Western Digital re-enters the SSD scene, becomes 2nd largest player

Oddly enough, storage giant Western Digital hasn't made any real attempt to date to infiltrate the solid state drive market, save for its forgettable SiliconEdge Blue drive released in 2010. That being its only venture into consumer SSD territory, WD has some catching up to do and it starts today with its first WD-branded client SSDs dubbed WD Blue and WD Green.

Anyone familiar with WD's branding will recognize Blue and Green as labels for its more budget (former) and eco-friendly (latter) oriented products. That's the case here as well. It's also worth pointing that these are the first SSDs under WD's belt since it acquired SanDisk—that purchase made WD the second largest SSD player in the industry, despite having released only one prior SSD series.

The hardware inside the WD Blue is the same as found in SanDisk's X400, but with different firmware, the company told TomsHardware. It uses SanDisk's 15nm triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash memory paired with a Marvel 88SS1074 "Dean" 4-channel controller.

WD Blue drives come in three capacities: 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. The 250GB model features sequential read and write times of up to 540MB/s and 500MB/s, respectively, along with random read performance of up to 97,000 IOPS and random write IOPS of up to 79,000 IOPS.

The 500GB and 1TB models are slightly faster with both rated to deliver up to 545MB/s and 525MB/s of sequential read and write performance, and 100,000/80,0000 of random read/write IOPS.

Endurance rating ramp up with each model, starting at 100 TBW for the 240GB and climbing to 200 TBW for the 500GB and 400 TBW for the 1TB drive.

These are available now in both 2.5-inch/7mm and M.2 2280 form factors. MSRPs are set at $80 for 250GB, $140 for 500GB, and $300 for 1TB.

WD Green drives come in 120GB and 240GB capacities and consume less power than the WD Blue line. They're also slightly slower: 

  • WD Green 120GB: 540MB/s and 430MB/s seq. read/write, 37,000 IOPS and 63,000 IOPS random read/write
  • WD Green 240GB: 540MB/s and 465MB/s seq. read/write, 37,000 IOPS and 68,000 IOPS random read/write

WD Green drives will be available later this quarter. No pricing information has yet been given, though like the WD Blues, they'll come in both 2.5mm and M.2 form factors and carry a 3-year warranty.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).