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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