The 500GB version of our favourite SSD, the WD Blue SN550, has dropped to just £47 over on Amazon UK this week. This beats its previous Amazon Prime Day price of £50 by a couple of quid, and is just £1 more than what it cost over Black Friday at the end of last year. As such, if you missed out on this great value NVMe drive back then, now’s a great time to think about upgrading your PC’s storage banks.
Indeed, the Blue SN550 is one of the best SSDs for gaming around right now, offering great speeds for a great price. For example, its random read speeds are just as quick as its fancier sibling, WD’s Black SN750, and its random write speeds are way out in front of the more expensive Samsung 970 Evo Plus as well. It doesn’t support the new PCIe 4.0 standard, mind, but if it’s good value for money you’re after, there really is nothing better.
You’ll need a reasonably modern PC to take advantage of the SN550, mind, as it needs an M.2 slot on your motherboard rather than a traditional SATA port. Most motherboards made over the last couple of years should have at least one M.2 slot, though, if not two. If you’re unsure, make sure you check before you buy. Here’s a reminder of what to look for:
As for other size capacities of the SN550, the 1TB model is also a decent enough price at the moment at £88, although it was a smidge cheaper at £85 just a few weeks ago. That said, it’s still not far off its all-time low of £80 right now, which is what it dropped to over Black Friday. The 250GB model, meanwhile, is also pretty good value at just £33 at time of writing, as this is also just £1 higher than its previous record low.
It’s also worth noting that the 500GB of WD’s super fast Black SN850 SSD is also on sale right now, going for a new low of £90. This is obviously a lot more expensive than the Blue SN550, but that’s because the Black SN850 is WD’s flagship PCIe 4.0 drive, making it quite a bit nippier than the SN550 when paired with a compatible PCIe 4.0 motherboard. Indeed, the Black SN850 is currently my top recommendation for those after a PCIe 4.0 SSD right now, as I found it to be both faster and better value than Samsung’s 980 Pro.
PCIe 4.0 will become increasingly important for gaming PCs over the next year or so, as the introduction of Microsoft’s DirectStorage tech should help cut down on loading times quite significantly once it’s released. They’re still pretty expensive compared to their PCIe 3.0 counterparts, though, so it’s probably better to wait until later in the year when prices might have come down a bit if you’re thinking about going down the PCIe 4.0 route. In the meantime, the WD Blue SN550 is still a great little drive in its own right, and would be a great addition to any PC with a spare M.2 slot.