WD Blue SN500 solid state drive.
The 500GB variant of the WD Blue SN500 NVMe SSD. It can achieve data transfer rates of up to 1,700 MB/s. Image obtained with thanks from Western Digital.

The global hard drive manufacturer Western Digital has released the $55 SN500 M.2 SSD with a read speed of up to 1,700 MB/s, which is incredibly fast for a $55 SSD.

Conventional rotating hard drives tend to achieve transfer speeds in the 100 MB/second range, while SSDs using the same interface (SATA) can achieve greater than 500 MB/s. The SN500 M.2 NVMe SSD uses the PCI Express (PCIe) interface.

Older PCI Express SSDs have achieved speeds exceeding 1,500 MB/s at a higher price. This is one of multiple cases of recent falls in SSD prices, and may be a signal of even cheaper SSDs to come.

The SN500 is 250GB and is from the WD Blue product line. The WD Black drives tend to be faster, but more expensive. The WD Black SN750 can transfer data at speeds up to 3,470 MB/s, but is approximately twice as expensive.

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