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WD Blue SSD review:A solid, expensive hard-drive replacement

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The Good The WD Blue SSD is faster than any regular hard drive and you can write a ton of data to it before it wears out.

The Bad The drive is expensive and doesn't justify the added cost. It has a short warranty.

The Bottom Line The WD Blue is a decent SSD that may be worth the investment when the price comes down.

6.8 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6

The WD Blue is Western Digital's first consumer-grade solid-state drive (SSD). WD was previously known for making regular hard drives, so WD purists out there can now migrate to the wonderful world of solid state. But you'd have to be a very loyal fan to do so, because the Blue isn't noticeably better than other SSDs on the market, despite costing more.

In copy tests, the drive was faster than the Toshiba Q300 but slower than most other drives, though not by much. And in PC Mark tests, the Blue SSD was the slowest. In practice, however, you might not even notice any difference at all between these SSDs if you're moving from a regular hard drive.

wd-blue-ssd-1tb-8633-001.jpg

The WD Blue is the first consumer-grade SSD from Western Digital.

Josh Miller/CNET

Converted prices

US price UK conversion Australia conversion
1TB $300 £245 AU$400
500GB $140 £115 AU$185
250GB $80 £65 AU$105

The WD Blue SSD doesn't do well on the pricing front either, with a suggested price of $300, $140 and $80 for 1TB, 500GB and 250GB, respectively. (UK and Australian pricing aren't available at this time, but converted prices are listed in the above chart.) You can find many SSDs, even faster ones, for less. For example, the 1TB Crucial MX300 costs just $250.

CNET Labs SSD copy tests

Toshiba OCZ VX500
235.47
447.34
435.61
Samsung SSD 850 Evo
182.78
214.45
205.63
Samsung SSD 750 Evo
180
246.45
203.67
Crucial MX300
178.34
245.67
199.32
WD Blue SSD
167.91
363.45
433.65
Toshiba Q300
165.67
355.6
202.7

Legend:

As OS drive (read and write)
As secondary drive (write only)
As secondary drive (read only)

Note:

Measured in megabytes per second. Longer bars mean better performance.

The Blue doesn't support encryption, and its WD SSD Dashboard software (which is a rebranded version of the SanDisk SSD Dashboard) only allows for firmware updates and monitoring of the drive's status. You can't use the software to customize the drive's features or performance the way you can with Samsung's SSDs. The WD Blue also comes with a relatively short three-year warranty, which is two years less than that of the Samsung 850 Evo.

According to WD, the Blue SSD has a high endurance rating, meaning you should be able to write a ton of data to it before it becomes unusable. Specifically, you can write up to 400TB, 200TB and 100TB to the 1TB, 500GB and 250GB versions of the drive, respectively, before they become unreliable. If you wrote 20GB per day, it would take you some 13 years to wear down the 250GB WD Blue SSD, or 55 years if you had the 1TB version.

PC Mark Storage benchmark

Toshiba OCZ VX500
4,990
267.84
Samsung SSD 750 Evo
4,986
284.78
Samsung SSD 850 Evo
4,983
276.16
Crucial MX300
4,914
198.33
Toshiba Q300
4,894
186.68
WD Blue SSD
4,728
109

Legend:

Storage score
Storage bandwith (MBps)

Note:

Higher numbers mean better performance

Should I get it?

Unless you're a WD purist, the Blue doesn't really do much to get your attention. At the very least, I'd wait for the street price go down before picking one up. This is not a bad SSD, but it's expensive for what it has to offer. If you need an SSD right now, you're better off going with the Crucial MX300, the Samsung 850 Evo or the Plextor M7V, to get the best value for money.

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