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WD Blue SN550 vs Kingston A2000: Which one to buy?

Kingston A2000 is perhaps the most-selling M.2 NVMe SSD offered by Kingston. This SSD has a great reputation in the budget NVMe market. But, it has a lot of competitors as well. WD Blue SN550 is one of those popular names. These both SSDs are available for almost the same price in the market.

Both Kingston A2000 and WD Blue SN550 works on the same PCIe 3.0 interface. They both offer almost similar read/write speeds. There are numerous other similarities. So, the confusion is obvious.

But, there is a good reason to go with the Kingston A2000 over the SN550 and that is the DRAM cache in the A2000. You can easily see some other differences pretty easily by digging deeper into this comparison.

In this article, I am going to give you a brief overview of both these SSDs first of all, and then we will compare them. So, by the end of this article, you will get to know which is the best option for you. For more information on SSD selection, you can read this buying guide.

First of all, we should know which SSD is better if we look at the official specifications. This information can be found on the official websites of both these products. But, I have prepared this comparison table to make this easy for you.

SpecificationsWD Blue SN550Kingston A2000
Storage Variants250GB-2TB250GB, 500GB, 1TB
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x4 LanesPCIe 3.0 x4 Lanes
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280
Sequential Read SpeedUp to 2,400 MB/sUp to 2200 MB/s
Sequential Write SpeedUp to 1,950 MB/sUp to 2000 MB/s
Random Read (IOPS)Up to 360KUp to 250K
Random Write Speed (IOPS)Up to 384KUp to 200K
TBW150, 300, 600, and 900 TBW350 and 600 TBW
NAND Flash TypeTLC 3DTLC 3D
NVMe CategoryBudget NVMe SSDBudget NVMe SSD
Warranty5- Years Limited Warranty5- Years Limited Warranty
PriceCheck AmazonCheck Amazon

The maximum sequential and random data read/write speeds shown in the table are for the top storage variants i.e. 2TB of both. But, still, the SN550 is promising a better speed in all terms. However, all other specifications are almost similar to both the products.

We can’t decide on anyone just by looking at this table. So, as always, I am going to cover all the things which you should know. Let’s talk about them below.

The A2000 is a pretty old NVMe SSD tested and trusted by thousands of users all over the world. It is a good NVMe for normal tasks as well as for gaming and other professional builds. Most people prefer this SSD for laptop upgrades. However, you can also find it in some top-end or low-end custom builds.

In simple words, the A2000 is a perfect choice if you don’t want a PCIe 4.0 SSD or have a limited budget.

On the other side, the WD Blue SN550 is pretty popular among desktop builders. However, I am not denying the fact that is a great product for laptop upgrades as well. But, if we compare the market reputation, the A2000 is perhaps a well-known and popular product as compared to the WD Blue SN550.

The SN550 is often confused with its siblings i.e. SN570, SN750, etc. Another major reason why SN550 is mostly overlooked by users is that it uses the HMB i.e. the system’s RAM for cache purposes. However, the A2000 has its own DRAM cache.

If we look at the prices, both of them come at almost similar price tags. So, if you are getting some great features with the A2000, why don’t just go for that. But, still, there are good reasons to go for the SN550 which we are going to know further in this article.

I use my PCIe 3.0 test bench for these tests. This one has an Intel i5 8th Gen processor with two 4GB DDR4 memory modules. The software used for this test is the CrystalDiskMark8. I take multiple tests and then create a table with an average of these tests. Also, for this comparison, I have made sure to check other online resources to give you accurate benchmark results.

ParameterWD Blue SN550 (1TB)Kingston A2000 (1TB)
Sequential Read Speed1634 MB/s1756 MB/s
Sequential Read Speed1475 MB/s1514 MB/s
Random 4K Read Speed52.2 MB/s58.1 MB/s
Random 4K Write Speed168.6 MB/s148.9 MB/s

The results are not that much different but the A2000 surely beats the SN550 when it comes to the synthetic benchmarks. The SN550, however, was performing great in the random 4KB write tests. I did multiple tests to double-check but the results were the same always. So, we can say that the A2000 is better but SN550 can give you better write performance when it comes to random operations.

