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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 08 March 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD SSC-D0256SC-2100
Features and Specifications
First Look: WD SiliconEdge-Blue
JMicron JMF612 SSD Controller
SSD Testing Methodology
ATTO Disk Benchmark
HD Tune Pro Benchmarks
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark Tests
SSD vs Hard Disk Drive
WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD Conclusion

WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD Conclusion

Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate. The first section is performance, which considers how effective the WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD performs in operations against direct competitor products. For reference, Western Digital specifies the 256GB model SSC-D0256SC-2100 Solid State Drive promises a maximum 250MBps read and 170MBps write performance. In many of our benchmark tests, the WD SiliconEdge-Blue performed above this rating.

The WD SiliconEdge-Blue delivered 245/186 MBps peak read and writes speeds within ATTO Disk Benchmark, trailed by 246/187 MBps in CrystalDiskMark, while Everest reported a 238/181 MBps linear bandwidth speed. The read performance appears to average 243 MBps, which is slightly below spec, while the 185 MBps average read is above it. Input/Output performance was modest in Iometer and HD-Tune produced 4820 (18.83 MBps) read-IOPS with 2788 (10.9 MBps) write, indicating that the 256GB SSC-D0256SC-2100 model would perform extremely well for enthusiast consumers but not offer the high operational functionality needed for Enterprise server application.

Solid State Drives are low-visibility products: you see them just long enough to install and then they're forgotten. Despite this, WD has taken the added step of upgrading the SSD enclosure from the standard black painted chassis used on nearly all other SSD products, and uses a polished metal finish. Because Solid State Drives, like their Hard Disk Drive counterparts, are meant to place function before fashion, anything above and beyond a simple metal shell is more than what's expected of the appearance. As SSD controllers become faster and more advanced, heat dissipation through the enclosure walls in critical.

Construction is probably the strongest feature credited to the entire SSD product segment, and Western Digital products have never been an exception. The SiliconEdge-Blue SSD is designed and tested in WD's FIT Lab to pass rigorous data integrity and reliability screening before going into production. Solid State Drives are already immune to most abuses, but add this to the protective shell and the chances of drive failure are minimal. If any WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD product does fail during the limited 5-year warranty period, end-users can check the Western Digital warranty status via their warranty support website. Fortunately, there's also a toll-free telephone number for support or customer service questions available at (800) 275-4932.

Benchmark Reviews has tested the WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD, and the performance results were worthy of high-performance enthusiast computing. Based on our benchmark tests, the 256GB model SSC-D0256SC-2100 delivers a noteworthy 0.18 ms response time which assures a nearly-instant reactions when called upon, and showed no signs of real-world data-write stuttering during our tests (although Everest linear write tests shows some moments where the buffer transitioned). Based on the SATA-3.0Gbps JMicron JMF612 processor, the WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD delivers native TRIM garbage collection and SMART support with impressive transfer speeds. Although a mini-USB port is supported by this JMicron controller and would have been a nice touch, any SATA-to-USB adapter cable or enclosure can be used to simplify the transition from a hard drive (see our Windows 7 System Image Disc Recovery guide). One drawback to Western Digital SSDs is that they lack any publicly available firmware updates and there no enthusiast community supporting the company.

As of March 2010, Western Digital has stocked their WD SiliconEdge-Blue Solid State Drives with worldwide distributors. Benchmark Reviews tested the 256GB SiliconEdge-Blue (model SSC-D0256SC-2100) for this article, which NewEgg lists for $799. If you're not going to need that much premium-priced storage capacity there's also the 128GB SiliconEdge-Blue SSD available (SSC-D0128SC-2100) selling for $449, or the affordable 64GB version (SSC-D0064SC-2100) offered for $249. Since Western Digital products are sold nearly everywhere, you can compare prices online and save money by using the Benchmark Reviews shopping tool.

In summary, the WD SiliconEdge-Blue is a high-performance SATA-3.0 Gbps SSD that upholds Western Digital's brand image as their first Solid State Drive and delivers fast speeds for gamers and enthusiasts. The 256GB model proved to meet or exceed its specifications, and 243/185 MBps read/write speeds are enough to make most systems scream. Unfortunately, most new SSDs coming to market are faster and compliant with 3rd-generation SATA standards. While the current retail prices push the WD SiliconEdge-Blue series into the same territory as faster SATA 6Gb/s SSD products, these high prices are still launch-week fresh and should (hopefully) become more competitive as the after-glow of this newly announced product fades away. Expect even more discounts to come as additional SATA-6G SSDs join the market.

Pros:

+ Fast 246/187 MBps read/write speed with CrystalDiskMark
+ JMicron JMF612 processor supports TRIM and SMART
+ WD Functional Integrity Testing Lab Certified
+ Good enthusiast-level operational I/O performance
+ Lightweight compact storage solution
+ Resistant to extreme shock impact
+ 256, 128, and 64GB of SSD storage capacity
+ 5-Year Western Digital limited product warranty
+ Low power consumption may extend battery life

Cons:

- Expensive/over-priced enthusiast-level product
- Lacks integrated USB Mini-B data connection
- Not 3rd-Generation SATA 6Gb/s compatible
- No public firmware updates available

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.75
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 7.00

Final Score: 8.65 out of 10.

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.

NewEgg.com


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Comments 

 
# WD SSC-D0256SC-2100Kruis 2010-03-13 03:06
Amazing! No MLC or SLC mentioned, neither by WD.
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# MLC - It's in the review.Olin Coles 2010-03-13 08:02
This SSD uses MLC technology... it's mentioned in the review on two different pages.
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# In the end, they all come to OCZ support forumJenya 2010-06-14 11:04
IMHO every brand owned by ssd pioneers is mentioned there and supported by OCZ team and fans.
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# Nice Review!Zsolt 2010-07-23 00:54
Nice Review!

I buy into a WD 128 SSD, in spite I don´t like the MLC memory technology that much. This is why I choose WD, because I assume it will be still reliable in 2015. For this I am ready to overlook some performance drops (-10-40% to top performers), because I don´t want to spend 1-2 days on reinstalling all my stuff.
I hope I can put the drive into my Dell Studio 17 without any additonal parts needed.
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# Good driveAndre 2010-11-10 02:35
I replaced my 7200 rpm hdd with one of these bad boys from WD in 128 GB capacity. The computer is much much faster, with peak transfer of 350 MB/s and common numbers over 120 MB/s. I plan on getting more when prices drop.
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