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Progress Made Real : The New Dell Social Impact 2030 Vision!

Progress Made Real : The New Dell Social Impact 2030 Vision!

After releasing the final report for their 2020 Legacy of Good plan, Dell Technologies unveiled their new 2030 social impact vision – Progress Made Real.

Here is a summary of what Dell intends to advance beyond 2020…

 

2020 Legacy Of Good : A Roadmap To 2030

The 2020 Legacy of Good plan set a strong foundation for Dell Technologies’ new 2030 social impact vision, Progress Made Real, which focuses in on three key areas :

  • advancing sustainability,
  • cultivating inclusion, and
  • transforming lives with technology.

Dell Technologies shared with us a broad outline of what they have already started, and are seeking to achieve.

 

Progress Made Real : Advancing Sustainability

Looking toward 2030, Dell Technologies will continue to accelerate the circular economy, reduce the impact of Dell’s operations, support customers’ efforts to reduce environmental impacts, and champion the many people who build their products.

  • After a successful e-waste tracker pilot in partnership with Basel Action Network (BAN), Dell Technologies now makes global tracking technologies part of its existing electronics disposition partner audit program.
    The pilot program revealed some vulnerabilities in the downstream recycling process, which helped Dell Technologies to quickly take corrective action to address the operational gap.

  • Dell recently launched a process to use recycled material, Polyvinyl Butyral (rPVB), from car windshields to create the protective, waterproof lining of Dell laptop bags and backpacks.
    Dell is also using an innovative method of solution dyeing for these backpacks, which results in 90% less wastewater and 29% less energy, while generating 62% fewer CO2 emissions compared to typical piece-dyeing.
    The first bags and backpacks with rPVB began shipping in February and are forecasted to avoid approximately 74,000 pounds of landfill waste per month.

  • In partnership with suppliers Seagate and Teleplan (a storage device recycling / recovery specialist), Dell identified a new closed-loop process to recover the rare earth magnets from recovered enterprise equipment.
    The magnets are reformed for reuse in new hard-disk drives. In the initial pilot program, we are using the reformed magnets in 25,000 Seagate hard drives for our Dell Latitude 5000 series laptop.
    Reusing rare earth metals helps us avoid the need to mine the earth, which can cause environmental damage and health concerns for local communities.

 

Progress Made Real : Cultivating Inclusion

In the midst of a talent shortage, closing the diversity gap is critical to meeting future talent needs and for reflecting new perspectives of a global customer base.

Dell Technologies is actively building on several non-traditional hiring program pilots to broaden the company’s talent pipeline. Pilots include:

  • The neurodiversity hiring program provides training and possible full-time career opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    In partnership with HMEA, The Arc of the Capital Area and Neurodiverisity in the Workplace, Dell Technologies’ program removes barriers that may limit an individual from showcasing their true abilities and potential during the typical job interview process. The pilot expanded from Massachusetts to Texas in April, 2019.

  • Re-entry programs like Dell Career Restart offer a re-entry experience for individuals who have been out of the workforce for a year or more, and leverages their previous career experience in a supportive environment. The company launched pilots in the U.S. and India.
  • Skilling and re-skilling programs include Dell Technologies’ partnership with Northeastern University’s AlignProgram, which enables students from diverse backgrounds to transition into a technology career through intensive coursework to earn a master’s degree in computer science. Project Immersion provides undergraduates at Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges & Universities with skills for the digital future.
    Additionally, Dell Technologies’ distance education Laboratory for People with Disabilities (LE@D) online learning platform, teaches technology-based vocational skills to individuals with motor, hearing or other disabilities in Brazil.

Dell Technologies is also committed to addressing systemic challenges with diversity and inclusion. The company advocates for inclusive public policies and is a member of strategic coalitions like CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, and was also a founding member of the Reboot Representation Tech Coalition.

 

Progress Made Real : Transforming Lives with Technology

 Harnessing the power of technology enables limitless possibilities for advancing human progress and solving complex societal challenges. Dell Technologies is committed to applying its portfolio and partnerships to create a future capable of fully realizing human potential.

