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.