Western Digital Announces Pro-Blade Modular Hard Drive System

Western Digital is launching a line of professional-grade storage products as part of their SanDisk Pro brand. The two products that kick off the initiative are a Pro-Blade Modular SSD system, and high-speed memory cards under the PCI-Express 3.0 NVMe spec.

First to look at is the Pro-Blade Modular SSD System. The Pro-Blade enables content creators to archive and access their files more quickly through the modular Blade Mag. The Mag is essentially an NVMe SSD hard drive built inside of an aluminum case with a high-speed PCI Express 3.0 connector.

Image Credit – SanDisk/WD

The Pro-Blade Mags are shockproof and can withstand an external force of up to 4000 pounds and a 3-meter drop. The Mags come in three different storage configurations including 1TB for $180, 2TB for $290, and 4TB for $600.

However, while the Pro-Blade is a value at that price, SanDisk requires the SSD enclosure to be connected through a middleman device, either the SanDisk Pro-Blade Transport USB-C SSD enclosure or the SanDisk Thunderbolt 3 Pro-Blade Station desktop SSD enclosure. However, the benefit of this requirement is that users can hot-swap ProBlade Mags without losing any data.

Image Credit – SanDisk/WD

The Transport is also a valuable tool when connected to a camera that supports direct recording to an SSD, like the Blackmagic URSA Pro. The Transport comes with a 20Gbps USB-C cable and supports up to 2,000 MB/s read/write speeds.

Image Credit – SanDisk/WD

The other connection option is the Thunderbolt 3 Pro-Blade Station Desktop Enclosure. This 4 Mag enclosure relies on Thunderbolt 3 connections (hence the name) and operates at 40Gbps, making it fast enough for real-time editing without proxies at up to 12K resolution.

There’s no word yet as to what the price will be, but Western Digital is planning a 2023 release. Meanwhile, users who invest in the Pro-Blade Modular SSD System can pick up the Pro-Blade Transport for an additional $60 with the purchase of at least one Pro-Blade mag, or $70 piecemeal. The Transport System and the Pro-Blade mags will be available in June.

Image Credit – SanDisk/WD

Western Digital also announced new SD cards and microSD cards with maximum read/write speeds of 200 MB/s. The UHS-I cards come in storage sizes of 64GB to 1TB and will cost between $20 and $330. WD is also shipping a new high-speed SanDisk Pro reader which supports both card sizes. The reader will retail for $50 and will ship alongside the cards in June as well.

[source: Western Digital]

Order Links:

  • SanDisk Professional 4TB PRO-BLADE SSD MAG (B&H)
  • SanDisk Professional 2TB PRO-BLADE SSD MAG (B&H)
  • SanDisk Professional 1PRO-BLADE SSD MAG (B&H)
  • SanDisk Professional PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT (B&H)
  • SanDisk Professional PRO-BLADE STATION (B&H)

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