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

By - Source: Western Digital | B 29 comments

This 2.5 inch drive combines an SSD with an HDD.

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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  • 0 Hide
    bochica , November 25, 2013 4:01 PM
    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.
  • 4 Hide
    PepitoTV , November 25, 2013 4:04 PM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    m32 , November 25, 2013 4:05 PM
    I can't wait to see some reviews about this.
  • Display all 29 comments.
  • 8 Hide
    JohnPMyers , November 25, 2013 4:12 PM
    Quote:
    I can't wait to see some reviews about this.


    http://www.techwarelabs.com/western-digital-black%C2%B2-dual-drive-review-two-drives-in-one/

    http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Storage/Western-Digital-Black2-Dual-Drive-Full-Review-120GB-SSD-1TB-HDD-single-25-package

    Having both an SSD and an HDD are going to be faster than this. That's why the intended market is laptops/notebooks that only have 1 HDD bay and that also need a nice amount of storage space. For them, this idea is brilliant.
  • 7 Hide
    SlitWeaver , November 25, 2013 4:35 PM
    This drive would be perfect for Mini-ITX cases with limited drive bays. For instance, the newly released EVGA Hadron Air only supports 2 hard drives in total.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 25, 2013 5:39 PM
    http://www.storagereview.com/wd_black2_ssd_hdd_review

    The SSD isn't the fastest and the hard drive has no hybrid portion itself and is 5400RPM. But the SSD is plenty fast for any desktop/laptop user. The 2 drives show up as 2 drives in 'My Computer.' No native support, needs windows drivers, otherwise you will only see the SSD portion.

    I think it's a great product and over time the price will come down. Would be nice if the mechanical drive had 16GB of flash to work with too, and a 256GB SSD option.

    My only concern with the device is that the controller is kind of unstable if you try to intensively access the mechanical and SSD drive simultaneously, storagereview found. WD will probably revise the firmware.
  • 1 Hide
    tsnor , November 25, 2013 7:03 PM
    If the laptop has a MSATA slot free then buying a normal disk drive and an msata SSD would be much cheaper. (disk = $100, 120GB ssd MSATA = $100-$125. vs. current newegg for the WD Black2 = $300.) For $300 you could get a 256GB msata ssd and the 1TB slow drive.
  • 0 Hide
    awesomedude911 , November 25, 2013 7:06 PM
    it will only be good if the price is right, why pay more for "New" technology?
  • 0 Hide
    alextheblue , November 25, 2013 7:23 PM
    Great for SFF and laptops if you're an advanced user. For the tech illiterate? Smart caching is better. I'd really like to see something like Seagate's software-agnostic hybrid, only with 64GB+ of fast cache. Their existing models were OK for a while (I used one of their last 7200RPM models, it was pretty fast for a large laptop drive), but they've fallen behind and now they just seem dated.
  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , November 25, 2013 8:54 PM
    Quote:
    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.


    I am not sure why anyone buys Velociraptors as their price is not really worth it. A Seagate 1/2TB HDD (the 1TB platter ones) already push almost 200MB/s + and the IOPS on Velociraptors is still low.

    When I worked at a PC shop we had a customer buy our top end build only to take out the 120GB Samsung 840 and replace it with a 640GB Velociraptor then had us install Windows on the 1TB WD Blue and he put FSX on the VR.

    This is the first thing WD has done for a while I would be interested in design wise. Their Blacks are no longer the fastest 7200RPM drive and only their REs have any real world use as their Greens and Blues are not supposed to be put in RAID of any kind.
  • 0 Hide
    FlyTexas , November 25, 2013 9:03 PM
    This drive is already expensive at list, hopefully it actually drops in price to $200 pretty quickly.

    As it stands, 1TB Samsung SSDs are below $600, so the need for this type of drive is going away pretty fast.

    A 500GB SSD is right around $300 these days, I know this dual drive has more space, but for the average user, a single 500GB SSD is likely to be a better choice than this thing is.
  • 0 Hide
    bochica , November 25, 2013 9:52 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    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.


    I am not sure why anyone buys Velociraptors as their price is not really worth it. A Seagate 1/2TB HDD (the 1TB platter ones) already push almost 200MB/s + and the IOPS on Velociraptors is still low.

    When I worked at a PC shop we had a customer buy our top end build only to take out the 120GB Samsung 840 and replace it with a 640GB Velociraptor then had us install Windows on the 1TB WD Blue and he put FSX on the VR.

    This is the first thing WD has done for a while I would be interested in design wise. Their Blacks are no longer the fastest 7200RPM drive and only their REs have any real world use as their Greens and Blues are not supposed to be put in RAID of any kind.


    Western Digital updated the Black's last month (FZEX model), giving a nice little speed boost (hitting around 170 -180 MB/s in read and writes). - http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2013/11/13/western-digital-4-tb-roundup-black-vs-enterprise.aspx

    The current Velociraptor's perform 200 MB/s+ speeds. The Barracuda with the 1TB platters reach around 160 MB/s speeds when done in comparison tests (unless they have upgraded them that much in the past year). - http://www.storagereview.com/western_digital_velociraptor_1tb_review

    You may have to specify which hard drive you are specifically referring to.
  • 0 Hide
    outlw6669 , November 25, 2013 11:05 PM
    This would work great as the boot drive in my HTPC.
    It is just to bad that it costs to much for the combination of an underwhelming SSD and underwhelming 1TB drive.
    Hopefully they sell enough of them to justify investing into their R&D next generation to bring SSD performance up and pride down.
  • 0 Hide
    game junky , November 26, 2013 5:59 AM
    I like the concept - when deploying new workstations, it's a struggle to deliver high-speed performance and capacity without overspending on storage for a user laptop. I have been using a 120 or 250GB Samsung 840 Evo based on the used storage size of their current drive but this will make for another option for users who need more than 250GB of storage on their computer but not all of it has to be lightning quick. I am curious to see how it's broken down - is it like the other hybrid drives on the market where it caches files based on frequency of access or will it have 2 separate partitions to map in order to segregate the different formats.
  • 0 Hide
    bigpoppastuke , November 26, 2013 6:17 AM
    I'm curious to know if this would fit in a PS4 and actually work.
  • 0 Hide
    bunz_of_steel , November 26, 2013 6:24 AM
    For $300..... heck no
  • 0 Hide
    Innocent_Bystander , November 26, 2013 7:55 AM
    Sorry WD, I just picked up a Kingston HyperX 240GB drive for my laptop... If they had introduced this a week ago, it would have been a no-brainer.
  • 1 Hide
    ram1009 , November 26, 2013 8:04 AM
    This doesn't make any sense for a desktop. It costs more than two equivalent drives and negates the reliability advantage of the SSD.
  • 3 Hide
    soldier44 , November 26, 2013 9:33 AM
    Just drop the price of 1Tb ssd drives to $299 and I'll be all over a couple of them. Instead of a half assed hybrid.
  • 0 Hide
    takeshi7 , November 26, 2013 10:11 AM
    bigpoppastuke,

    This drive wouldn't work in the PS4. It needs special Windows only drivers to access the HDD portion of the drive.
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