Let’s compare how well these SSDs perform when I use them to fire up some software, games, along with my Windows 10 Home OS.

Software/OS/GameWD Blue SN550Kingston A2000
Windows 10 Home~17 Seconds~16 Seconds
Adobe Premiere Pro23 Seconds21 Seconds
Adobe Photoshop CC19 Seconds21 Seconds
Blender (Animation Software)40 Seconds39 Seconds
Fortnite52 Seconds49 Seconds
GTA-V39 Seconds41 Seconds

The loading times are almost similar and this happens always when we compare the SSD of the same PCIe interface. There are some minimal differences but they are really non-noticeable.

Now, let’s compare different specifications which determine the reliability of these SSDs. This data is available on official websites as well. But, I am creating a table to make things easier for you again.

Version (Capacity)WD Blue SN550 (TBW)Kingston A2000 (TBW)
250GB150150
500GB300350
1TB600600
2TB900

TBW is actually the number that determines the total amount of data an SSD can write on its NAND cell during its lifetime. It is determines in TB (Terabytes)

ParameterWD Blue SN550Kingston A2000
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure)1.5 Million Hours2.0 Million Hours
Warranty Period5 Years5 Years

MTBF stands for Mean Time Between Failure. This is a rough number that determines how many hours an SSD will work before it gets weared out.

All the TBW numbers are similar in both the SSDs. But, the Kingston A2000 is offering better MTBF. You can say that the A2000 is capable of offering you better results in terms of reliability.

Now, I am going to give you a comparison table where all the necessary technical specifications are compared. Let’s see which one has got better hardware in this section.

Technical SpecificationWD Blue SN550Kingston A2000
NAND Flash TypeSandisk’s TLC 3DMicron’s TLC 3D
NAND Flash Layers9664/96
ControllerWD Proprietary ControllerSMI SM2263
Controller ConfigurationsTri-core, 8-ChannelsDual-Core, 4-Channels
DRAMNo DRAMDDR4 DRAM
CacheSLC CachePseudo-SLC Cache

WD Blue SN550 has a better controller for sure. But, the Dual-core SM2263 controller on A2000 is enough for a TLC SSD with fewer layers. But, the main difference here is of the DRAM. The A2000 has a DRAM while the WD Blue SN550 comes without any DRAM. However, the WD Blue SN550 has a small SLC cache which surely enhanced the write operations.

But, overall, the data read/write operations are much more stable and refined in the A2000 because of its own DRAM.

Both these SSDs are great in terms of price because they are best suited for people with low budgets. But, if you compare, the Kingston A2000 will be a little bit expensive as compared to the SN550. The difference is less and this should not let you change your decision to a DRAM-Less SSD.

I would definitely suggest Kingston A2000 if your work includes heavy data read/write operations. It has its own DRAM and it will help you achieve good results in both sequential and random read/write operations.

However, the WD Blue SN550 is a totally worthy product as well. But, if you compare the features and practical efficiency, the A2000 easily beats it. The price difference is also there. So, if you have a very tight budget and you can’t afford the A2000, this is the only case you should buy WD Blue SN550 in my opinion.

SN550 might be a better option when you compare it with other low-end NVMe SSDs. But, in this comparison, the A2000 is the winner.

ImageModelFeatures and SpecsPrice
Samsung 970 Evo
Plus
Capacity: 250GB – 2TB
Interface: PCIe 3.0
Speed: 3500/2500 MB/s
Endurance: Up to 1200 TBW
Check Price!
WD Blue SN750Capacity: 250GB – 4TB
Interface: PCIe 3.0
Speed: 3430/3100 MB/s
Endurance: Up to 2,400 TBW
Check Price

Resources

Kingston A2000 Datasheet

WD Blue SN550 Datasheet

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