Do you have too much stuff on your computer and badly need more memory? Us creative types — I’m thinking vloggers, bloggers, animators, photographers and even you developers— always need more room on a hard drive. Yeah, we could be really good at file management, but who has time for that? Enter an after-market internal storage drive. The WD Blue SN550 NVMe Solid State Drive is a powerful, cost-effective storage solution for a desktop or laptop.
WD Blue SN550 NVMe Solid State Drive: review
I’d like to thank Western Digital for sponsoring this post. While they have provided the product for me, and sponsored this blog and video, they haven’t told me what I have to say, or can’t say, so these thoughts are my own.
Now, I’m not going to dazzle you with a lot of confusing sounding, detailed specs… you can get those from other reviews or off the website. I’m here to tell you what those specs can actually do for your PC, and how this little stick might fit into some upgrades.
What can WD Blue SN550 NVMe do for you?
Adding internal storage essentially lets you boost your PC’s performance when creating content or working with multiple applications. It can be a big boost to those of us who work with large files, and I’m looking at graphic designers, architects… you get the idea.
I’m checking out the 1 terabyte version, but you can get these up to 2 TB if you need a lot more power. The 250 gig version starts at just about $65CAD by the way; these sticks are meant to balance speed and affordability. And… if you think you need something faster and you’re not worried about the budget, you can also look at WD Black.
But back to the blue…
What is a SSD?
WD Blue SN550 NVMe is a single-sided, very small SSD or Solid State Drive. What does that mean?
An SSD is a bit different than a standard drive. While they both perform the same basic functions, (that is storing your important data), hard drives are essentially spinning metal disks and the data is accessed when they’re powered and in motion. A solid state drive by contrast stores your data on connected flash memory microchips, which makes SSD drives faster and quieter since there are no moving parts. Understandably these drives tend to cost a bit more than traditional hard drives.
Why get an SSD?
SSD storage is also fast, and here it’s powered by WD’s NVMe technology, delivering fast speeds up to 2,600 MB/s. What does this mean and what do you really get from that? Things like games and videos will load about 4 times faster than a standard SATA SSD, and you’ll see less lag when working on projects across multiple applications. I’m not set up for speed tests but if you don’t believe me you can check out some other YouTubers who are, and the WD Blue SN550 NVMe seems to win plenty of them. As just one example that hits close to my own heart: If you’re editing a video and uploading another one at the same time, in most cases you won’t see a slowdown. And a quick sidebar for those of us who DO deal with big video files; the WD Black is the best option for you.
One final point on choosing an SSD or solid state derive: because there’s no moving parts, it’s not going to create as much heat inside your device – anyone who’s ever dealt with a really warm computer on a hot day knows that can also contribute to slowdowns.
WD Blue SN550 NVMe: an M.2 drive
Another key thing to know, particularly if you’re not Steve Jobs building his own computer in the garage… This is an M.2 drive, which just means it’s a small form factor solid-state drive (SSD) meant for internally mounted storage expansion cards. M.2 just means you’re getting high-performance storage that’s ideal for thin, power-limited devices like laptops and tablet computers.
I’m going to spell out one more acronym here:
DRAM-less technology in WD Blue SN550 NVMe
WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD uses DRAM-less technology and if you’ve seen that in your hunt for a memory stick here’s what that’s all about: DRAM stands for Dynamic-Random Access Memory and in a nutshell for us average Janes and Joes, this is a shortcut to a map to the minuscule memory cells where the memory card hides your data, so it can find what you need.
DRAM technology tends to make memory a lot more expensive, so WD has gone DRAM-less here to help keep this gadget affordable, and to keep the power consumption down, a big deal for laptops. How does a DRAM-less device find your data? It just doesn’t take the shortcut… but since we’re talking milliseconds, it’s probably not something you can catch with your olde grandpa’s stopwatch.
Getting this drive set up is easy too:
Just remove the cover of your CPU or laptop, then locate the M.2 drive slot. Insert the drive into the slot the correct way around and then screw the screw into the other end to hold it. Some computers may come with this screw already inside, or you may need to locate one.
You can then either clone your disk and copy everything over or start fresh and install Windows again.
Ok, the lessons are over! Overall if you need internal memory for your PC, WD Blue SN550 NVMe Solid State Drive is a powerful, cost-effective storage solution for a desktop or laptop.
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