  • Dell Technologies continued to expand its solar learning labs to help bridge the educational gap in areas that lack access to consistent energy and technology in partnership with Computer Aid International.
    These labs are created by transforming shipping containers into classrooms with Dell Wyse Thin Client workstations managed by an air-cooled PowerEdge server for up to 20 students.
    With solar panels to generate electricity, the container can be deployed in remote locations.
    Dell Technologies has already funded 18 labs in six countries around the world. Microsoft has recently joined in this collaborative effort, awarding Computer Aid with a Technology for Social Impact grant to further provide technology access through the solar learning labs.

  • To fight pediatric cancer, Dell Technologies’ donated $30 million dollars over 6 years to Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) through a partnership designed to use technology solutions and employee volunteerism.
    Through Dell’s technology, TGen increased computational hours by almost 4x, allowing researchers and doctors to identify treatments faster, by turning a patient’s vast DNA and RNA sequencing data into insights.

 

Progress Made Real : Upholding Ethics & Privacy

Dell Technologies believes that ethics and privacy play a critical role in establishing a strong foundation for positive social impact.

In this time of rapid innovation, big data, an evolving regulatory environment, and increasing expectations from both their own team members and customers, Dell Technologies is committed to leadership in ethics and privacy.

This commitment to continually push to higher ethics and privacy standards will be a guidepost for their Progress Made Real work.

 

Recommended Reading

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The Intel, Seagate + Acer Keynotes @ serverDNA 3.0!

Despite its name, serverDNA is the largest gathering of PC gamers in Malaysia. In its third season, serverDNA brings in both gaming brands and gamers, with three main keynotes by Intel, Seagate and Acer. We bring you the videos of all three serverDNA 3.0 keynotes – check them out!

 

serverDNA 3.0

The third season of serverDNA featured more than 1500 gamers coming to check out the 100+ showcases. An estimated 1000 litres of coffee were downed, and over RM 100,000 worth of prizes were given out. Now you know why serverDNA is the largest gathering of PC gamers in Malaysia!

 

The Intel Keynote @ serverDNA 3.0

Mr. Sontinya Nujeeseng, Client Computing Group Director of Intel APJ, spoke about Intel transforming to address the gaming market.

Here are some key points from his presentation :

  • esports is gaining popularity year-on-year, with enthusiasts and occasional viewers in Asia now accounting for more than half the global audience.
  • The 8th Gen Intel Core processors offer significantly better performance than previous generations. We pointed out earlier that this is due to the Ryzen Effect.
  • For much faster system responsiveness, Intel offers Optane Memory, which is built around their 3D XPoint technology.
  • The Intel NUC 8 VR machine is the little engine that could. Based on Intel Hades Canyon – a combination of a Core i7 CPU and a Radeon RX Vega GPU, it can support up to SIX 4K displays simultaneously.
  • Every Hades Canyon NUC will come with free software and games worth up to $400.

 

The Seagate Keynote @ serverDNA 3.0

Ms. Mee Mee Hong, Seagate Country Manager, then shared with us the latest developments in Seagate’s storage technologies.

Here are some key points she shared in her presentation :

  • Seagate now offers a BarraCuda Pro hard disk drive with 14 TB of storage capacity, and a 300 TB per year workload limit.
  • Despite its high spindle speed of 7200 RPM, the BarraCuda Pro has the lowest power draw in the industry – less than 8 watts.
  • She also announced that Seagate will be introducing their first SSD – the Seagate Barracuda SSD next month, with a SATA 6 Gbps interface and a maximum transfer rate of 540 MB/s.
  • For those who need a mobile SSD, Seagate is currently offering the Seagate Fast SSD with storage capacities of up to 2 TB in a small form factor with a transfer rate of up to 540 MB/s.
  • The LaCie Copilot is a 2TB portable rugged hard disk drive that can automatically back-up data from your SD card, smartphone or camera on-the-go. It can even serve as a power bank for your devices!
  • She also pointed out that Seagate offers a unique data recovery service that is free for some drives, and offered as an affordable upgrade for other drives – the Seagate Rescue Services.
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The Acer Keynote @ serverDNA 3.0

Edmund Hoh, Acer Product and Business Development Manager, is back! This time, he introduced a slew of new Acer gaming products.

