Western Digital & SanDisk at CES 2017

Western Digital had a bit of a more laid back presence at CES 2017 this year and their products that they were showcasing were really more of the SanDisk side as they related to flash memory. Starting with basic USB 3.1 flash products, they showed off an incredibly fast - and not physically massive Extreme Pro drive that reads at 420Mbps and writes at 380Mbps - from a flash drive. The drive is in a metal enclosure and would be the perfect fit as it writes an entire DVD in about 15 seconds.



Also with the SanDisk brand is their new MicroSD card that features a new specification called "A1". These cards are still plenty fast to record HD video and more, but they are particularly designed to write and read small files quickly - making the IOPS on these much higher than traditional SD and MicroSD flash cards. To demonstrate the advantage, they took a couple of entry-level phones and put the new card in one phone and a traditional SanDisk card in the other and then opened and ran Apps. In every case the A1 card was noticeably faster - and it some cases by 20 seconds or more when loading large apps. This makes an entry-level phone feel and operate much more mid-range.



The other interesting product they just announced was their new M.2 NVMe PCIe x4 card. This card runs on the PCIe 3.0 spec and has quad lanes for some pretty fast transfers. Out of the box, the 512GB version should be able to read up to 2,050 MB/second and write at 800MB/s. It would take a mere 2.2 seconds to copy and entire DVD worth of data. Incredible. The downside is that it seems every company is pulling off the same idea this year as we've seen the same M.2 from HyperX, GEiL and others. While there may be slight differences, they will be negligible on day to day performance.


For more information about the new WesternDigital Black M.2, please check here.

All of our CES Day 1 images can be found here - and our entire CES 2017 coverage is available here.