WD unveils its first consumer-grade solid-state drive today, the WD Blue SSD.
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.
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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.
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.
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.