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4 TB Western Digital Blue Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) Review
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Peeking Under The PCB

Western Digital has a penchant for keeping all surface-mounted components on the reverse side of the PCB - to prevent static damage and to allow for better cooling. It's protected by a thin foam cutout on the chassis side, with a thermal pad to help transfer heat from the HDD controller to the hard disk drive chassis.

The 4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD uses the Marvell 88i9441 Soleil-H SSHD controller. It comes with two 600 MHz ARM Cortex-R4 processors and supports hardware 256-bit AES encryption, Native Command Queueing and a 6 Gb/s SATA interface.

To manage the integrated 8 GB flash memory, Western Digital used the JMicron JMF608 NAND flash controller. It supports up to 4 read/write channels at up to 300 Mbits/s (read) and 200 Mbits/s (write) per channel. That works out to a maximum throughput of 150 MB/s (read) and 100 MB/s (write).

The primary cache remains the 64 MB Winbond W9751G6KB-25 DDR2 SDRAM chip - the same memory chip used by the 6 TB Western Digital Red drive. This is is a newer version of the memory chip used in the 4 TB Western Digital RE (WD4000FYYZ), with an operating speed of 800 MHz, 4 memory banks and faster timings of 5-5-5. This gives it a peak transfer rate of 200 MB/s.

To tie the SSD and HDD components together, Western Digital used the Marvell 88SE9171 PCI Express 2.0 x1 to SATA 6Gb/s switch. This is a 2-port SATA switch.

The 4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD also used the ST Microelectronics WDHC8TD motor drive controller, which features the proprietary Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital drive technology. Surprisingly, all of its firmware is stored in a 4 Mbit (512 KB) Winbond 25X40CLVIG flash memory chipserial flash memory chip.

Finally, the 4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD features a single shock sensor, just like the 4 TB Western Digital Red (WD40EFRX) drive. The shock sensor allows the drive to detect shock events and automatically park the drive heads to avoid damage.

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4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD Review


Introduction, Specifications, Packaging


The 4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD
SSHD Vs. Dual Drive


Peeking Under The PCB


Testing The 4 TB WD Blue SSHD
Usable Capacity, Max. Temperature


Transfer Rate Range, Platter Profile
WinBench 99 Test Results


IO Meter Test Results


IOPS Scaling (Random Access)


IOPS Scaling (Sequential Access)


Conclusion, Lowest Price

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