Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue SSD (256GB)
The Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue is a fast solid-state drive, but will put a serious dent in your wallet
- Good file transfer performance
- Expensive, slightly more power hungry than alternatives
Western Digital's first consumer-friendly SSD is fast and reasonably priced when compared to the competition, but it is still too expensive as a hard drive replacement in most PCs.
Price$ 1,299.00 (AUD)
The two major internal hard drive manufacturers — Western Digital and Seagate — have traditionally been coy when it comes to solid-state drives, particularly in the consumer space. Western Digital has finally fired its first salvo with the SiliconEdge Blue SSD, which is available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities. While quick, it’s incredibly expensive and is unlikely to be affordable for the average consumer anytime soon.
The WD SiliconEdge Blue is only 9.5mm tall, which means it will easily replace your laptop’s current hard drive. Western Digital uses multi-level cell (MLC) technology in the SiliconEdge Blue, which is common for consumer SSDs. While cheaper than the alternative — single-level cell (SLC) memory — MLC drives aren’t as fast when it comes to the sustained throughput required of enterprise-level servers, and don’t have the same lifespan. Consumers won’t notice the performance disadvantage, though the drive is designed to have a five-year lifespan and is only covered by a three-year warranty.
The Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue consumes only 0.54 Watts when idle, and peaks at 2.6W when writing data. That means this SSD is slightly more power hungry than the Kingston SSDNow V+ but more power efficient than a conventional hard drive.
We conducted two file transfer tests with the SSD while connected to a testbed running a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor system drive. The first test consisted of 3GB worth of 1MB files, which simulates installing applications and backing up system files. In the second test we use a 20GB folder of 3-4GB files; this is more akin to dealing with high-definition movies.
|Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue||$1299||256GB||MLC||50||78.9||55.6|
|Solidata K6-32 SSD||$199||32GB||MLC||46.9||38.9||25.4|
|Apacer A7 Turbo SSD||$309||64GB||MLC||50||36.1||37.5|
|Solidata K5-32 SSD||$359||32GB||SLC||50.6||34.1||26.8|
|Kingston SSDNow V+ SSD||$445||64GB||MLC||49.2||50||56.6|
|Kingston SSDNow M Series||$855||80GB||MLC||49.2||50||56.6|
|Intel X25-M SSD||N/A||80GB||MLC||49.2||49.2||66.7|
|Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue||$1299||256GB||MLC||90.7||70||67.6|
|Solidata K6-32 SSD||$199||32GB||MLC||35.9||71.1||24.8|
|Seagate Momentus 7200.4 HDD||$217||500GB||Hard drive||85.99||77.2||25.63|
|Apacer A7 Turbo SSD||$309||64GB||MLC||77.9||64.7||68.3|
|Solidata K5-32 SSD||$359||32GB||SLC||76.9||42.4||37.1|
|Kingston SSDNow V+ SSD||$445||64GB||MLC||76.6||77.29||75.2|
|Kingston SSDNow M Series||$855||80GB||MLC||73.09||71.04||52.49|
|Intel X25-M SSD||N/A||80GB||MLC||76.1||74||87.8|
Our tests show that the SiliconEdge Blue solid-state drive is definitely fast. It had the fastest read and write speeds in our small file test, and the fastest read speeds by far when dealing with large files. As an overall performer, however, it still doesn’t meet the benchmark set by Intel’s consumer-targeted X25-M SSD, as it fell behind when performing simultaneous large file tasks.
Up against the lowly conventional hard drive, Western Digital’s SSD performed well but our tests show that magnetic storage has some competitive edge, particularly when writing data. While this solid-state drive isn’t a leader of the pack, it will boost start-up times and work well as a system drive in general.
Of course, that’s if you can afford it. The 256GB drive provides 238GB of usable space which, at current prices, means a cost per formatted gigabyte of $5.46. To put that in perspective, the 250GB version of the Momentus 7200.4 can be found for as cheap as $75, or 31.5c per formatted gigabyte. Given that solid-state drives can easily exceed $12 per GB, it's a reasonable cost. However even at this price it's hard to justify.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Twitter gets new product head and team from app startup Yes
- Amazon will literally truck your data into its cloud
- New supercomputer will unite x86, Power9 and ARM chips
- AWS comes out swinging with A.I. services
- How Trump will attack the FCC's net neutrality rules
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCSenior Automation TesterNSW
- CCIteration Manager / Scrum MasterNSW
- FTSolutions Architect - Data Centre/ NetworkNSW
- FTSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- FTERP Support ConsultantQLD
- FTCloud Automation EngineerSA
- FTBusiness Development AnalystVIC
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence Technical AnalystVIC
- CCHadoop DeveloperQLD
- CCWintel Server SupportACT
- FTSenior Project Manager - Large Site relocation projectNSW
- CCPerformance Test AnalystNSW
- FTPMO Coordinator - Permanent Opportunity!NSW
- CCWeb Services Tester- Test AnalystNSW
- CCSAP HR & Payroll Project ManagerACT
- FTSoftware TestersACT
- CCOnsite Level 2 Desktop SupportNSW
- CCServiceNow and Service Management ArchitectNSW
- CCData Quality AnalystNSW
- CCTechnical Change Manager- Electrical Network EngineeringSA
- FTInfrastructure EngineerQLD
- CCSenior UX/UI Designer (Mobile)NSW
- TPProjects Planning ManagerQLD