January 19, 2022

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WD Blue vs Black – Which One Should You Buy?

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About WD Blue (HDD & SSD)

The WD Blue drive is the budget-friendly series of hard-disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD) from Western Digital (WD). WD Blue HDDs use a 1TB platter that enables them to achieve very high RPMs.

A Cache Memory of 64MB, combined with an RPM of 7200, can result in a pretty decent performance. However, WD Blues HDD is not aimed towards gaming or other performance-intensive applications. Its primary usage should be limited to data storage or backup.

WB Blue SSD, on the other hand, is a super-value-for-money SSD that will give you speeds of up to 2.4GB/s at a relatively low price (compared to other SSDs).

WD Blue Pros & Cons

WD Blue has the following PROS:

  • WD Blue is a Value for money HDD/SSD
  • WD Blue HDD is capable of reaching very high RPMs of 7200
  • WD Blue HDD does not make much noise for the kind of RPM that they generate
  • 5-year limited warranty on SSD

WB Blue has the following CONS:

  • A 1TB platter restricts the availability of larger capacities like 2TB, 6TB, etc.
  • It is only covered by a warranty of 2 years for HDD

About WD Black (HDD & SSD)

The flagship series from WD, the WD Black is built for performance-intensive applications. Not only gamers but also graphic designers, accountants, etc. who require a lot of computing power can use this. Of course, this comes at a premium price. Simply using WD Black as a backup or storage drive would not be value for money at all.

The WD SSD is a blazingly fast performance drive that is capable of making any PC smoother. It also offers various high-performance modes like “Gaming Mode”. This will ensure that the SSD is always ready to spit fire when needed!

WD Black Pros & Cons

WD Black has the following PROS:

  • High-performance applications run very smoothly
  • Gaming Mode further boosts responsiveness and performance
  • Greater shelf-life compared to other HDDs
  • 5-year limited warranty on both HDD and SDD

WD Black has the following CONS:

  • WD Black HDD is significantly noisy
  • WD Black is costlier than other HDDs and SSDs

Comparison Table: WD Blue vs Black 

HDD

  WD Blue WD Black
RPM Up to 7200 7200
Capacity Up to 1GB Up to 4GB
Performance Normal High
Interface SATA III, PATA 100MB/s SATA III
Size 3.5inch 3.5inch
Cache Memory Up to 64MB 64MB
Noise Low Noise Noisy
Warranty 2-year limited 5-year limited

SSD

  WD Blue WD Black
Capacity Upto 1TB Upto 2TB
Sequential Read Speed 545MB/s 3400MB/s
Sequential Write Speed 525MB/s 2900MB/s
Random Read 100K IOPS 550K IOPS
Form Factor 2.5”, M.2 2280 M.2 2280
Interface SATA PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Warranty 3-year 5-year

Comparison by Features

  • Form Factor

While selecting an HDD, one of the most important factors to consider is the form factor. The form factor of the HDD determines whether it is compatible with your PC or not. Desktops usually require 3.5” HDD while laptops have a 2.5” HDD. The seeking time for 2.5” HDD is much less as the needle has to travel less for a smaller form factor.

Both the WD Blue and Black series come in form factors of 2.5” and 3.5”.

  • Formatted Capacity

The formatted capacity refers to the space available on an HDD or SSD when it is completely empty (has been formatted). WD Blacks come in larger formatted capacities as compared to WD Blue.

For an HDD, the Cache Memory stores the data that is being read or written. It speeds up read/write speeds by storing data that is being accessed frequently. Hence, the larger the cache memory, the faster the HDD.

When it comes to 3.5” desktop HDDs, both the WD Blue and Black series offer cache memories of up to 256MB. In the case of laptop HDDs, however, the WD Blue offers cache memories of up to 128MB. This is more than what is offered in WD Black. However, there are some WD Blue models that have a cache memory of 8MB. WD Black models, on the other hand, have a minimum cache memory of 32MB.

  • Performance Class (RPM)

For hard drives, the spindle speed is a major factor influencing read/write speeds. High-performance drives usually have an RPM of 7200 while normal HDDs have an RPM of 5400. Of course, higher RPMs come with a few downsides like greater noise, vibration, and reduced lifespan.

The WD Blue series comes with an RPM of 7200 only for PC models. All laptop WD Blue HDDs have an RPM of 5400. WD Black HDD, however, comes with 7200RPM only.

  • Load/Unload Cycles

Loading consists of the duration which the spindle takes to start rotating before a read/write operation. Unloading is when the spindle returns to a parking position after a read/write operation. An HDD’s lifespan is indicated by the number of loading/unloading cycles that it can perform.

Both the WD Blue and Black have similar load/unload cycles of 600,000 and 300,000 for laptop drives and desktop drives respectively.

  • Average Power Requirements

The average power consumption is directly dependent on the RPM and performance of an HDD. Naturally, high-performance HDDs and SSDs require greater power consumption.

The WD Blue PC series has an average power consumption ranging up to 6.8W during read/write cycles. The power consumption drops to 6.1W when idle and to 1.2W during sleep. WD Black PC series shows figures of up to 9.5W during read/write cycles, 8.1W during idle, and 1.3W during sleep.

For mobile HDDs, the WD Blue series requires 2.0W, 0.85W, and 0.25W during read/write operations, idle, and sleep modes respectively. The corresponding figures for WD Black mobile HDDs are 2.0W, 0.85W, and 0.25W.

The noise produced during read/write operations can be a significant factor while choosing the right HDD. The WD Blue series is a quieter HDD when compared to the WD Black series. WD Blue Desktop HDDs have a noise level of up to 30dBA during seeking operations. WD Black can produce noise of up to 36dBA while seeking.

  • Limited Warranty

Limited warranty mostly covers any issues with the HDD/SSD’s firmware. Every kind of issue, especially hardware ones, may not be covered under warranty. The WD Blue series features a warranty of 3-years (maximum), while WD Black models are protected by 5-year warranties.

Conclusion

WD HDDs and SSDs are targeted towards both value and performance. For casual gaming and day-to-day computing, the WD Blue series can be a great option. In case you just want to keep your file stored, then it can be a great backup drive.

WD Black, on the contrary, will provide you with much higher performance. If you are trying to build a killer gaming PC or run heavy performance-hungry graphic design software then WD Black should be a great addition to your arsenal. It also comes with a limited warranty of 5-years.

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