Western Digital Black AN1500: High Speed ​​Dual PCIe SSD Review

Western Digital Black AN1500: High Speed ​​Dual PCIe SSD Review

Western Digital Black AN1500

With the review of the Western Digital Black AN1500 PCIe NVMe 2 TB we found ourselves in the presence of an expansion card equipped with two Western Digital SSDs that uses RAID 0 to reach, through a PCIe 3.0 slot, speeds close to those of PCIe storage 4.0. So look at those who need to move or load data quickly, but do not have a new platform with the latest PCIe standard at their disposal or who demand another PC component equipped with RGB lighting at all costs.


What we ended up reviewing is the middle model of a series that includes 1TB and 4TB variants. The performance, however, does not change as well as the aesthetics that packs two SSDs in an elegant 13 mm thick metal shell topped by a thick and showy RGB band illuminated by 16 LEDs. A detail that reinforces a convincing and clean overall aesthetic that fits without smudges even inside the most tidy houses.

The fulcrum, however, is not visible and is composed of the WD 96L TLC memories of the two units WD SN730 SSD, from a Marvell 88NR2241 NVMe RAID controller, 8 GB of Micron DDR4 memory for each SSD and a PCIe 3.0 X8 interface that guarantees double the bandwidth compared to the classic X4. To improve performance, the company has also implemented a series of cryptically named technologies such as Smart Vth-tracking Read which improves performance during lactation. Hence the 6,500 Mb / s in sequential reading, higher than the excellent ones, considering that we are talking about a PCIe 4.0 interface, 4,100 Mb / s in sequential writing. Unfortunately, we have no idea of ​​the guaranteed duration in terms of rewrites, but to guarantee a certain peace of mind there is the 5-year warranty.

The preset RAID configuration makes it impossible to handle the most radical parameters, power included. It also lacks support for AES 256-bit hardware encryption. On the other hand, there is no lack of support for Trim technology, which by optimizing the deletion of data prevents wear problems, and S.M.A.R.T. which allows you to keep an eye on the operation of the SSD and can herald certain problems, allowing you to safeguard your data. The software package also includes the Acronis True Image 2020 which allows you to clone data on the SSD. Finally, the dashboard shows the capacity, temperatures, percentage of health left and speed of the interface, with a table in real time that analyzes the actual performance. There is also control for lighting, with 13 preset patterns and with synchronization with software from famous motherboard brands such as ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion and MSI Mystic Light Sync.


Let's move on to performance starting from the synthetic benchmarks that with Diskbench, moving a portion of the disk of over 50 GB, returned us a score of 10 percentage points higher than that of the mid-range PCIe 4.0 SSD. Not bad then, like the loading time of the Final Fantasy XIV Stormbringer benchmark which returned us a time of 9.85 seconds. Crystal Disk Mark scores are also excellent, with 6,590 MB / s in reading and 4385 MB / s in writing, which are higher than the values ​​declared by Western Digital for the AN1500. However, things changed with the ATTO test dedicated to IOPS, with 11470 points recorded with 4K files that correspond to a value almost imperceptibly higher than that of high-end PCIe 3.0 SSDs. But we still touched, moving on to the practical scenario, 1.9 GB / s with the transfer of a folder of almost 30 GB and 3.2 GB / s when moving a single 10 GB file.

Excellent scores then, which testify the effectiveness of this solution, actually capable of guaranteeing performance superior to that of a PCIe 3.0 drive. But overall we are talking about lower performance than the latest generation PCIe 4.0 drives, despite a decidedly high price that for the 2 TB model exceeds 500 euros. It is therefore superior both to that of high-end PCIe 3.0 drives, lower but still sufficient for the needs of most configurations, and to that of the latest generation PCIe 4.0 drives. And that's not the only problem to consider.

The AN1500 storage reached over 70 degrees during our tests, consuming 16 watts under load which may seem like a few, but are not for an SSD that among other things does not deactivate even in idle, constantly consuming 6 Watts. These are almost negligible values ​​in a high-end configuration, but they are not in terms of temperatures produced, as we have seen rather high and impossible to alter given the armor plating of both the two units and the settings related to the power supply. >


sportsgaming.win 8.4

A PCIe 3.0 expansion card that takes advantage of a PCIe slot of the card to approach speeds from M.2 PCIe 4.0. It also adds an RGB headband and sleek metal armor. In some cases it actually comes to performance from PCIe 4.0. But in other cases it slightly exceeds PCIe 3.0 drives, which makes it cost more than 500 euros.


Attractive aesthetics Great for those who want high performance on a PCIe 3.0 system Good support and 5 year warranty. CONS It does not reach the actual speeds of PCIe 4.0 and costs a lot To push the limits of PCIe it uses 8 lines Hot and inefficient Have you noticed errors?

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