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WD BLUE (WD40E31X) 4TB SSHD Review

We take a look at WD’s mainstream upgrade drive for gamers and content creators looking for a single-drive solution offering faster performance without going for a 2-drive configuration. We also take a special look at PS4 console storage performance in this #B2G review of the WD Blue 4TB SSHD. Read on!

[section label=”Price/Where to Buy”] [signoff icon=”dollar”]

Price / Where to Buy:

US – $199.99 – [easyazon_link identifier=”B00YY3UA68″ locale=”US” tag=”back2gaming-20″]WD Blue SSHD[/easyazon_link]
PH – Approx. PHP8500 – PCHUB

[easyazon_infoblock align=”none” identifier=”B00YY3UA68″ locale=”US” tag=”back2gaming-20″]

[/signoff] [section label=”Introduction”]

There will always be a gap between SSD and HDDs as they service completely different market segments, one that favors performance and the other favors capacity. Prices also dictate the decision-making of consumers and with this, segments between SSDs and HDDs are also normal with entry-level, mainstream and high-end models available for both. The idea of creating a medium between solutions isn’t an alien topic for brands and many have tried fuse both SSDs and HDDs to bring a compromise between performance and capacity. Something that most mainstream consumers will find appealing due to the improved performance benefits of an integrated SSD together with the capacity benefits of a traditional HDD.

HD-image-of-WD-Company-Logo

WD is upping the ante on their line of mainstream consumer series of SSHDs with the WD Blue having a 4TB capacity and sporting 8GB of NAND flash to offer performance improvements over their more traditional HDD brothers.

Related: How To Choose the Best WD Hard Drive

[section label=”Features”]

Features

  • 8 GB of NAND flash for blazing SSD-like performance
  • Up to 5x faster than traditional 5400 rpm HDDs
  • Designed for power PC users, creative professionals, gamers and system builders
  • 3-year manufacturer limited warranty
  • Package includes a hard drive only – no screws, cables, manuals included. Please purchase mounting hardware and cables separately if necessary.

Official product page

[section label=”Closer Look”]

Closer Look

The WD Blue 4TB SSHD is a 3.5″ form factor drive which sets it apart from its 1TB 2.5″ form factor brother. There’s really nothing special to note as it is physically the same HDD drive design as most other drives.

[section label=”Performance Testing”]

Performance Testing

Test Setup

Processor: Intel Core i7 4790K 4.6Ghz
Motherboard:  ASUS Maximus VII GENE
Memory: Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-2133 32GB
Storage: WD BLUE SSHD 4TB
PSU: BitFenix FURY 650G

Potential Performance

ATTO Disk Benchmark benchmarks a drive’s read and write speeds with increasing file sizes and graphs them.

atto2

Potential Write

We test potential write speed using HD Tune to write sequentially on the entire disk, graphing the results as it goes.

hdtune_write

Crystal DiskMark

Crystal Disk Mark is storage benchmarking software was developed by “hiyohiyo” of Japan, and is available for free. Crystal Disk Mark measures sequential, and random read/write speeds of storage devices.

crystal

Real-world Test: File Transfer

We’ve taken our compression test files, a collection of images, documents and other files ranging from 1KB to 50MB amounting to 3,343 files for 3GB and a single, large 12GB file. We’re posting the raw transfer results for your reference. Test data is copied off a PCI-express SSD.

Playstation 4 Performance

Here’s a special test we did for this review and as most PS4 owners would know, capacity is quite limited on their systems and SSDs may be an ideal solution but the capacity is just too little sometimes especially for digital-only buyers like me bulking up the internal HDD together with the gameplay footage and screenshots.

In the video below we’ll see multiple usage scenario for PS4 storage where we test the speed of the various storage solutions listed. We used a Nyko Data Bank and a 1st-gen PS4 for this test. The storage is trained for a few hours to let the data settle, in the case of the WD Blue SSHD, to let the drive’s algorithm kick-in and prepare the hot data for quick serving.

[section label=”User Experience & Conclusion”]

User Experience & Conclusion

WD BLUE (WD40E31X) 4TB SSHD Review

WD BLUE (WD40E31X) 4TB SSHD Review

As we’ve noted in most of our SSHD and hybrid drive reviews, it is almost impossible to benchmark SSD performance in the SSHD drives even after training the drive as it requires the firmware to recognize mostly used data and pooling it in the NAND section the drive. This presents a tough scenario to quantify the performance benefits of such a product but in most instances it works and we acknowledge that.

Overall, performance in definitely mainstream and sits just below the WD Black series, supplanting the now fused WD Blue and WD Green segments of the market. Boot-up and application loading times are definitely the hallmark of this product with its improved optimization algorithm that captures hot data and preps them on the NAND segment of the drive. This is enticing for gamers and content-creators who just want to step-up from a traditional storage solution without buying 2 solutions.

As a game storage, it allows faster access on the readily used data as seen in our video, it performs significantly well versus SSD and high-performance HDD in game loading and sits just between both in wake-up times.

In closing, WD offers a compelling option for people who still want a single drive solution for their system and don’t see the need to get a SSD+HDD configuration. The WD Blue SSHD is a great upgrade for older systems that need that kick-in responsiveness.

[signoff icon=”dollar”]

Price / Where to Buy:

US – $199.99 – [easyazon_link identifier=”B00YY3UA68″ locale=”US” tag=”back2gaming-20″]WD Blue SSHD[/easyazon_link]
PH – Approx. PHP8500 – PCHUB

[easyazon_infoblock align=”none” identifier=”B00YY3UA68″ locale=”US” tag=”back2gaming-20″]

[/signoff]

WD backs the WD Blue SSHD with a 3-year warranty. We give it our B2G Value Award and B2G Recommended Award!

B2G_Best_Value

B2G_Recommended

Written By

My favorite animal is the scapegoat.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ephraim Ugarte

    November 7, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    4TB? Imagine all the porns I can store in there.

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