Kingston A2000 vs Western Digital Blue SN550: Which is Best Value?

wd blue sn550 vs kingston a2000
wd blue sn550 vs kingston a2000

Thanks to the transition into the new generation of PCI express lanes, as well as the oversaturation of the SSD market, buying an NVMe drive to house your data has never been cheaper. Even some of the best PCIe Gen 3 M.2 SSDs can now be found at around the $100 mark; providing quick transfer speeds, quick load times, and crisp responsiveness; all at a budget price. Two such NVMe SSDs are Western Digital’s Blue SN550, and Kingston’s A2000.

Not only do these solid-state drives offer mid-level PCIe 3.0 performance, in terms of transfer speeds, but they are also reliable storage units – due mainly to their 96-layer TLC NAND flash memory – making them an excellent option for installing an operating system, large-size games, or even content creation applications. They may not reach the read and write speeds of PCIe Gen 4, or high-end PCIe Gen 3 SSDs (like the WD Black SN750 or the Samsung 970 Pro) but they still get the job done, and cost anywhere between 20% to 62% less. Given that for most users the differences with these most expensive models will hardly be noticeable is why both the WD Blue SN550 and the Kingston A2000 are smart choices for the vast majority of PC builds. 

So, if you’re trying to decide which one of these two SSDs to go for – and whether or not the Kingston A2000 is worth its 17% higher asking price – then do read on, as we will analyze both the manufacturer specifications, as well as the real-world benchmarks, in order to come to a conclusion on which is the better price-to-performance unit for different modes of PC-use and applications. 


Specifications

ModelWestern Digital Blue SN550Kingston A2000
DesignWestern Digital Blue SN550 500GbKingston A2000 1TB
Storage Sizes250 GB, 500 GB, 1TB, 2 TB250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB
Sequential Read2,400 MB/s, 2,400 MB/s, 2,400 MB/s, 2,600 MB/s2,100 MB/s, 2,200 MB/s, 2,200 MB/s,
Sequential Write950 MB/s, 1,750 MB/s, 1,950 MB/s, 1,800 MB/s1,100 MB/s, 2,000 MB/s, 2,000 MB/s
4KB Random Read170,000 IOPS, 300,000 IOPS, 410,000 IOPS, 360,00 IOPS150,000 IOPS, 150,000 IOPS, 250,000 IOPS
4KB Random Write135,000 IOPS, 240,000 IOPS, 405,000 IOPS, 384,000 IOPS180,000 IOPS, 200,000 IOPS, 220,000 IOPS
Bus TypePCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.4PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.3
ControllerWD ArchitectureSMI SM2263EN
NAND TypeSanDisk 96L TLCMicron 96L TLC
TBW150 TBW, 300 TBW, 600 TBW, 1,200 TBW150 TBW, 350 TBW, 600 TBW
Warranty5 years5 years
Price (As of publishing)$45, $55, $100, $225$45, $61, $116
AvailabilityAmazonAmazon

Right off the bat, if you’re looking for an SSD with over 1 TB of storage, then Western Digital’s Blue SN550 is going to be your only option between the two, as the Kingston A2000 does not have a 2 TB variant. 

Sequential read speeds have the WD Blue SN550 in the lead by 14% and 9%, for the 250 GB and 500 GB / 1 TB variants respectively, while the Kingston A2000 pulls ahead in sequential write speeds by 16%, 14%, and 3% – going from lower to higher in storage sizes. Larger performance gaps are found in 4KB random read and write speeds, where the WD Blue SN550 appears to outclass the Kingston A2000 significantly, pulling ahead by anywhere between 13% to 50%.

Durability wise, both SSDs offer respectably high Terabyte Written values: which are equal at the 250 GB and 1 TB storage sizes, but at 500 GB the Kingston A2000 offers an extra 50 TBW. Of course, getting through even 300 TBW would be a difficult task, as it would require one to write 100 GB a day, every day, for over eight years – something only professional users would do. All variants, of both the WD Blue SN550 and Kingston A2000, are backed by their manufacturers respective 5-year limited warranty.

Finally, in terms of prices, we see that the 250 GB units cost about the same, but the 500 GB and 1 TB models of the Kingston A2000 are more expensive than the WD Blue SN550 by 12% and 17% respectively. Whether or not the A2000 deserves to have a higher price, however, is something that only the real-world benchmarks can tell.


Benchmarks

1 TB ModelWD Blue SN550Kingston A2000
Peak Sequential Read12,441 MB/s2,283 MB/s
Peak Sequential Write12,017 MB/s2,201 MB/s
Average Sequential Read21,676 MB/s1,429 MB/s
Average Sequential Write3577 MB/s579 MB/s
Peak 4KB Random Read4 234,786 IOPS211,836 IOPS
Peak 4KB Random Write4377,887 IOPS214,551 IOPS
Power Consumption52.62 Watts3.19 Watts
Game Scene Loading611.04 Seconds10.67 Seconds
PCMark 10 Full System Score1,841 1,865
SPECworkstation 3 Score3.353.28

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All benchmarks by Tom’s Hardware
1 iometer 
2 15 GB movie file read
3 50 GB copy transfer rate
4 4KB QD 1-128.
5 50 GB copy average power consumption.
6 Final Fantasy XIV: StormBlood.

For the most part the two models perform similarly, with the main exception being peak 4KB random write speed, where the WD Blue SN550 leads the A2000 by a substantial 76%. When tested in reading a large video file, the WD SN550 also showed a 17% faster sequential read speed, and when tasked to complete a 50 GB copy transfer it displayed equal write speeds with the A2000, while expending 18% less energy.

Where the Kingston A2000 proves its worth, is in the game-loading benchmark – though the difference between the two SSDs is less than half a second (3% faster), so it will hardly be noticeable. Surprisingly enough, it also fared better in the PCMark 10 Full System testing (which simulates applications, ranging from browsing, to gaming, to photo and video editing), outscoring the WD Blue SN550 just barely by 24 points (1.3% higher). It did, however, fall behind in the SPECworkstation benchmarks (meant to stress-test the SSDs by simulating workstation applications), but again by just 2%. 

Overall, its fair to say that both these SSDs perform on an equal level, with perhaps a small advantage going to the WD Blue SN550 due to its faster random write and sequential read speeds, as well as its better power efficiency.


Verdict

Western Digital Blue SN550 500Gb

So, is the Kingston A2000 worth its higher price, for the 500 GB and 1 TB versions? Definitely not. The WD Blue SN550 displays excellent value and high performance at just $55 and $100 respectively. At its current price point, the Kingston A2000 would have to compete with ADATA’s XPG SX8200 Pro, which is simply a superior SSD. Still, its 250 GB version is a solid option at its under $50 price-tag, so if you’re looking to purchase a hard drive to house your operating system, and a few essential applications, it is a safe purchase to make. For anything above 250 GB, the Western Digital Blue SN550 is the way to go between these two storage units.


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