WD Blue SSD Review: Aggressively-Priced Solid State Storage

WD Blue Test Methodology, SANDRA and ATTO

Our Test Methodologies: Under each test condition, the Solid State Drives tested here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a separate drive used for the OS and benchmark installations. Out testbed's motherboard was updated with the latest BIOS available as of press time and AHCI (or RAID) mode was enabled. The SSDs were secure erased prior to testing, and left blank without partitions for some tests, while others required them to be partitioned and formatted, as is the case with our ATTO, PCMark 7, and CrystalDiskMark benchmark tests. Windows firewall, automatic updates and screen savers were all disabled before testing. In all test runs, we rebooted the system, ensured all temp and prefetch data was purged, and waited several minutes for drive activity to settle and for the system to reach an idle state before invoking a test.

wd blue ssd angle
HotHardware Test System
Intel Core i7 and SSD Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Card -

Memory -

Audio -

Storage -


Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-4770K

Gigabyte Z97-UD5H
(Z97 Chipset, AHCI Enabled)

Intel HD 4600


SoundBlaster Audigy 2

Intel 750 NVMe 400GB (OS Drive)
Samsung SSD 750 EVO (500GB)
Samsung SSD 850 EVO (500GB) 
Intel SSD 730 (480GB)
Crucial M550 (512GB)
OCZ Trion 100 (960GB)
OCZ Trion 150 (480GB)  

OS -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Relevant Software:
Windows 10 x64
DirectX 12

NVidia GeForce 368.81

Benchmarks Used:
HD Tune v5.50
ATTO v2.47
CrystalDiskMark v3.0.3 x64
PCMark 7
SiSoftware Sandra 2015 SP3

SiSoft SANDRA 2015 SP3
Synthetic Disk Benchmarking

First up was SiSoft SANDRA, which stands for System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. Here, we used the Physical Disk test suite and provide the results from our comparison SSDs. The benchmarks were run on unformatted drives and read and write performance metrics are detailed below.

The Blue is competitive in read performance, which is really what we care about, but brings up in last place in write performance. That's falling pretty short of the 525MB/sec. WD promised and the biggest gulf between read and write performance of the drives we compared it against.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
More Information Here: http://bit.ly/btuV6w

ATTO is another "quick and dirty" type of disk benchmark that measures transfer speeds across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and graphs them out in an easily interpreted chart. We chose .5KB through 64MB transfer sizes and a queue depth of 6 over a total max volume length of 256MB. ATTO's workloads are sequential in nature and measure raw bandwidth, rather than I/O response time, access latency, etc.



With ATTO, things improve for the WD Blue SSD. Read and write performance are almost equal and competitive with other SATA SSD drives, some of which are considered higher end to the Blue. The drive also lives up to its write performance spec in this benchmark. 

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