Western Digital Black2 1TB SSD + HDD Combo: An Honest Review
Want to enjoy the lightning speed of a solid state drive (SSD) and the spacious capacity of a hard drive? Then you must get Western Digital Black 2.
Western Digital Black2 1TB SSD & HDD Combo is for anyone looking towards speed and capacity on a low budget. It is a medium-range storage drive produced around three years ago by Western Digital (WD).
Known for its innovations, WD literally packed two different storage drives, one 120GB SSD, and one 1TB HDD, together into a 2.5-inch form-factor to make a [dual-drive] combo black2 hybrid. It is not a hybrid drive in the logical sense, but shares one data interface, making it a dual-hybrid-drive.
The merger of the drives has increased its size to 9mm instead of 7mm (a norm for laptop hard drives). With a 9mm size, the drive may not fit in all laptop cases, so the users need to check their laptop before they buy this dual-drive.
Our recommendation is that those users who are genuinely interested in increasing the fetching speed of their computers but are too tight on budget and cannot afford a decent 512GB SSD can get benefit from this SSD, HDD combo.
As the drive is a mix of 120GB SSD and 1TB HDD, it is advisable to install OS and programs on the SSD while to keep the documents and files on the hard drive part of the dual-storage.
The drive has ample storage and will be useful for laptop users looking to satisfy higher-storage needs on a decent budget.
Western Digital Black2 1TB SSD + HDD Combo: Overview
Let’s see what the WD Black 2 SSD+HDD combo has to offer the users.
- A decent dual drive with 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD storage
- World’s first dual-drive storage
- Built for laptops, desktops, mobile workstations, small form-factor PCs and higher performance notebook computers
- Includes a Web key, quick install guide, USB to SATA transfer cable and Acronis true image data transfer suite (available free on the manufacturer’s website)
WD Black2 Dual-Drive Working & Installation:
The drive is easy to assemble. When you attach the drive for the first time, there is a chance that your computer won’t pick it up. This is because newer drives are shipped unformatted, unless of course you purchase it from a retailer – most retailers have tested the drives for performance, so you won’t need to format it then.
The SSD will appear automatically when the PC boots up. But the hard drive will only be accessible after you install a software driver. It also means that the drive is not suitable for NAS boxes and RAID and you probably won’t be able to use it in your gaming servers. It is also not supported by MAC OS, so it is a ‘negative’ for the apple lovers.
To install Windows OS, you have two options i.e. either to clone a partition of your current drive on it or to start afresh. And then install the software for the hard drive. You can also copy data over to the hard drive using the Acronis True Image utility specifically provided with the hard drive on the manufacturer’s websites.
The WD also suggests to backup SSD drives’ content on the hard drive in case it fails.
Hard Drive Performance:
Spindle Speed: 5400RPM
Average Seek Time: 14ms
Drive Interface: SATA 6Gbps
The hard drive has a 5400 RPM so do not expect much performance benefits from this part of the Black2 dual-storage device. According to tests conducted by PC World, the hard drive gave a read speed of 81Mbps, while it gave a write speed of 59Mbps only. These numbers are decent for a 5400RPM hard drive because the Seagate Barracuda, a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive had lower read and write numbers then this model.
Solid State Drive Performance
- 120GB MLC NAND SSD
The dual-drive includes an MLC SSD drive of 120GBs. The benchmarks for the SSD were disapproving, especially the write-speed numbers. The test revealed that the drive had a read-speed of 360MBs and a write-speed of 150MBs.
In comparison with other SSD drives such as Toshiba Q Series Pro and OCZ Vertex 460, the write-speeds are critically low. Because the above mentioned drives had a write speed more than the read-speed, and all three are MLC SSD drives.
The drive is available for around 300$, and provides a price value of 0.28 cents per gigabyte. The price is low in comparison with 500GB MLC SSD drive available for around 500$, and providing a price value of 0.40 cents per gigabyte.
Pros and Cons:
- Provides more storage for the money
- Overall smooth performance
- Slow SSD write performance
- Driver required to access hard drive
- 9mm size; won’t fit it in all laptops
Our take is that the WD Black2 hard drive is not the fastest in the market, but as compared with 500GB SSD, it is not a disappointing purchase.