WD Black2 is a 2-in-1 SSD, HDD Combo Drive

Western Digital (WD) introduced on Monday a "hybrid" drive for consumers that combines a 120 GB SSD with a 1 TB HDD, thus cramming the high-speed performance of the former and the cheap, high capacity of the latter into one 2.5 inch 9.5 mm form factor. This combo solution is designed for enthusiasts, system builders, gamers and creative professionals.

Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of WD's Storage Technology business unit, said on Monday that although the company provides Solid State Hybrid Drive solutions, "tech savvy" customers asked for more control over where data is stored. Thus, enter the WD Black2 dual drive, which offloads data usage from the SSD to the HDD, thanks to the company's "Shift_Technology," and it is free of caching algorithms.

"The WD Black2 dual drives empower our customers to enjoy SSD performance and access high capacity storage in a no-compromise package. The WD Black2 dual drive is a direct result of our interaction with our customer base through WD Labs initiatives. WD devised its beta labs program to provide an exclusive testing arena for key customers and technology influencers of existing and emerging WD storage products."

According to WD, Shift_Technology allows users to migrate larger files to the hard drive, providing the SSD with less system drag. With less caching involved, there's less waiting and a longer-lasting SSD. The SSD portion is based on a 20 nm architecture with quad channel NAND processing for increased speed and performance. There's also a custom controller for increased efficiency, and 8 GB of space dedicated for provisioning.

"WD Black2 combines the shock and vibration resistance of SSD with the proven technology of the HDD for one truly agile and highly reliable dual drive storage solution. Advanced firmware and intelligent algorithms assist in heightened performance, resulting in cooler temperatures with nearly inaudible operation," reads the product sheet.

The specs show that this unique dual drive connects via a SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) interface, provides read speeds of up to 350 MB/s, and has a minimum of 600,000 load/unload cycles. The drive uses a minimum of 0.90 watts and a maximum of 1.80 watts, and measures 0.374 x 3.95 x 2.75 inches. The Black2 ships as a full kit with a web key, quick install guide, USB to SATA transfer cable, and warranty information; software download and Internet connection are required for installation.

The WD Black2, model WD1001X06XDTL, is available directly from WD and through other retailers like Newegg for $299.99 USD. This should be an ideal gift for PC gamers this Christmas, which is exactly one month away from today. Wasn't it just Halloween?

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  • bochica
    I already bought a 256 Samsung PRO and 1 TB Velociraptor. Damnit WD! You took too long!

    Actually, I would like to see how real world numbers would do. The setup I have works pretty well. I almost went with Seagate's hybrid, but steered away from it for various reasons.
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  • PepitoTV
    Nice tech, however I feel that it's for a niche of small form factor systems or laptops, otherwise I don't think it justifies the pricetag versus just having two drives.
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  • m32
    I can't wait to see some reviews about this.
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