Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts


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PROS:   
  • Competitive sequential read and write performance
  • Reliability carries forward from a long-time player in the embedded market
CONS:   
  • relatively low IOPS performance
  • Price (see below)

Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD Review - WD enters the SSD market - Storage  1


Pricing     

We don’t yet know where these drives sit for actual market prices, but we do have their MSRP’s:
  • 64GB: $279 ($4.36/GB)
  • 128GB: $529 ($4.13/GB)
  • 256GB: $999 ($3.90/GB)
Unless we see some steep changes in performance from a future firmware update, these prices are simply high considering current levels of performance.  Above that, the $4/GB price point is reserved for high performance / limited production drives like the Vertex LE.  Lets hope these drives go for considerably less when they hit retail / e-tail outlets.  Intel 160GB G2 models continue to sell for just $2.69/GB as of this writing, so the competition is certainly fierce in this arena.

*update* (03 Mar 2010 noon)

The drives showed up at Newegg for the following intro pricing:
  • 64GB: $250 ($3.90/GB)
  • 128GB: $450 ($3.52/GB)
  • 256GB: $800 ($3.13/GB)
Lower than the MSRP’s, but given the performance these prices are still not as low as we hoped for.

*end update*

Final Thoughts    

For Western Digital’s first crack at SSD, this new drive performed well.  Sequential transfer rates are competitive with most modern units and can best Intel in write speeds.  That said, this new offering leaves something to be desired when it comes to random access performance.  While the drive is true to its rated 5,000 IOPS, that figure is just not high enough to truly compete with the competition offering as high as 35,000 IOPS in the same form factor.  Fortunately for us, if the ‘Blue’ label is anything like their HDD line, we may see a ‘Black’ model at some point down the road.
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