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
POST A COMMENT

64 Comments

View All Comments

  • Griswold - Thursday, March 4, 2010 - link

    No, numbnuts. He was just being careful because depending on what performance figure you look at, they're simply faster and in other cases thes dance circles around a spindle drive. A decent or good SSD is always much faster than common desktop HDDs. But not everyone cares about that. Reply
  • DukeN - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    At this point the Intel reliability is greater IMHO as it has already gone through testing by hundreds of thousands of users, if not millions.

    And higher for mediocre performance is just not going to cut it. Maybe in six months when etailers are forced to sell them at 50% off to clear their inventory these will have an impact on pricing for most models.
    Reply
  • mrsushi - Thursday, March 4, 2010 - link

    Would be interesting to know how many SSDs has Intel and co. sold.

    Kingston is not my favourite RAM maker, but their SSDs surely look a lot more solid than this WD. WD should wake up and put 5th gear in doing something more original.

    and about SSDs ... I would say that in less than 10 Years, RAM will be dead and buried. All PCs will work directly from SSDs. Its nearly there, start your OS directly where you left it yesterday when you went to bed...
    Reply
  • semo - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    at 50% they still wouldn't be competing with other similar offerings. The MSRP needs to be halved before getting a clearance price... that would be a decent deal today but it won't happen today. So not much point to the consumer from these drives. Decent test bed for the lazy WD I guess Reply
  • pullmyfoot - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    maybe not a million yet Reply
  • semo - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    ... and does anyone know the release date for europe? Reply
  • Conscript - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    when I first started reading this, I thought the 256GB was $529, and I was still contemplating if it was worth it over the 160GB Intel at $429.... then I came ot the end and see that that was the 128GB price and the 256GB is $999? No frakking way WD, good luck selling even one of these... Reply
  • coolkev99 - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    Nice to see WD enter the SSD market. I'd take the plunge on this if they can get the price a bit lower. That's what needs to happen for these drive to truely go mainstream, and it's the only thing holding me back. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - link

    Why would it be the only thing holding you back? The Randoms on these drives are horrific. I'd rather wait for the new onset of SSDs that are going to put the Vertex2Pro and Intel G2s to shame.
    Reply
  • coolkev99 - Thursday, March 4, 2010 - link

    Did you look at overall performace (PCMark Vantage) even with this "horrific" performace it's almost 50% faster than one of the fastest mechanical drives out there. I HATE hard drive slowness on my systems, chugging just load load an application. It's 2010 for gods sake and were still using more or less 1960's tech. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now