WD Green vs. Blue: Key Differences to Know Before You Buy

WD Green vs. Blue

WD Green vs. Blue: Key Differences to Know Before You Buy

Key Points

  • The WD Green and WD Blue are two popular models of solid-state drives (SSDs) made by Western Digital.
  • The WD Blue has higher sequential write speeds and longer reliability hours compared to the WD Green.
  • WD Green drives are more affordable than WD Blue drives and are better suited for day-to-day computing use.
  • Both the WD Green and WD Blue are capable of gaming and storing large file sizes, but the WD Blue is faster and more suitable for power users and gamers.

Western Digital is a well-known brand in the storage industry for making efficient and durable storage drives. Two of their most popular models for solid-state drives are the WD Green and WD Blue.

While both drives have similar features, there are some key differences between the two models that make them better suited for particular use cases. 

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the WD Green and WD Blue. We’ll compare their features, performance, and reliability to help show you which one is better suited for which use case. Let’s dive in!

WD Green vs. Blue: Side-by-Side Comparison

Western Digital BlueWestern Digital Green
Capacity250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 1TB, 2TB
Form Factor3.5-inch Hard Disk Drive, 2.5-inch Solid State Drive, NVMe3.5-inch Hard Disk Drive 2.5-inch Solid State Drive, NVMe
ConnectionSATA III, M.2 2280SATA III, M.2 2280
Sequential Read Speed560 MB/s+ (HDD, SSD), 4000 MB/s+ (NVME)545 MB/s+ (HDD, SSD), 2400 MB/s+ (NVME)
Sequential Write Speed530 MB/s+ (HDD, SSD), 2000 MB/s +(NVME)430 MB/s+ (HDD, SSD), 1500 MB/s+
Reliability (Hours)Up to 1.75 MillionUp to 1.0 Million Hours

The table indicates that these drives are not as far apart as you might expect. However, based on the sequential write speeds, the WD Blue is a higher performer than the WD Green.

We can see from this table that the WD Green series of drives are best used for day-to-day computing use, such as in a home or office computer.

Our Pick
Western Digital 1TB WD Blue
  • 2.5" form factor
  • Storage capacity: 1TB
  • Up to 560 MB/s
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Generally speaking, WD Drives are priced according to their performance. So, you will find that WD Green drives are almost always cheaper than WD Blue drives.

WD Green vs. Blue: What’s the Difference?

They might look identical on the surface. But their subtle distinctions will make your decision more important, especially if you’re trying to get the best bang for your buck. Sure, the color difference makes it easy to pick one apart from the other. But what are the actual differences?

2 WD Blue HDDs
Pictured above are two 2.5″ WD Blue drives, designed for use in laptops. The one on the left has a rubber bumper for added shock protection.



Reliability is one of the most important features when it comes to storage devices. It also has one of the largest margin of difference between the two drives.

While the contrast between 1.75 million hours and 1.0 million hours may not seem like much between the WD Blue and WD Green, the reality is that this is a significant difference between the two drives and their intended use cases.

At 1.75 million hours, the WD Blue drives are estimated to last at least 75% longer than the WD Green drives. This means that the WD Blue is significantly more useful for storage that needs to last the long haul.

However, cases that require steady usage over a long period are better suited to WD Greens. Stuff like security camera footage storage — think surveillance systems — are one of the more common uses for WD Greens.

Everyday Use
Western Digital 2TB WD Blue
  • Max RPM: 7200
  • Form factor: 3.5 inches HDD
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Includes free access to WD's Acronis True Image software
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11/28/2023 01:53 am GMT

In addition to hours, drive reliability is often measured in Tera-Bytes Written, or TBW. This is how much data a can drive can write before it experiences failure.

For the WD Blue and WD Green drives, this number is rated based on the storage capacity of the drive and form factor, as HDDs will have significantly lower TBW ratings than NVME M.2 SSDs. 

Sequential Read Speed

The sequential read speed of a hard drive is a measure of how quickly larger-sized files can be read from the device. This is important if you are using the drive for large files such as games or even your computer’s OS.

Speeds are typically measured in Megabits Per Second, or MB/s. As 2.5-inch solid-state drives, the WD Blue and the WD Green have a similar sequential read speed of 560 MB/s and 545 MB/s, respectively. 

The difference between the WD Blue and WD Green drives, in this case, comes down to only 15 MB/s. Ultimately, this means the time it takes for both drives to read a data file will feel nearly the same in most real-world settings. Speeds within the range of 560 and 545 MB/s make both of these drives great options for daily computing tasks.

Both the WD Green and WD Blue are capable of gaming, storing an operating system, and other tasks that involve moving large file sizes. If you want the fastest option, though, make sure you pick the SSD version.

Solid-state storage is typically faster, and best used as your primary drive. You’ll enjoy faster bootup speeds and shorter loading times with an SSD as your main drive.

2 WD Blue HDDs
The WD Blue drive on the left is a 3.5″ model designed for use in desktop computers, while the one on the right is a 2.5″ model intended for laptop use.


Sequential Write Speed

OK, so you understand the read speed. But that is not the only measure of performance. Sequential write speed is the measurement of how quickly large files can be written to a device. This is important for file transfers and is the primary function of “loading.”

