WD SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD Review

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WD SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD ReviewSolid State Storage products are obviously setting the computing market on fire as of late.  There is little question that the writing is on the wall.  Like the vacuum tube transistors of yesterday, spinning hard drives are bound to go the way of the Dodo bird.  It's only a matter of time; not if, but when.  However, the "when" in reality will likely not come for years yet of course.  In the Data Center, where ridiculously cheap bulk storage is critical, there is just no substitution for the cost per gigabyte metrics of traditional spinning disk media.  However, in the end user notebook and desktop markets, especially where performance is often times a differentiator, SSDs are making huge inroads. It's only a matter of time (and cost reduction) before SSDs are the de facto standard for notebooks and then comes the desktop.  We won't make any grand predictions here but there's good reason why the major hard drive manufacturers are lining up now to get some skin in the game.

It's only natural that the major storage players are watching this market closely to align at the proper entry points.  Let's face it, the storage model historically has been all about volume and razor thin margins.  There's plenty of room for error with leading the curve in SSD technology, with the break-neck pace of evolution the product is going through currently.  There's literally a new product arriving to market monthly it seems.  And this time, the major storage players are going to be slugging it out in yet another razor-thin margin arena with the major memory manufacturers and that little company called Intel, gunning for their share of the kill. So why would good ol' Western Digital want in on this mayhem?  Because they have to eventually; it's that simple...

WD SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD Review

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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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rapid1 replied on Wed, Mar 3 2010 2:53 PM

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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rapid1 replied on Thu, Mar 4 2010 12:51 AM

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 replied on Wed, Mar 10 2010 1:38 AM
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Its great now that we can start getting 2TB drives for $134 .
 
It would be a dream to be able to get an SSD for that price. 
 
I guess we will just have to wait until somewhere around 2015 for that to happen.
 
If we could just move things along faster and make technology such as this, simpler and more available, then we would be much closer to living in a world like Start Trek:)
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realneil replied on Wed, Mar 24 2010 7:17 PM

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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rapid1 replied on Wed, Mar 24 2010 11:18 PM

Lol that was run the day after the review here at HH I think, or at least within that week. I got an auto ad from the egg on it so I linked it lol. I would not buy one either if I was going to blow money I would just go with an Intel, at least there proven with the highest performance marks in real performance. There both (WD, and Intel) out of my league. If I was going to buy one today and wanted to get the most for my dollar I'd go OCZ I think, or maybe one of a few other's I have heard good reviews on. The main thing about SSD's I don't get is the super premium on most of them. These are basically controlled ram on a PCB, with maybe a mini co-processor, and a controller. I know almost all these components are selling cheap or how could a good number of manufacturers make SSD drives at halfway decent prices at least for what you get. Whereas; a good bit of the manufacturers such as the WD Blue's, the Intel's (although maybe somewhat warranted not as high as there still running), the Crucial and a few others who's prices are at the least completely double what they pay for materials, and probably more.

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