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.
Theoretical Specifications (Comparison)
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.
|Specifications||WD Blue SN550||Kingston A2000|
|Storage Variants||250GB-2TB||250GB, 500GB, 1TB|
|Interface||PCIe 3.0 x4 Lanes||PCIe 3.0 x4 Lanes|
|Form Factor||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|Sequential Read Speed||Up to 2,400 MB/s||Up to 2200 MB/s|
|Sequential Write Speed||Up to 1,950 MB/s||Up to 2000 MB/s|
|Random Read (IOPS)||Up to 360K||Up to 250K|
|Random Write Speed (IOPS)||Up to 384K||Up to 200K|
|TBW||150, 300, 600, and 900 TBW||350 and 600 TBW|
|NAND Flash Type||TLC 3D||TLC 3D|
|NVMe Category||Budget NVMe SSD||Budget NVMe SSD|
|Warranty||5- Years Limited Warranty||5- Years Limited Warranty|
|Price||Check Amazon||Check 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.
Synthetic Benchmark Scores (Comparison)
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.
|Parameter||WD Blue SN550 (1TB)||Kingston A2000 (1TB)|
|Sequential Read Speed||1634 MB/s||1756 MB/s|
|Sequential Read Speed||1475 MB/s||1514 MB/s|
|Random 4K Read Speed||52.2 MB/s||58.1 MB/s|
|Random 4K Write Speed||168.6 MB/s||148.9 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.
Program Loading Time (Comparison)
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/Game||WD Blue SN550||Kingston A2000|
|Windows 10 Home||~17 Seconds||~16 Seconds|
|Adobe Premiere Pro||23 Seconds||21 Seconds|
|Adobe Photoshop CC||19 Seconds||21 Seconds|
|Blender (Animation Software)||40 Seconds||39 Seconds|
|Fortnite||52 Seconds||49 Seconds|
|GTA-V||39 Seconds||41 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)|
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)
|Parameter||WD Blue SN550||Kingston A2000|
|MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure)||1.5 Million Hours||2.0 Million Hours|
|Warranty Period||5 Years||5 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.
Technical Specifications (Comparison)
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 Specification||WD Blue SN550||Kingston A2000|
|NAND Flash Type||Sandisk’s TLC 3D||Micron’s TLC 3D|
|NAND Flash Layers||96||64/96|
|Controller||WD Proprietary Controller||SMI SM2263|
|Controller Configurations||Tri-core, 8-Channels||Dual-Core, 4-Channels|
|DRAM||No DRAM||DDR4 DRAM|
|Cache||SLC Cache||Pseudo-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.
Conclusion: Which one to buy?
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.
Some other Alternatives to check
|Image||Model||Features and Specs||Price|
|Samsung 970 Evo|
|Capacity: 250GB – 2TB|
Interface: PCIe 3.0
Speed: 3500/2500 MB/s
Endurance: Up to 1200 TBW
|WD Blue SN750||Capacity: 250GB – 4TB|
Interface: PCIe 3.0
Speed: 3430/3100 MB/s
Endurance: Up to 2,400 TBW