Until now, the vast majority of solid state drives on the market have been produced by companies not all that well known for being in the storage business – Intel, OCZ, Corsair, Kingston, Crucial (with Samsung being a notable exception) – the big hard drive makers have been substantially absent. Western Digital is looking to change all that.
This new drive is the fruit bore from WD’s purchase of Silicon Systems just about a year ago. Silicon Systems targeted only industrial and embedded applications, however, and WD clearly has higher aspirations. The first consumer drive, the WD SiliconEdge Blue, follows the old naming conventions set by its desktop and notebook lines – Blue for mainstream performance and value.
Western Digital shot back with the “we can’t comment on any unreleased products” when questioned about it, but you can probably be certain that we’ll be seeing WD SiliconEdge Black performance-oriented drives, and very possibly eco-inclined Green versions as well. The SiliconEdge Blue uses the SATA2.0 standard (3Gbps) and has listed read/write speeds of 250MBps and 170MBps, respectively.
Western Digital is trying separate themselves out from the rest of the pack of taking advantage of technologies and product processes developed throughout the years as a hard drive maker. The new SiliconEdge Blue SSDs offer a supposed 130,000 hours of product testing and take advantage of Windows 7’s TRIM command for minimizing ongoing performance degradation.
The chance to buy a Western Digital-branded SSD comes at a price, however; three versions will be available today at launch. The 64GB SSD (SSC-D0064SC-2100) has an MSRP of $279, the 128GB SSD (SSC-D0128SC-2100) has an MSRP of $529 and the high-end 256GB version (SSC-D0256SC-2100) has an MSRP of $999. Each drive has a 3-year warranty.