IS THIS THE final blow for the good old hard drive? Western Digital has as of today launched two SSD models, the SiliconEdge Blue which is a consumer model and the SiliconDrive N1x which targets data centers and various vertical markets.
The SiliconEdge Blue offers the best performance of the two, as well as the highest capacity. This might seem odd at first, but only until you look at the duty cycle and operational life span, where the SiliconEdge doesn’t even come close to the SiliconDrive. The SiliconEdge is only rated for 17.5GB, 35GB or 70GB of data written per day depending on the model. The SiliconDrive, on the other hand, can handle over 175GB, 350GB, or 700GB of data written per day in a 24/7 server environment.
It’s unusual to have write limitations like this in SSD specifications, but we’d expect WD to have determined limits based on life expectancy. Speaking of which, WD hasn’t stated what the life expectancy is of either drive, but both have an MTBF time of 1.4 million hours. All models feature a standard SATA2 3Gbps interface, which is a shame, as Crucial has already announced SATA3 6Gbps SSDs.
The SiliconEdge offers write speeds of up to 170MBps and read speeds of up to 250MBps. The SiliconDrive on the other hand falls a bit short with write speeds of 140MBps and read speeds of 250MBps. Unusually for SSD’s, Western Digital claims to offer the same speeds across the range, no matter which size you go for. The SiliconEdge is available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities, while the SiliconDrive comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB flavours.
Price wise you’re looking at a MSRP of $279 for the 64GB SiliconEdge, with the 128GB jumping to a massive $529 and the 256GB coming in at a whopping $999. WD didn’t announce any pricing for the SiliconDrive models, but we’d expect these to be even more expensive. Actual retail prices seem to be slightly lower with the 64GB model at around $250, the 128GB at $450 and the 256GB model at $800. This is still quite pricey compared to the competition, as you can pick up a 120GB Corsair drive with the same performance figures for about $330.S|A
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