Western Digital (WD) today announced its first consumer-oriented solid state drive (SSD) with the new WD SiliconEdge 2.5-inch SSD family. The new WD SiliconEdge Blue SSDs are available in capacities of up to 256 gigabytes (GB) and feature a SATA II 3.0 gigabits per second (Gb/s) interface with sequential read speeds up to 250 megabytes per second (MB/s) and sequential write transfer rates up to 170 MB/s. Not bad performance for a mainstream consumer SSD that is part of the ‘blue’ series of SSDs from WD. Those looking for a little more performance should keep their fingers crossed as we would guess that SiliconEdge Black SSDs are on the way in the future. Today, we have the WD SiliconEdge Blue 256 GB (SSC-D0256SC-2100) SSD and we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the drive’s features, internal components and the performance of the drive.
WD informed Legit Reviews that these SSDs have been designed for both read-intensive client/consumer applications and write-intensive, 24/7 OEM applications; WD’s new multi-level cell (MLC)-based SSDs feature patented and patent-pending technologies, such as advanced wear-leveling and error correction control, as well as TRIM and NCQ (Native Command Queuing) command support to ensure maximum drive performance and endurance with easy plug and play compatibility. WD said that they spent over 130,000 hours testing this drive and during that time they did 40 revisions of firmware before getting the performance numbers and durability where they wanted it.
WD SiliconEdge Blue SSDs are available in three capacities:
Flipping the WD SiliconEdge Blue SSD over we find nothing of interest other than the threaded mounting holes on both the bottom and sides to fit in various cases and laptops. The new WD SiliconEdge Blue product family has passed WD’s extensive functional integrity testing procedures, which subjected the WD SiliconEdge Blue SSDs to over 130,000 hours of testing to ensure they meet the industry’s highest data integrity, reliability and compatibility standards. Designed for both read-intensive client/consumer applications and write-intensive, 24/7 OEM applications, WD’s new multi-level cell (MLC)-based SSDs feature patented and patent-pending technologies, such as advanced wear-leveling and error correction control, as well as TRIM and NCQ (Native Command Queuing) command support to ensure maximum drive performance and endurance with easy plug and play compatibility.
WD SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD Product Specifications:
One thing that we have noticed by testing SSDs is that the maximum write speed is usually only a valid number when the drive is Fresh out-of-the Box (FoB) and not capable of being hit after continual use. WD was up front by saying that continual use of the SSD will slow the sequential write speeds down to roughly 140MB/s to 145MB/s. It’s nice to hear an SSD company be honest and open about the performance of their drive!
Here is a better look at the Serial ATA (SATA) II header and the SATA power connector on the SiliconEdge Blue SSDs. The SATA II 3Gbps storage interface is backwards-compatible with SATA I and also works on SATA III 6Gbps headers as well. Notice that the drive doesn’t have any jumpers on it. We asked WD if they would support end-user firmware updates and they informed us that a firmware toolkit is possible, but they will not be releasing it until there is a need for the software. If there is a firmware update available that impacts the fit, core function or reliability of the product then WD will release an application.
The operational lifespan on the drive is unlimited when it comes to read, but the write lifespan varies depending on the size drive you have as the larger the capacity the more writes you can do as there are more MLC NAND Flash chips. WD used LifeEst methodology to figure out how many writes per day a drive can do in a typical five year service span, which is interesting as our readers are always interested in how long an SSD will last.
Write Operational Lifespan Over 5 Years:
These aren’t bad figures and most consumers today are not writing that much data to their drives on a daily basis even with all your browser caching! Let’s take a look inside the drive and see what makes it tick.