hand, has sequential read speeds of around 2400MB/s and write speeds of 1950MB/s, which is roughly four times faster.
Compared to traditional SATA drives, M.2 drives require no wiring and no additional power as they can do both through the M.2 socket on the motherboard. This makes installation much easier, as it usually just requires one screw to secure it in place. As for compatibility, if you have a computer from the last two years or so then it’s highly likely it already has a M.2 socket somewhere on it.
Even though the SN550 is fast, it’s just the tip of the iceberg for NVMe M.2 transfer speeds. In fact, you can get the newer WD Blue SN570 1TB model for £87.99, and it supports much faster 3300MB/s read speeds and 3000MB/s write speeds.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all M.2 drives are the same. If you are hunting for a deal, make sure to avoid any M.2 drives that still utilize the SATA interface. They will look like other M.2 NVMe drives but offer the same speeds as 2.5-inch SATA SSD and are usually not that much cheaper to take that performance hit.
If you are looking for an SSD for your PlayStation 5, then check out this ADATA XPG S70 Blade instead, which has the minimum specs required to meet Sony’s guidelines. It also works well in PCs with PCIe 4.0 compatibility, providing even faster speeds than the PCIe 3.0 drive we highlighted in this article.
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