WD’s new SiliconEdge Blue SSD data write spec

Western Digital's Silicon Edge Blue SSD SATA drive (from their website)
Western Digital's SiliconEdge Blue SSD SATA drive (from their website)

Western Digital (WD) announced their first SSD drive for the desktop/laptop market space today.  Their drive offers the typical256, 128, and 64GB capacity points over a SATA interface.  Performance looks ok at 5K random read or write IO/s with sustained transfers at 250 and 140MB/s for read and write respectively.  But what caught my eye was a new specification I hadn’t seen before indicating Maximum GB written per day of 17.5, 35 and 70GB/d for their drives using WD’s Operational Lifespan – LifeEST(tm) definition.

I couldn’t find anywhere that said which NAND technology was used in the device but it likely uses MLC NAND.  In a prior posting we discussed a Toshiba study that said a “typical” laptop user writes about 2.4GB/d and a “heavy” laptop user writes about 9.2GB/d.  This data would indicate that WD’s new 64GB drive can handle almost 2X the defined “heavy” user workload for laptops and their other drives would handle it just fine.  A data write rate for desktop work, as far as I can tell, has not been published, but presumably it would be greater than laptop users.

From my perspective more information on the drives underlying NAND technology, on what a LifeEST specification actually means, and a specification as to how much NAND storage was actually present would be nice, but these are all personal nits.  All that aside, I applaud WD for standing up and saying what data write rate their drives can support.  This needs to be a standard part of any SSD specification sheet and I look forward to seeing more information like this coming from other vendors as well.