Western Digital is testing the SSD waters with new midrange and budget drives

The Western Digital brand has long been the answer to the question of which hard drive to buy when building a system. The rapid proliferation of solid state drives has relegated WD’s Black and Red drives to data storage duty, but it hasn’t slowed down the company’s ambitious plans at all. The recent acquisition of Sandisk brings a wealth of new properties to WD’s arsenal, and the newest to find its way to market are the Green and Blue solid state drives, in both 2.5-inch and M.2 form factors.

Those familiar with WD’s existing color-coded structure will recognize blue and green as the more budget-friendly tiers. The Blue SSDs, available in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB volumes, are the more performance-oriented of the two new families. With quoted sequential reads up to 545 megabytes per second and writes up to 525MBps, these drives fall in line with others in their price range, like the perennial favorite Samsung 850 EVO.

Where they really excel is endurance. The smaller 250GB is rated for 100 terabytes written, while the 500GB version is rated for up to 200 TBW, and the 1TB reaches a whopping 400TBW. The Samsung option doesn’t come close, with a 75TBW rating for the smaller drives, and 150 for the larger volumes. These Western Digital drives should last a good, long while.

The 250GB version of the Blue will run you $80, and the 500GB version will sell for $140, with the 1TB reaching $300. These drives are likely to take a place in DIY builds and modest gaming machines when the price is right, compared to the Samsung.

If performance isn’t as important as price and power usage, the WD Green SSDs may be more your speed. Available in more modest 120GB and 240GB configurations, the drives are slightly slower, with a quoted sequential read of up to 540Mbps and write at up to 405Mbps.

Endurance suffers a bit as well. The Green SSDs are rated at just 80 TBW for the 240GB drive, and half that for the 120GB version. No word on pricing yet, but Western Digital says the Green SSDs will roll out later this quarter.

No matter which drive you choose, you’ll have access to the Western Digital Dashboard, a software suite that allows you to manage performance and capacity on the fly.

We have the 2.5-inch version of the Western Digital Blue SSD in-house, and hope to have our testing for a full review complete soon. We’ll update this post as more pricing and performance info becomes available.

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