Without any doubt, Western Digital has successfully earned the trust of PC enthusiasts and laptop makers alike over the years for its affordable and reliable WD Blue series hard drives. Months after the acquisition of SanDisk, WD now steps up their game with the new WD Blue SSD series. We take a closer look at their WD Blue 1TB SSD.
Design and Specifications
Let’s be honest. Almost every laptop or PC maker in the market loves to stuff their computers with a WD Blue HDD inside, thanks to the reliable lifetime and low-end pricing of these drives. But times have changed and hard drives have become a storage solution of the past which is now only good as a secondary storage drive. The fact of the matter is these drives aren’t really suited as a primary drive to run Windows 10 and apps at full speed. A serious bottleneck for any type of PC if you ask us, regardless even if you have a 10-core processor and 64GB of RAM.
You can easily guess that the new WD Blue SSD is the result of the acquisition of SanDisk, and the WD Blue 1TB SSD that we have here is very well based on the SanDisk X400 SSD that was announced at the beginning of 2016. Both these drives share the same Marvel 88SS1074 controller, and the NAND memory used is a 6th generation SanDisk 15mm TLC made in a 15nm manufacturing process. What’s very intriguing is that the 1TB WD Blue SSD model has a higher write endurance than most of the top SSDs in the market, 400 TBW to be exact. On the contrary, the SanDisk X400 1TB has only an endurance of 320 TBW, and Samsung 850 EVO and 850 Pro with 150 TBW and 300 TBW, respectively.
For an SSD that’s categorized as a mid-range product, WD surely wants to carry forward the brand reliability of the Blue series products. So, there is no doubt that WD Blue series SSDs is suitable for heavy workload jobs that require a lot of data written constantly in the long run before it wears out. That said, the sequential write speed of the 1TB WD Blue SSD is 525MB/s, and read speeds up to 545MB/s. Random Read ups and Write Ups goes up to 100K and 80K IOPS, respectively.
The operating temperatures of the WD Blue 1TB go up to 70 degrees, and the shock resistance is up to 1500G (Yes, it can resist the accidental fall of your laptop, but sadly not the screen). The weight of this drive is 59.7g which is slightly heavier than the lower 500GB and 250GB WD Blue drives (obviously due to the increased number of NAND chips). The drive case itself is 7mm thick.
We used CrystalDiskMark, PC Mark 8 Storage test, and HD Tach to benchmark the WD Blue 1TB SSD. Our testbed includes the following components:
- The Intel i7-3770K Processor
- MSI Z77A-GD80 motherboard
- 2 x 4GB GSkill RipJaw Z RAM
- Kingston Hyper X 240 SSD
- Windows 10 Pro
- XFX Radeon RX 480 Black
PC Mark 8 Storage
From our HD Tach benchmark tests, the WD Blue SSD 1TB falls short of the expected read and write speeds. The test concludes a read speed of 405.1 MB/s and burst speed of 506 MB/s. However, our CrystalDiskMark tests show a sequential read speed between 531.2 MB/s and 558.7 MB/s, and an average write speeds between 389 MB/s to 418.2 MB/s. Yes, it again falls short of the speeds indicated by Western Digital but that could be due to the older generation components used in our testsbed. That said, these speeds are far greater than any typical hard drive or a WD Blue HDD for that matter. Our PC Mark Storage 2.0 test scores for the WD Blue 1TB SSD is 4980 points.
For real-world use, our Windows 10 OS time installation was faster than any hard drive, and so as games and app installs. Windows boot up times were around 10-15 seconds at max (Depending on what Windows always does regarding pestering updates). Games and apps loading times are as fast as any typical SSD.
It’s evident that the PC and laptop market is really in the need of reliable and affordable SSD storages. WD who has been the most preferred brand for reliable and affordable hard drives has taken a good step in entering the mass SSD market with the new WD Blue SSD. The excellent endurance rating and low-end pricing of the WD Blue SSD 1TB should change the minds of PC users and laptop makers alike if they plan on switching to fast and high capacity storage drive. The approximate price of the WD Blue SSD 1TB is $275 (1006 AED) with only a 3-year warranty. We wish that WD could have offered a 5-year warranty for the WD Blue SSD.