WD SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD Review

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The Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue SSD uses the same 2.5" form factor as the vast majority of consumer-level solid state disks currently on the market, as you can see in the images below...

  

 

The SiliconEdge Blue's casing consists of a sturdy metal shell, with only the power and data connectors and few screw and screw holes visible. The top of the drive is adorned with a large decal that lists the device's model numbers, serial number, and other minute details. The bottom of the drive, however, is completely free from any marking.

 

 

With the Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue SSD disassembled, you can see all of the really interesting stuff going on inside. The particular drive we tested is a 256GB model, and if you look close, you'll see that all of the NAND flash chips are double-stacked--that is, there are two chips per location on the PCB. An ESMT DRAM, which is used for cache, is visible adjacent to the drive controller, which surprisingly bears Western Digital branding. WD hasn't officially disclosed who actually makes the drive controller used in the SiliconEdge Blue SSD, but WD has branded it as their own regardless.  If we were to hazard a guess, based on performance and some of the markings on the chip, we'd say it comes by way of JMicron, though WD was emphatic that this controller is coupled with highly tuned firmware that is custom to Western Digital.

We should also note that we were told that Western Digital put forth significant effort in co-developing the firmware of the SiliconEdge Blue, in cooperation with the controller manufacturer. This is in keeping with the previous manufacturing model of the Silicon Systems product lines from years past before the acquisition.  WD tells us the drive have been extensively tested and that every effort was made to ensure maximum stability and compatibility with the SiliconEdge Blue, while still offering strong performance.

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*UPDATE*
The controller is a JMicron JMF612 with a custom bios.  You can buy drives using this chip for less than $2.20 @ GB and WD is asking double that.

The bios has been tuned for compatability at the cost of some performance compared to other JMF612 and JMF618 based drives.  Considering what the company WD bought used to build, I can see them making that tradeoff.  I wouldn't trust a JMicron controller though.

The cache is 64MiB of DDR2-800 ram.  Crazy fast right there, to the tune of x4 or more over most other drives.

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I agree on the Jmicron point I am just glad to see this market. Just like the smart phone market, it is becoming more and more flooded. Which in the end means better performance, availability, and competitive prices for us. This is especially true with large trusted storage players like WD.

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I'm still waiting on SSDs to drop in price. This one seems to go the wrong way. When I can pick up a 128GB or so SSD for $100 I'll be happy. $500 is way out of the question though.

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I love my SSD best performance increase ever...

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True 'dat bro.  My raid 0 pair made my system crazy (although part of that has to do with the 12GiB of ram).  Everything pretty much starts instantly.

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SSD ftw, i have one but thinking of gettin a second one for the computer im building

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I just hope to win the cyperpower pc :D it has a ssd included xD (my first ssd... if i win)

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Yeah Inspector me as well I don't have an SSD either at least not yet. The price against space thing has just been to much for me. I know it is an awesome upgrade, but just have not been able to justify it in my head as of yet. Not to mention being able to afford it!

It does seem to be the way things are going though. As I said also the more players in the market the faster the prices drop. This is especially so when it is big players like WD.

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rapid1:
If anyone wants one of these

No,...not for an inflated price we don't. The performance to price ratio is out of whack for these drives.

I guess it's the "Western Digital Pleasure Of Doing Business With Us Tax" that expects us to pay more for less performance.

Not this country boy, thank you!

Like others have said here, "when the prices come down, we will come".

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