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4 TB Western Digital Blue Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) Review
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Testing The 4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD

The Testbed


Intel Core i7-2600K


Intel DP67BG


Four Kingston 2 GB DDR3-1600 modules

Graphics Card

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570

Hard Drives

6 TB Western Digital Black
6 TB Western Digital Red
6 TB Western Digital Green
4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD
4 TB Western Digital Red Pro
4 TB Western Digital Re
4 TB Western Digital Black Gen. 2
4 TB Western Digital Red
3 TB Western Digital Red

3 TB Western Digital Caviar Green

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit


Testing Methodology

We tested in both Windows 7 and Windows Vista, with the latest updates. We chose to use IO Meter 2008 as well as our "old faithful", WinBench 99 2.0, with the following tests :

  • Platter Data Transfer Profile
  • Business Disk WinMark 99
  • High-End Disk WinMark 99
  • Disk Transfer Rate (Beginning)
  • Disk Transfer Rate (End)

Business Disk WinMark 99 is a real-world simulation based on three office application suites - Microsoft Office 97, Lotus SmartSuite and Corel WordPerfect Suite 8, as well as a web browser, Netscape Navigator. They are quite dated, but should still reflect the usage patterns of users in an office environment using such applications. The test runs through a script that keeps multiple applications open, while it performs tasks that switches between those applications and Netscape Navigator. The result is the average transfer rate during the script run.

High-End Disk WinMark 99 is a real-world simulation based on AVS/Express 3.4, FrontPage 98, MicroStation SE, Photoshop 4.0, Premiere 4.2, Sound Forge 4.0 and Visual C++ 5.0. However, it differs by running the applications serially, instead of simultaneously. There are individual results for each application but in this comparison, we will be looking only at the weighted average score, which is the average transfer rate during the tests.

Unfortunately, WinBench 99 is not fully compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, registering a SetFilePointer error in the Disk Access Time test. So, we were not able to obtain any Disk Access Time results.

Contest iconIn addition, it would keep crashing if the hard drive was tested with a single partition. This is likely due to a limit on the size of the partition that is supported by WinBench 99. We came up with a workaround by dividing the hard disk drive into 5 partitions of equal sizes. We then tested each partition individually and averaged the results.


Usable Capacity

The 4 TB Western Digital Blue (WD40E31X) SSHD has an official formatted capacity of 4,000,787 MB. We checked that out by formatting it in NTFS using Microsoft Windows 7.

The actual formatted capacity was 4,000,650,883,072 bytes, which is 137 MB lower than the official storage capacity. With about 216 MB allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity remained slightly above 6 TB.

This is exactly the same capacity we saw with 4 TB Western Digital Red (WD40EFRX) drive.


Maximum Surface Temperature

We monitored the surface temperature of seven hard disk drives during their benchmarks. The following chart shows their operating temperature range, from idle to maximum load. Please note that instead of giving you the absolute numbers, we are showing the temperature delta, which is the difference between the actual temperature and the ambient room temperature.

Due to the extra chips and NAND flash memory, the 4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD has a higher idle temperature. It hit a peak case temperature of 16°C above ambient temperature. That is relatively cool, especially since this drive is designed to run in hot environments, with a peak ambient temperature of 60°C.

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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)


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