Final Words

I've repeated it enough times that you should get the point by now - Western Digital's SiliconEdge Blue is just a bit behind the performance of an Indilinx based SSD. The drive performed relatively well in our tests. TRIM worked as expected under Windows 7. Compared to a standard hard drive it's great, but so are just about all other SSDs. Given that the Blue isn't the fastest SSD in the world, what this really boils down to is price.

At $529 for 128GB, the SiliconEdge Blue just isn't worth it. To be honest, the Blue needs to be priced similarly to Kingston's SSDNow V Series to even make sense. It has to be cheaper than both Intel and Indilinx drives, which means cutting the MSRP in half. Not to mention that I received and tested a 256GB version of the drive priced at $999. It remains to be seen how the 128GB drive performs as that one will most likely be the sweet spot of price/capacity/performance.

Western Digital has been testing the SiliconEdge Blue since October. The firmware I tested was cleared for release as of about a week and a half ago. The compatibility angle makes sense, it's only a question of whether or not the drive will deliver on it. If Western Digital can produce an SSD that just works without any fear of not working, dying or strange performance anomalies going forward, it'll help make users more comfortable with the idea of buying an SSD. That being said, the price still needs to be a lot lower.

The bigger picture is unclear at this point. Like Seagate, Western Digital hasn't invested in its own controller design - just in firmware, and to what extent we have no idea. WD did hint at the possibility of there being some overlap in firmware development with the HDD teams in the future. The SiliconEdge Blue may end up being a device to test the waters with a competitive, more heavily engineered solution coming out later on.

It just strikes me as odd for hard drive manufacturers with decades of experience in firmware development and data access patterns, to not come out of the gates swinging. Hopefully it's just these companies being cautious when entering a new, highly disruptive market.

AnandTech Storage Bench
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  • ClownBaby - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    ughh... It nice to see new entries into the market, and continually improving performance, but prices are still outrageous! When will we get some relief with truly affordable SSDs? In my mind, I'd like to see 60gb drives in the >$100 rangs. Reply
  • chrnochime - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    I thought the mainstream OCZ 60GB is already going for ~130 after rebate?

    Regardless, I have more faith in WD with its entry into SSD than any other manufacturer, except perhaps Intel. They are one of the most reliable HDD manu, and I don't see this changing with their SSD.
    Reply
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    Looks like yet another player in the SSD game, and despite the often cited `yay, more competition = lower prices` rhetoric, SSD`s are just not decreasing in price. Even at half the prices mentioned in the article, it wouldn`t be an improvement in value over what`s currently available... guess I`ll be sitting on the sidelines yet another year... Reply
  • The0ne - Monday, March 8, 2010 - link

    Umm, you want competition so the MARKET could drive the prices down. Right now we have competition but the market isn't really there. As more and more consumers readily shell out hundreds of hard earn dollars for 60GB drives, the market will respond :) Reply
  • wwwcd - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    many money for slow devices Reply
  • iFX - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    Not likeing Intel's business practices I tend to avoid their products which left OCZ which I haven't been impressed with ever. Now WD is here, an established and respected storage company. Might be time to switch to an SSD. =) Reply
  • TemjinGold - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    Hmm... "it just works," seems insanely overpriced, and the body is silver in color. Now what does that remind you of? :D Reply
  • medi01 - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    2$ per GB, vs 0,08$ per GB, that makes, what, one to 30? Reply
  • HobHayward - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    If storage size is all you care about then, yes, SSD's make no sense.

    However looking at performance, if speed is what counts, under certain circumstances these drives can perform 2 orders of magnitude or more faster than a traditional hdd. That's worth many times the cost difference to some people.
    Reply
  • zhopa1 - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    >>However looking at performance, if speed is what counts, under certain circumstances these drives can perform 2 orders of magnitude or more faster than a traditional hdd. That's worth many times the cost difference to some people.

    So basically, some people value that sometimes, in some circumstances, some SSD drives are faster... there is no useful information in your post...
    Reply

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