Here are some key points from his presentation :

  • The Acer OJO 500 is pronounced as o-ho 500. You can read all about it in our Acer OJO 500 preview article.
  • The new Acer Aspire 7 has a 4K narrow bezel display, and is 25% lighter than last year’s model.
  • The new Acer Swift 5 has a larger display in the same form factor, with 35% lower weight and 4X greater durability.
  • The new Acer Swift 7 is less than 10 mm thick, and weighs less than 1 kg, and comes with a large display with an ultra-narrow bezel.
  • The new Acer Aspire Z 24 is an All-In-One PC that looks nothing more than a beautiful display. Read all about in our Aspire Z 24 preview!
  • The Acer Predator X gaming desktop will feature dual Intel Xeon processors and the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards.
  • The Acer Predator Triton 900 gaming laptop has a unique swing display, with a 4K G-SYNC display and new 4th Gen AeroBlade 3D fans.
  • The Acer Predator Thronos features a motorised cockpit with vibration support. It supports three monitors of up to 27-inch in size.

 

Recommended Reading

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WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) 1TB Review Rev. 2.0

WD Blue SSHD

Western Digital has finally moved into the Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) market with their new WD Blue SSHD drives.

The WD Blue family of mainstream 5400 RPM drives is designed for less strenous use at home and in the office. Like their now-discontinued WD Green family, the emphasis is on reduced power consumption , thermal output and cost, instead of high performance.

That changes with the SSHD variant, which pairs a regular WD Blue drive with an 8 GB SSD. These hybrid drives are able to offer pseudo-SSD performance with the storage capacity and lower cost of regular hard disk drives.

The Western Digital Blue SSHD models support the following features :

8 GB NAND flash for blazing performance – An optimal amount of built-in NAND flash SSD technology enables WD Blue SSHDs to perform at up to four to five times faster than traditional 5400 rpm HDDs, based on PCMark Vantage.

Self-learning technology – Utilizing an advanced set of algorithms, WD Blue SSHDs track SSHD data usage, prioritizing frequently used data for fast access in the solid state portion of the device, adapting, learning and optimizing as new applications and command requests change over time. These advanced algorithms reside in the SSHD firmware, enabling it to make intelligent determinations of which data to store in NAND flash memory, without any influence from the host or related storage device drivers. By pairing SSD-like performance with massive hard drive capacity, WD has created an intelligent hybrid drive that truly offers the best of both worlds.

Synergy delivers value – WD Blue SSHD is equipped with the optimal amount of NAND flash to deliver fast, SSD-like performance over high-capacity storage, significantly lowering the $/GB compared to the higher cost and lower capacity of standalone SSDs.

Simple installation with no special software required – The WD Blue SSHD hybrid drive is self-contained in a traditional HDD form factor, and installs as easily as any traditional hard drive without special drivers or downloads required. WD Blue SSHDs are compatible with most typical computer configurations, including PC and Mac.

Today, we will look at the 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD, which is a 2.5″ drive for laptops. The other member of the WD Blue SSHD family, at this moment, is the 4 TB WD Blue (WD40E31X) SSHD (read our review here), which is a 3.5″ drive for desktops. Let’s see how well the 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD performs against the main competitor – the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD, as well as other mobile and desktop HDDs!

 

Specification Comparison

The 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD is a direct competitor of the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD, so let’s compare their specifications.

