Another week, another HDD. This time, we’re going to take a hybrid drive on the roll as WD has been generous enough to lend us a WD Blue WD40E31X SSHD for review.
Wait, what’s an SSHD? SSHD stands for Solid State Hybrid Drive and is a marriage between the standard HDD and the lightning-fast SSDs. SSHDs usually boast the large capacities sported by their exclusively disk-driven siblings and at the same time, have a wee bit of the speed founded in SSDs.
But does the technology actually work? Or is it but another marketing gimmick? We’re here to find out.
Boxy, sexy, and shiny. A true 3.5” HDD.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-4670K|
|VGA||ASUS GTX780 Strix OC|
|Memory||Kingston 16GB HyperX Fury DDR3|
|HDD||Seagate Enterprise NAS 6TB|
|Motherboard||ROG Maximus VII Gene|
For our benchmarks, we used five popular programs that are widely known for checking write/read speeds.
Wait, wait! What do these numbers mean?
We’re using baseline numbers provided by a number of benchmark applications in order for us to see how the drive scales against similar storage devices.
Do note that while read/speed measurements are mostly the deal here, there are features that won’t come off such as file recovery features and anti-vibration gimmicks. Oh, and we don’t have the knack to throw the sample to the ground and mash it up with a hammer for durability tests.
While the WD40E31X is a hybrid, benchmark tools made for SSDs can still be used.
CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software.It measure sequential reads/writes speed,measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed,select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill),provide theme support and Multi-Language support.
We’re seeing pretty basic numbers here. Compared with its Red and Black siblings, the Blue struggles to keep up the pace.
HD Tune Pro
HD Tune Pro is a hard disk / SSD utility with many functions. It can be used to measure the drive’s performance, scan for errors, check the health status (S.M.A.R.T.), securely erase all data and much more.
I ran the benches a couple of times and there’s an apparent reduction in speed in both read/write as the platter fills up. For reference, HDDs exhibit this behavior while SSDs don’t.
WD Blue WD40E31X SSHD 4TB (MB/s)
ATTO Disk Benchmark
The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes.
Anvil Storage Utilities
Anvil’s Storage Utilities has been designed to be the most comprehensive benchmark tool for Solid State Drives on the market. We can also use the numbers as references for benchmarking HDDs.
AS SSD Benchmark
The applications tests the sequential or random read/write performance without using the cache. AS SSD Benchmark reads/writes a 1 GByte file as well as randomly chosen 4K blocks. Additionally, it performs the tests using 1 or 64 threads and it determines the SSD’s access time.
Two extra benchmark tests examine the drive’s behaviour when (1) copying a few big files, a lot of small files and a mixture of file sizes by using cached copy functions of your OS as well as (2) reading/writing data depending on the data’s compressibility.
While the numbers above may not impress most, do take note that the WD Blue is a segment made for both capacity and decent speeds. Unlike the now defunct Green line that compromises on speed, this one marries the best of both segments.
It definitely won’t outrun the WD Black but it does have some tricks up its sleeve. The NAND part does help but not that much in terms of benchmarking and synthetic tests. This is a drive that can be designated as the boot HDD due to its hybrid quality unlike the lost and forgotten WD Green which runs like a man buried in a quicksand. Also, I haven’t heard the thing squeak and is a stark contrast to my older WD Blue 1TB HDD.
Suffice to say, the WD Blue 4TB SSHD is nothing special. But it does improve on various qualities such as space, noise, and the of course, performance. It’s quite a good investment too since its a more pocket-friendly alternative compared to the Black. The drive is currently available only in two variants: 4TB and a 1TB 2.5” for laptops.
The WD Blue 4TB SSHD is backed with a 3-year warranty. So far, only PCHub sells the two versions with the 4TB priced at PHP 9,590 and the 1TB at PHP 4,280