Western Digital Blue SSHD WD40E31X 4TB Review (Page 1 of 10)

By: Jonathan Kwan
October 9, 2015

Have you ever met someone who likes to affix all their honors and achievements after their name to make them look more important? Recently, I was talking to a friend, who sent me a PowerPoint slide of a professor in university who had more than half a dozen of such abbreviations when introducing himself to the class in his first lecture. Now, do not get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with plugging in proper credentials when introducing yourself. But if someone went around and said they were "Dr. Awesome, PhD, MSc, OBE, MLA, MD, LLB, CPA, CPU, PSU, RAM, HDD, PCI, LCD, VTEC, BBQ, PB&J" and so forth, and the audience has no idea -- or even cares -- what three quarters of those abbreviations mean, then it will make as much sense as me showing off my Xbox Live achievements in front a panel of academics at a technical conference: It is totally meaningless. Of course, it is only meaningless if it was overdone and used in the wrong situation. I think many people will find it reasonable if I ever inserted myself in as "Jonathan Kwan, PhD, MSc EE, P.Eng" in a professional setting to give them an idea of who I am (Full disclosure: I am none of those... yet). Recently, Western Digital sent along a sample from their mainstream hard drive line, the Blue series, for us to check out. Traditionally, the company do not add suffixes and abbreviations to their products to make things simple, but this time around, they did. Called the Western Digital Blue SSHD, which adds 8GB of NAND flash memory to give it a boost in speed for frequently used data, the WD40E31X 4TB aims to compete against Seagate's Desktop SSHD ST4000DX001 4TB, a very similar product also equipped with 8GB of NAND flash memory in attempt combine the speed of a solid state drive with the capacity of a traditional hard disk. Will the SSHD tag be just a game of adding random letters for WD with no substance, or will being a solid state hybrid drive really represent nice boost in desktop performance? We benchmarked one to find out.

Our review unit of the Western Digital Blue SSHD WD40E31X 4TB came in a medium sized, brown corrugated cardboard box from their American headquarters in Irvine, California, USA. In the past, the company has always sent their products along using a logistics company. This time, they decided to go with something a little more orthodox. This adds another one to the list, as most of the stuff we receive here at APH Networks comes delivered by UPS already. Using the Saver service, Western Digital's latest solid state hybrid drive arrived quickly and safely to us here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Without further ado, I cracked open the box, and got straight to work.

Inside the medium sized, brown corrugated cardboard box was a smaller box, securely placed in the presence of bubble wrap to fill up any remaining space. If you have ever sent Western Digital products back for warranty return, then the small box inside should be quite familiar to you. These flap top boxes open via two tabs on the side, and the meat of it is clipped between two black plastic shells to ensure they travel safely and securely inside. The Western Digital Blue SSHD WD40E31X 4TB was placed inside a sealed anti-static bag for additional protection. To be honest, I have never purchased a hard drive that is not in OEM packaging in the past, so this should be nothing new to most people.

Before we move on, let us take a look at the features and specifications of the Western Digital Blue SSHD WD40E31X 4TB, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:

Hard Drive Type: WD Blue SSHD
Model number: WD40E31X
Interface: SATA 6 GB/s
Formatted capacity: 4 TB
Form factor: 3.5-inch
Advanced Format (AF): Yes
RoHS compliant: Yes

Data transfer rate (max):
- Buffer to host: 6 GB/s
- Host to/from drive (sustained): 150 MB/s
NAND Size (GB): 8
Cache (MB): 64

Reliability/Data Integrity
Load/unload cycles: 300,000
Non-recoverable read errors per bits read: <1 in 10^14
Limited warranty (years): 3

Power Management
Spinup (Max) 12VDC ±10% (A, peak): 2.8
Spinup (Max) 5VDC ±10% (A, peak): 1
Spinup (Max) (W): 38.6
Average power requirements (W):
- Read/Write: 6
- Idle: 4.75
- Standby and Sleep: 0.57

Environmental Specifications
Temperature (°C, on the base casting):
- Operating: 0 to 60
- Non-operating: -40 to 70
Shock (Gs):
- Operating (2 ms, read/write): 30
- Non-operating (2 ms): 350
Acoustics (dBA):
- Idle: 25
- Seek (average): 26

Physical Dimensions
Height (in./mm, max): 1.028/25.4
Length (in./mm, max): 5.787/147
Width (in./mm, ± .01 in.): 4/101.6
Weight (lb./kg, ± 10%): 0.99/0.45

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 4.60
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 8.0
9. Benchmark: PCMark 7
10. Conclusion