Specifications Western Digital Blue SSHD (1 TB) Seagate Laptop SSHD (1 TB)
Model • WD10J31X • ST1000UM000
Advanced Format (AF) • Yes, Emulation Mode • Yes, Emulation Mode
Formatted Capacity • 1,000,204 MB • 1,000,204 MB
Guaranteed Sectors • 1,953,525,168 • 1,953,525,168
Bytes Per Sector • 512 bytes (Emulated)
• 4,096 bytes (Physical)
• 512 bytes (Emulated)
• 4,096 bytes (Physical)
Platters • 2 Platters • 2 Platters
Read/Write Heads • 4 Read/Write Heads • 4 Read/Write Heads
Spindle Speed • 5,400 RPM • 5,400 RPM
SDRAM Cache • 64 MB SDRAM • 64 MB SDRAM
NAND Cache • 8 GB MLC • 8 GB MLC
Average
Seek
• NA • 12.0 ms
Track-to-Track Seek • NA • 2.0 ms (average)
Average Latency • NA • 5.6 ms
Drive Ready Time • NA • < 1.0 seconds (average)
Internal
Data Transfer Rate
(Sustained, Maximum)
• 100 MB/s • 100 MB/s
Maximum I/O
Transfer Rate
• 600
MB/s
• 600
MB/s
Interface • Serial ATA 6 Gb/s • Serial ATA 6 Gb/s
Supported SATA
Data Transfer Modes
• 6.0 Gbits/s
• 3.0 Gbits/s
• 1.5 Gbits/s
• 6.0 Gbits/s
• 3.0 Gbits/s
• 1.5 Gbits/s
SATA Hotplug
Capability
• Yes • Yes
Maximum Height • 9.5 mm
• 0.374 inches
• 9.5 mm
• 0.374 inches
Maximum Width • 69.85 mm
• 2.75 inches
• 69.85 mm
• 2.75 inches
Maximum Length • 100.2 mm
• 3.94 inches
• 100.35 mm
• 3.951 inches
Maximum Weight • 120 g
• 0.27 lb
• 115 g
• 0.254 lb
Power Requirements • +12V DC ± 10 %
• +5V DC ± 5 %
• +12V DC ± 10 %
• +5V DC ± 5 %
Power Consumption • 6.5 W (Spin-Up)
• 1.65 W (Read / Write)
• 0.65 W (Idle)
• 0.225 W (Standby / Sleep)
• 3.7 W (Write)
• 3.1 W (Read)
• 1.1 W (Idle)
• 0.53 W (Standby / Sleep)
Ambient Temperature • 0 °C to 60 °C
(Operating)
• -40 °C to 70 °C (Non-Operating)
• 0 °C to 60 °C
(Operating)
• -40 °C to 70 °C (Non-Operating)
Maximum Shock • 400 G @ 2 ms (Read)
• 1000 G @ 2 ms (Non-Operating)
• 350 G @ 2 ms (Read)
• 1000 G @ 1 ms (Non-Operating)
Drive Acoustics • 24 dBA average (Idle Mode)
• 25 dBA average (Performance Seek Mode)
• 22 dBA average (Idle Mode)
• 24 dBA average (Performance Seek Mode)
Non-Recoverable
Read Errors
• 1 error per 1014 bits read • < 1 error per 1015 bits read
Load/Unload Cycles • 600,000 (minimum) • 600,000 (minimum)
MTBF • NA • NA
Warranty • 3 Years Limited Warranty • 3 Years Limited Warranty
Lowest Price
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Packaging

The 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD came in a sealed anti-static plastic packet, with a sachet of desiccants inside to keep it dry. To remove it, just tear off the top or cut it open, and slide out the drive.

Be sure to ground yourself before removing and handling the hard disk drive as static can damage it. In particular, you should try to avoid touching the exposed PCB located on the lower underside of the drive.

Next Page > A Closer Look At The WD Blue SSHD

 

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The WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X)

Despite having an SSD built-in, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD looks just like any other 2.5″ notebook hard disk drive. It has a label on the top plate and an uncovered PCB on the underside. The label has a lot of important information, like the hard drive model, storage capacity as well as its date and place of manufacture.

This particular drive was manufactured here in Malaysia on the 28th of May, 2015. Interestingly, Western Digital also added a QR code so you can scan it using your smartphone to learn more about the WD Blue SSHD.

 

SSHD Vs. Dual Drive

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SSHD is short for Solid State Hybrid Drive. It combines a small SSD with a regular hard disk drive. It is not the same thing as a dual drive, like the WD Black2, which is essentially an SSD with a HDD in a single enclosure.