When you are loading into a game or into an application, the speed at which that application loads is going to be based, in part, on the sequential write speed of the drive that file is stored on. 

At a difference of roughly 100 MB/s, the sequential write speeds of the WD Blue and WD Green differ greatly. While it depends on the exact file sizes, the WD Blue drive should perform around 30 to 50% faster than WD Green when it comes to writing files.

Using gaming as an example, this means your load times will be noticeably shorter when using the WD Blue when compared to the WD Green. 


Both WD Green and Blue are available with the same selection of interfaces. However, it’s important to bring up, even if it isn’t a differentiating factor between Green and Blue, since the interface contributes to the speed and performance of a storage device.

You’ll often see two distinctions regarding a drive’s interface: SATA or PCIe. Drives that use a PCIe interface directly with your motherboard have much higher bandwidth.

The substantially higher bandwidth easily results in improved performance, so it is common to see this format used for SSDs instead of HDDs.

Light Use
Western Digital 1TB WD Green Internal SSD
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Form factor: 2.5" SSD
  • Shock-resistant design for enhanced durability
  • Features SLC for better write performance
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11/28/2023 02:02 am GMT

On the other hand, SATA is an older type of interface. This type of connection uses a SATA cable to connect the drive to the motherboard.

While fast enough for most uses, the lower bandwidth means they are not nearly as fast as PCIe drives. You’ll typically see larger drives (such as 2.5″ and 3.5″ models) using the SATA interface.

The actual speed differences will depend largely on which model drive you have, such as a WD Blue or Green. But SATA format drives will offer a throughput of roughly 600 MB/s, whereas PCIe interfaces can reach speeds up to 2000 MB/s.

WD Green vs. Blue
Pictured above are two 3.5″ SATA drives: a 1TB WD Blue with a 7,200 RPM spindle speed and a 2TB WD Green with a slower 5,400 RPM spindle speed.


WD Green vs. Blue: 6 Must-Know Facts

  1. The WD Blue series of drives is a high-performance drive that is designed for use in desktop computers, laptops, or all-in-one (AiO) PCs. 
  2. The WD Green series of drives is a lower-powered drive designed for use in desktop computers, laptops, and all-in-one PCs.
  3. WD Blue drives can be bought as HDDs, SSDs, or NVME M.2 SSDs
  4. WD Green drives can also be bought as HDDs, SSDs, or NVME M.2 SSDs.
  5. The Warranty ranges on both the WD Blue and Green, depending on the form factor. For HDDs, the warranty for both is two years, three years for 2.5-inch SSDs, and five years for NVME M.2.
  6. WD Green drives are more eco-friendly than their Blue counterparts. Plus, they generate less heat than traditional drives. All of this makes them a great choice for energy-conscious use cases such as surveillance systems and servers.

WD Green vs. Blue: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

As we’ve covered, the WD Blue and WD Green are both types of drives from Western Digital. They differ slightly in performance and lifespan. But you can pick the best drive by asking yourself what you’re using it for. 

Building a gaming PC? WD Blue. Building a security system? WD Green. Want performance? WD Blue. Want energy savings? WD Green. It really is that simple.

Ultimately, the WD Blue series of drives is the better one to buy. However, this doesn’t mean the WD Green is useless. It’s a great budget option for PC builders customizing an office computer, or for day-to-day users who don’t plan on gaming or transferring large file sizes. 

WD Green drives are more efficient, but they’re slower. The Blue drive is more suitable for power users, gamers, and creative users. The WD Green drive is more suitable for casual use.

If you are a gamer or content creator, we would suggest going with a WD Blue drive, particularly a WD Blue NVMe SSD. However, if you are on a strict budget or don’t plan on gaming, the WD Green is a great drive for normal computing use.

We hope this has made it easier for you to decide between buying a WD Blue or WD Green drive. Neither are bad choices. Plus, the eco-friendliness and low heat of the WD Green is great. But if you will be using intensive software that writes a lot of data, gaming, or video editing, it’s better to stick with the WD Blue.

Our Pick
WD20EARS Western Digital HDD 2TB
  • 3.5-inch hard disk form factor
  • Serial ATA interface
  • Rotational speed: 5400 RPM
  • Flash memory size: 2TB
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11/28/2023 02:02 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WD Blue the fastest WD drive?

No, the fastest drive from Western Digital is the WD Black series of drives. These are rated to be about 15% faster than WD Blue.

Is the WD Green SSD for gaming?

The WD Blue SSD is a better choice for gamers thanks to its faster write speed, however, Green drives are less expensive and can still be used for gaming, but you will deal with slower load times.

What is the WD Green good for?

WD Green drives are great to use as secondary drives or as drives in external enclosures. This is because WD Green drives typically are quieter and run at a lower temperature than WD Blue drives.

What is the WD Blue good for?

WD Blue drives are designed to be the primary drive in a laptop or computer and provide a better writing experience for creative applications, gaming, and other tasks that involve large file sizes.

Are there other WD Colors?

Yes, in addition to the WD Green and WD Blue series, Western Digital also produces WD Red which is intended for NAS use, and WD Black, which is intended for high-performance gaming. And WD Purple, which is intended for 24/7 security camera recording systems.

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