Adding a solid-state drive to your computer is the single best upgrade you can make if you’re still using a mechanical hard drive—it makes even the pokiest old machines feel like new. Our roundup of the best SSDs of 2018 gives honorable mention to WD’s Blue 3D Nand SSD (in M.2 form factor) as a great, affordable option for PCs. Right now, the drive is even easier on your wallet no matter what shape of SSD you choose.
Amazon is currently selling the 500GB WD Blue 3D in both standard 2.5-inch drive or M.2 “gum stick” form factors for $120. It’s been this low for a few weeks now—even dipping down to $117 a few days ago. Still, this is a great price for a whole lot of SSD storage.
Both drives use the traditional SATA transfer protocol rather than cutting-edge NVMe technology, so they should offer similar speeds. The 2.5-inch model is compatible with a wider range of systems, so if you’re not sure if your PC or laptop has an M.2 slot, err on the side of caution and go with the standard SSD.
WD says Blue SSD offers an active power draw that’s 25 percent lower than previous generations. It offers sequential read speeds up to 560 megabytes per second, and write speeds up to 530 megabytes per second—far exceeding traditional hard drives.
The drive is also supposes to last for up to 500 terabytes worth of information written before failure. That’s plenty of endurance, and early failure is less of a consideration with SSDs these days. That said, it still pays to have a proper back-up strategy whether you’re rocking an SSD or a spinning hard drive.