The WD Blue SSHD comes with a much smaller SSD and uses it as a cache. This allows the drive to deliver pseudo-SSD performance at much lower price points. Its SSD component is not user-accessible, unlike the SSD component in a dual drive.

Unlike the WD Black2, there is no special requirement. It behaves just like any other hard disk drive, just with an SSD serving as a secondary cache.

 

Connectors & Jumpers

This is a Serial ATA hard drive, with native support for SATA 6 Gb/s. However, it is backward-compatible so you will have no problem using it with older SATA 3 Gb/s controllers.

The SATA 6 Gb/s interface is necessary for optimal performance since this Western Digital Blue SSHD boasts a maximum sustained internal (platter-to-buffer) transfer rate of 100 MB/s, and a large and fast DDR2 SDRAM cache.

Like all Serial ATA drives, it comes the standard SATA data (left) and power (right) connectors and is hot-pluggable. That means you can connect and disconnect this hard disk drive to your PC while it’s still running.

To the left of the SATA connectors is the jumper block. However, Western Digital does not provide any jumper with their drives. This is because the jumper block should only be used in exceptional cases.

According to Western Digital, jumpering pins 1 and 2 enables Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC). Placing the jumper across pins 5 and 6 will force the drive to use the slower SATA 3Gbits/s transfer speed. This is only necessary for certain SATA controllers that do not properly implement the SATA 6 Gb/s speed negotiation.

 

Breather Holes

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD has a small breather hole on the top plate, just above the warning about not covering any drive holes. This hole must not be covered.

Breather holes allow condensation inside the hard disk drive to escape. They also equalize the hard disk drive’s internal pressure with the ambient air pressure. The hard disk drive needs them to function properly, so please make sure you do not occlude these holes.

Next Page > Peeking Under The WD Blue SSHD PCB

 

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What’s 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 1 TB WD Blue (WD10J31X) SSHD used 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.

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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.

Unlike the 4 TB WD Blue SSHD (read our review here) which used the ST Microelectronics WDHC8TD motor drive controller, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD used used a proprietary WD Nautilus motor drive controller.

All of the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD‘s firmware was stored in a 4 Mbit (512 KB) Winbond 25X40CLVIG serial flash memory chip.

Finally, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD features a single shock sensor, just like the 4 TB Western Digital Blue SSHD (read our review here). The shock sensor allows the drive to detect shock events and automatically park the drive heads to avoid damage.

Next Page > Testing The WD Blue SSHD, Usable Capacity, Temperature

 

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The Testbed

Processors Intel Core i7-2600K
Motherboard Intel DP67BG
Memory Four Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570
Hard Disk Drives 1 TB WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X)
1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD (ST1000UM000)
1 TB WD Blue Slim (WD10SPCX)

1 TB WD Blue (WD10JPVT)
750 GB WD Scorpio Black (WD7500BPKT)
640 GB WD Scorpio Blue (WD6400BEVT)
500 GB WD Blue Slim (WD5000LPVT)

500 GB WD Scorpio Black (WD5000BEKT)
320 GB WD Scorpio Black (WD3200BEKT)
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 :

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  • 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.

In 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 1 TB WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) has an official formatted capacity of 1,000 GB. We checked that out by formatting it in NTFS using Microsoft Windows 7.

The actual formatted capacity was 1,000,202,039,296 bytes, which is 202 MB lower than the official storage capacity. With about 125 MB allocated to the NTFS file system, the actual usable capacity remained slightly above 1 TB.

 

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 1 TB WD Blue SSHD has a high idle temperature. It hit a peak case temperature of 23°C above ambient temperature. This can be a concern inside the confines of a laptop case. This drive is designed to run in relatively hot environments, with a peak ambient temperature of 60°C.

Next Page > Transfer Rate Range, Platter Profile, WinBench Test Results

 

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Transfer Rate Range

This chart shows you the range of platter-to-buffer transfer rates from the innermost track to the outermost track. In other words, it shows you the range of disk transfer rates of the hard disk drives (from minimum to maximum).

