WD Blue And SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD Introduction
In addition, SanDisk branded versions of the drive are hitting the market as well. Internally the WD Blue with 3D NAND and new SanDisk Ultra 3D are virtually identical, but the drives will target different distribution channels. The WD Blue 3D is for do-it-yourselfers and is headed into the channel, while the SanDisk drives will be available in more traditional retail outlets. They’re both for sale on sites like Amazon already, though, so finding either one at the best deal will be easy for on-line shoppers.
The WD Blue and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD series will eventually be offered in capacities ranging from 250GB to 2TB, in the common 2.5” form factor, though we should note that the WD Blue will also be offered in M.2 flavors as well. We've got a couple of 1TB drives to show you here, but note that performance is somewhat lower with the smaller capacity drives.
Inside their enclosures there are few noteworthy items to point out. First, is the controller. These drives feature the very same Marvell 88SS1074 controller as the original WD Blue, but with updated firmware with the tweaks necessary to implement the 64-layer 3D BiCS flash memory. The Marvell 88SS1074 supports four NAND channels and has a native SATA 6Gbps interface. The controller is paired to some Micron DRAM cache and the aforementioned 64-layer NAND.
SSD management utilities for performing maintenance operations and the like are available to download, however.