Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue SSD (256GB)
The Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue is a fast solid-state drive, but will put a serious dent in your wallet
- Good file transfer performance
- Expensive, slightly more power hungry than alternatives
Western Digital's first consumer-friendly SSD is fast and reasonably priced when compared to the competition, but it is still too expensive as a hard drive replacement in most PCs.
Price$ 1,299.00 (AUD)
The two major internal hard drive manufacturers — Western Digital and Seagate — have traditionally been coy when it comes to solid-state drives, particularly in the consumer space. Western Digital has finally fired its first salvo with the SiliconEdge Blue SSD, which is available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities. While quick, it’s incredibly expensive and is unlikely to be affordable for the average consumer anytime soon.
The WD SiliconEdge Blue is only 9.5mm tall, which means it will easily replace your laptop’s current hard drive. Western Digital uses multi-level cell (MLC) technology in the SiliconEdge Blue, which is common for consumer SSDs. While cheaper than the alternative — single-level cell (SLC) memory — MLC drives aren’t as fast when it comes to the sustained throughput required of enterprise-level servers, and don’t have the same lifespan. Consumers won’t notice the performance disadvantage, though the drive is designed to have a five-year lifespan and is only covered by a three-year warranty.
The Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue consumes only 0.54 Watts when idle, and peaks at 2.6W when writing data. That means this SSD is slightly more power hungry than the Kingston SSDNow V+ but more power efficient than a conventional hard drive.
We conducted two file transfer tests with the SSD while connected to a testbed running a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor system drive. The first test consisted of 3GB worth of 1MB files, which simulates installing applications and backing up system files. In the second test we use a 20GB folder of 3-4GB files; this is more akin to dealing with high-definition movies.
|Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue||$1299||256GB||MLC||50||78.9||55.6|
|Solidata K6-32 SSD||$199||32GB||MLC||46.9||38.9||25.4|
|Apacer A7 Turbo SSD||$309||64GB||MLC||50||36.1||37.5|
|Solidata K5-32 SSD||$359||32GB||SLC||50.6||34.1||26.8|
|Kingston SSDNow V+ SSD||$445||64GB||MLC||49.2||50||56.6|
|Kingston SSDNow M Series||$855||80GB||MLC||49.2||50||56.6|
|Intel X25-M SSD||N/A||80GB||MLC||49.2||49.2||66.7|
|Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results|
|Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue||$1299||256GB||MLC||90.7||70||67.6|
|Solidata K6-32 SSD||$199||32GB||MLC||35.9||71.1||24.8|
|Seagate Momentus 7200.4 HDD||$217||500GB||Hard drive||85.99||77.2||25.63|
|Apacer A7 Turbo SSD||$309||64GB||MLC||77.9||64.7||68.3|
|Solidata K5-32 SSD||$359||32GB||SLC||76.9||42.4||37.1|
|Kingston SSDNow V+ SSD||$445||64GB||MLC||76.6||77.29||75.2|
|Kingston SSDNow M Series||$855||80GB||MLC||73.09||71.04||52.49|
|Intel X25-M SSD||N/A||80GB||MLC||76.1||74||87.8|
Our tests show that the SiliconEdge Blue solid-state drive is definitely fast. It had the fastest read and write speeds in our small file test, and the fastest read speeds by far when dealing with large files. As an overall performer, however, it still doesn’t meet the benchmark set by Intel’s consumer-targeted X25-M SSD, as it fell behind when performing simultaneous large file tasks.
Up against the lowly conventional hard drive, Western Digital’s SSD performed well but our tests show that magnetic storage has some competitive edge, particularly when writing data. While this solid-state drive isn’t a leader of the pack, it will boost start-up times and work well as a system drive in general.
Of course, that’s if you can afford it. The 256GB drive provides 238GB of usable space which, at current prices, means a cost per formatted gigabyte of $5.46. To put that in perspective, the 250GB version of the Momentus 7200.4 can be found for as cheap as $75, or 31.5c per formatted gigabyte. Given that solid-state drives can easily exceed $12 per GB, it's a reasonable cost. However even at this price it's hard to justify.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
- WD will make a record-breaking 14TB hard drive available next year
- Start hoarding SSDs: Prices are expected to spike as supply gets tight
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
- Seagate crams a massive 5TB into a portable hard drive
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)VIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)NSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- TPScrum MasterVIC
- TPProject Manager to manage two concurrent ProjectsQLD
- CCUser ResearcherNSW
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- TPSpatial Science OfficerQLD
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCSAP/ Nakisa Implementation ConsultantQLD
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- CCGIS Developer - GeocortexWA
- CCSenior Project Manager - ApplicationsNSW
- CCFullstack .Net DeveloperNSW
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)VIC
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)WA