Western Digital rates the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD with a peak throughput of 100 MB/s, but our test shows that it will actually hit 113 MB/s. As you can see, it has exactly the same transfer rate range as the 1 TB WD Blue Slim (WD10SPCX), which is really the HDD component of this SSHD.

 

Platter Profile

The platter profile of the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD we received was very good. There were no noticeable dips in throughput that would signify a significant use of replacement sectors. Lots of them would point to poor platter quality.

We also compared its platter profile to that of the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD, its direct competitor. You can see that the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD starts off with a higher throughput but the Seagate Laptop SSHD is faster from around the 300 GB point onwards.

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Business Disk WinBench 99

The 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD remained the top SSHD in this comparison, delivering 55% better performance than the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD. Even so, you can see the benefit of adding just 8 GB of flash memory. The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD was 29% faster than the 750 GB WD Scorpio Black, which is a 7200 RPM hard disk drive.

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity Business Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Seagate Laptop SSHD
(ST1000UM000)
1 TB 34.90 MB/s + 55.1% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue SSHD
(WD10J31X)
1 TB 22.50 MB/s Baseline Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD7500BPKT)
750 GB 16.00 MB/s – 28.9% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD5000BEKT)
500 GB 13.90 MB/s – 38.2% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD10SPCX)
1 TB 13.00 MB/s – 42.2% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD10JPVT)
1 TB 12.60 MB/s – 44.0% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD5000LPVT)
500 GB 11.60 MB/s – 48.4% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD3200BEKT)
320 GB 8.64 MB/s – 61.6% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD6400BEVT)
640 GB 7.49 MB/s – 66.7% Review Lowest Price!

 

High-End Disk WinBench 99

But when it came to the High-End test, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD smashed the competition. It was 16% faster than the 750 GB WD Scorpio Black, and 30% faster than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD!

Hard Disk Drive Model Capacity High-End Disk
WinMark 99
Difference Useful Links
Western Digital Blue SSHD
(WD10J31X)
1 TB 103.0 MB/s Baseline Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD7500BPKT)
750 GB 86.7 MB/s – 15.8% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD5000BEKT)
500 GB 86.4 MB/s – 16.1% Review Lowest Price!
Seagate Laptop SSHD
(ST1000UM000)
1 TB 71.7 MB/s – 30.4% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD5000LPVT)
500 GB 68.5 MB/s – 33.5% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD10JPVT)
1 TB 65.8 MB/s – 36.1% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD10SPCX)
1 TB 61.9 MB/s – 39.9% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Scorpio Black
(WD3200BEKT)
320 GB 51.2 MB/s – 50.3% Review Lowest Price!
Western Digital Blue
(WD6400BEVT)
640 GB 32.8 MB/s – 68.2% Review Lowest Price!

Next Page > IO Meter Benchmark Results

 

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IO Meter

We compared the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD to the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHDFor more performance comparisons, please take a look at The Hard Disk Drive Performance Comparison Guide.

 

Random Throughput

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 18.48 MB/s 22.39 MB/s + 21.2%
512 KB Write 20.68 MB/s 31.48 MB/s + 52.2%
4 KB Read 0.22 MB/s 0.25 MB/s + 13.6%
4 KB Write 0.22 MB/s 0.25 MB/s + 13.6%

The small random reads and writes are the most important tests for applications that make a lot of random accesses, so those would be key performance indicators for drives that are used as boot or system drives, but not very important for NAS or media storage drives.

In this regard, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD would make a much better boot drive than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD. It was almost 14% faster in small accesses and 52% faster in large random writes!

 

Random Access Time

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 23.41 ms 28.28 ms – 17.2%
512 KB Write 16.65 ms 25.52 ms – 34.7%
4 KB Read 16.17 ms 18.41 ms – 12.2%
4 KB Write 16.63 ms 19.23 ms – 13.5%

Since these results are based on the SSD cache of the two SSHDs, we can see that the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD is using a faster SSD than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD.

