WD Blue 3D M.2 500GB
Another value SSD contender, the WD Blue 3D is, like the Crucial MX500, available in both M.2 and 2.5-inch SATA form factors, with both limited to the same slower SATA interface.
Unlike the MX500, the WD Blue 3D is available in capacities up to 2TB in both form factors.
Elsewhere the drive offers nothing particularly outstanding. M.2 drives don’t have the opportunity to stand out with fancy designs, so there’s nothing to mention here other than a blue PCB.
Meanwhile, on the inside you’ve got the Marvell 88SS1074 controller keeping things ticking over, while SanDisk’s third-generation 3D TLC NAND is used to store all your data.
Notably, WD hasn’t enabled the hardware AES encryption that’s available on this controller, so those that like to keep their data secure will have to rely on a software-based solution.
The end result is a drive that performs a little better than expected. It keeps toe-to-toe with the Crucial MX500 and Samsung 860 Evo. Add in the decent 200TBW write endurance and impressively low price and you have a drive that comes very close to toppling the Crucial MX500, though it does just fall short.