Western Digital has affirmed to consumers that it will be more forthcoming with revisions to existing products after facing widespread criticism from the press. Recently, the company changed the NAND cells powering its Blue SN550 SSD with notably slower ones. As a result, the SSD was nearly 50% slower once the SLC cache was full or didn’t come into play.
The WD Blue SN550 with the new components has a transfer speed of just 390MB/s compared to 849MB/s before. That’s a drop of more than 50% in transfer speeds once the cache dries up. Furthermore, the price remained unchanged, and there was no press release from the vendor notifying consumers of the change.
This is most likely the result of the ongoing semiconductor shortages. NAND flash and controller prices have been rising for several months now, with multiple storage manufacturers looking at cheaper (or easily available) alternatives to previously used components. Samsung has also done something similar with its 970 Evo Plus.
On Thursday, Western Digital admitted to the changes made to the SN550 with minimal notice and promised to be more transparent with its customers in the future.
At the time, we updated the product data sheet. For greater transparency going forward, if we make a change to an existing internal SSD, we commit to introducing a new model number whenever any related published specifications are impacted. We value our customers and are committed to providing the best possible solutions for their data storage needs.WD to The Register