 

Random CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 0.78% 0.45% + 73.3%
512 KB Write 0.85% 0.23% + 269.6%
4 KB Read 0.40% 0.17% + 135.3%
4 KB Write 0.44% 0.31% + 41.9%

The downside though is higher CPU utilization by the drive. Despite the large difference in percentage, this is really minor due to the high performance CPUs we use today.

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Sequential Throughput

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 190.00 MB/s 108.31 MB/s + 75.4%
512 KB Write 102.77 MB/s 110.22 MB/s – 6.8%
4 KB Read 31.74 MB/s 52.48 MB/s – 39.5%
4 KB Write 32.12 MB/s 48.14 MB/s – 33.3%

These are the second most important tests for boot drives, and the most important tests for secondary storage drives. The large sequential transfer performance is particularly important because they are often used to store large game or media files, which are all practically larger than than 512 KB these days.

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD was phenomenal at large reads, delivering a throughput of 190 MB/s. On the other hand, it was slightly slower at large writes, and 30-40% slower at small reads and writes.

 

Sequential Access Time

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 2.76 ms 4.84 ms – 43.0%
512 KB Write 5.10 ms 4.76 ms + 7.2%
4 KB Read 0.13 ms 0.08 ms + 65.8%
4 KB Write 0.13 ms 0.08 ms + 50.1%

Since these results are based on the SSD cache of the two SSHDs, we can see that the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD is using a faster SSD than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD.

 

Sequential CPU Utilization

Test 1 TB WD
Blue SSHD
1 TB Seagate
Laptop SSHD
Difference
512 KB Read 1.09% 0.50% + 118.0%
512 KB Write 1.50% 1.63% – 8.0%
4 KB Read 4.80% 8.56% – 43.9%
4 KB Write 5.89% 8.95% – 34.2%

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Our Verdict

Western Digital is very late to the Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) market. Seagate launched the industry’s first SSHD, the Seagate Momentus PSD, back in 2007. It has taken Western Digital 8 years to dip their toes into SSHDs, but we are glad to see that they are off to a good start.

Like all other SSHDs, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) uses a small 8 GB SSD as a fast secondary cache, in addition to the usual SDRAM cache.

This flash memory cache quickly stores all writes to drive, copying them over to the slower hard disk drive over time. Because it retains the written data, the data can be read from the much faster flash memory cache. This improves its read performance, albeit only for the data that is still stored in the cache.

Thanks to its flash memory cache, the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD was about 70% faster than the 1 TB WD Blue Slim (WD10SPCX) in the WinMark tests. This is the same hard disk drive the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD uses, so we can see the effect the small SSD cache has on its real world performance. It was also 20-40% faster than the 750 GB WD Scorpio Black, a high-performance mobile hard disk drive that features a much higher 7200 RPM spindle speed.

When we compared the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD to its direct competitor, the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD, it proved to be :

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  • 75% faster in large sequential reads
  • 52% faster in large random writes
  • 21% faster in large random reads,
  • 14% faster in small random reads and writes
  • 7% slower in large sequential writes
  • 33% slower in small sequential writes
  • 40% slower in small sequential reads

It’s a mixed bag of results, but the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD is faster than the 1 TB Seagate Laptop SSHD in the more important performance aspects. We would peg the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD as the better drive of the two.

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD could have performed better if Western Digital opted for a better flash controller than the JMF608. This is a 4-channel flash controller limited to 150 MB/s (read) and 100 MB/s (write). Western Digital would do well to use a faster flash controller if they want to maximise the performance of their future SSHDs.

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) is no SSD, but it offers pseudo-SSD performance in the performance aspect that the hard disk drive is weakest at – random accesses. That’s why it “feels” like you are using an SSD. Even though it’s not quite as fast as a real SSD, it comes with an enormous storage capacity and costs far less per GB.

The 1 TB WD Blue SSHD is best used as a boot drive, if you have a dual-spindle laptop that supports two drives. It is also a great upgrade option for older laptops – giving them a new lease of life, thanks to its significantly better performance and storage capacity.

We are very pleased with the 1 TB WD Blue SSHD‘s performance, and we think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Western Digital!

 

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