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Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1

Western Digital Debuts World's First SSD+HDD Dual Drive

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Or so they say since I seem to recall other similar implementations from other manufacturers some time ago. Not sure what makes this different.

quote:
2-in-1
Designed for enthusiasts, creative professionals, gamers and PC builders, the WD Black2 dual drive provides improved overall drive capacity, performance, and reliability, while offering the flexibility to choose how and where their data is stored. Utilizing the benefits of both flash and magnetic disks, WD Black2 dual drives offload data usage from the SSD to the HDD, which increases endurance and life of the SSD. Users maintain greater data control, which can eliminate the need and expense of cloud-based storage.

WD Black2 is free of caching algorithms and benefits from SATA 6 Gb/second interface speed. It is neatly packaged in a standard 9.5 mm, 2.5-inch form factor with legacy SATA connector, making the WD Black2 dual drive compatible with popular PC operating systems ranging from Windows XP to Windows 8.1.

Price and Availability
Available at wdstore.com and through etailers such as Newegg.com, WD Black2 dual drives are covered by a five-year limited warranty. MSRP for the 2.5-inch 120 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD WD Black2 dual drive, model #: (WD1001X06XDTL) is $299.00 USD. Additional information about WD Black2 dual drives and limited warranty terms may be found on the company website at »products.wd.com/wdblack2.
»www.techpowerup.com/194988/weste···ive.html

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···2%20dual

Not sure how WD is effectively managing an SSD and a HDD on a single SATA port but it sounds interesting.


Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2

Seagate has had a hybrid drive for quite awhile now, but the data storage was managed by the drive itself, not the user. And the SSD portion was much smaller. More of a cache than a drive.

I can see potential for something like this. Though with true SSD drives coming down in price AND getting bigger, I think WD may have brought this to market a little late.



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1

Right you are,....

And OCZ had a RevoDrive Hybrid PCIe solution with 100GB cache and 1TB capacity if I recall correctly. There were probably other solutions as well.

I often don't really make much of a distinction between a cache drive (SSD) and an standard SSD. Being able to manage storage on a small-ish SSD can be a boon but it can also be a pain depending on your point of view. Its good that the WD hybrid solution has the flexibility though.

I'll point out that a 120GB SSD can be readily found for well under $100 USD and a 1TB HDD can as well. So looking at the bill of materials puts the WD hybrid solution at a bit of price premium.

Edit:

The thing that I have a bit of trouble with is that this seems to be seen by the system as two distinct drives on a single SATA port? Or perhaps I am getting it wrong. Still seems odd to me either way,....



Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2

said by Octavean:

The thing that I have a bit of trouble with is that this seems to be seen by the system as two distinct drives on a single SATA port? Or perhaps I am getting it wrong. Still seems odd to me either way,....

That part I don't know. I would think it would show as 1 drive but somehow hard partitioned into the 120 and 1Tb.
I would imagine this drive is geared more for laptop users who don't have the space to just run separate drives.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to Octavean

It's nice to see them bounce from the 8GB of NAND on the Momentus XT to a full-on SSD, but this is hardly the first.

Hasn't Apple been integrating something similar?
--
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



The WeaseL
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Minnesota
reply to Octavean

I don't see this being a great choice for desktops for the same reasons Octavean mentioned. However in a laptop, this seems like a good choice. You can get a SSD for the OS and some Apps. 1 TB of big storage to hold everything else in a single drive.
--
How lucky am I to have known someone who is so hard to say good-bye to.



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to Camelot One

said by Camelot One:

said by Octavean:

The thing that I have a bit of trouble with is that this seems to be seen by the system as two distinct drives on a single SATA port? Or perhaps I am getting it wrong. Still seems odd to me either way,....

That part I don't know. I would think it would show as 1 drive but somehow hard partitioned into the 120 and 1Tb.
I would imagine this drive is geared more for laptop users who don't have the space to just run separate drives.

I suppose that makes sense. I'm still curious how they engineered this.

said by Krisnatharok:

Hasn't Apple been integrating something similar?

Are you referring to Apple's "Fusion Drive",....?

I always thought that was software based logic not a hardware hybrid.

n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
reply to Octavean

It's handy for laptops that don't have a mSATA port for a dedicated SSD, but that's about it. Weird setup requiring drivers to fully function, ho-hum SSD performance, and price. It's completely different from the Momentus XT so I wouldn't make any comparisons with it.
--
KI6RIT



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to Octavean

said by Octavean:

said by Krisnatharok:

Hasn't Apple been integrating something similar?

Are you referring to Apple's "Fusion Drive",....?

I always thought that was software based logic not a hardware hybrid.

Maybe. Possibly. I heard about it but it never piqued my interest as Apple always comes to the table second and then claims to be the first to come up with something.

in the case of the Fusion Drive, Apple has purposefully kept documentation of it to a minimum so consumers simply see "Fast!" "Fusion!" "2x the Speed!" and make a purchase.

Technically speaking, the Fusion Drive looks to be what WD is offering here... approximately 120GB of NAND flash paired with a mechanical drive. However, in Apple's case, they work in a closed environment and get to dictate what hardware works with the software, so they offload management of the NAND to the OS, which will move frequently-used files to the flash (the same thing the XT did with its 4GB of NAND via firmware, I believe).

In this case, WD tried playing the same card, even though the Momentus XT has been out for years. Granted, Seagate really dropped the ball on following up with a full-fledged SSD integrated with an mHDD.
--
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.


Bill
Premium,VIP
join:2001-12-09
reply to Octavean

It shows as one physical drive, but two separate logical volumes. The way they make it work is with the special installation program. Without that, you can only access the SSD.



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to Krisnatharok

People can actually make their own Fusion drive either on a Mac or a hack:

How to make your own Fusion Drive

Requirements are OS X 10.8.2 (or later), an SSD, a HDD and the ability to execute Terminal commands,....

said by Bill:

It shows as one physical drive, but two separate logical volumes. The way they make it work is with the special installation program. Without that, you can only access the SSD.

Sounds good as long as data isn’t hashed in some way and is easily accessible off the drive(s) should something go wrong.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

said by Octavean:

People can actually make their own Fusion drive either on a Mac or a hack:

How to make your own Fusion Drive

Requirements are OS X 10.8.2 (or later), an SSD, a HDD and the ability to execute Terminal commands,....

That is the benefit to the software implementation via Mac OS X.

I wonder if you could enjoy additional speed by using the latest 512 GB SSD...
--
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.


koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

3 edits
reply to Octavean

Edit: never mind what I've written. I just found this crap. Quoting:

quote:
Initially, the WD Black 2 only allows the OS to see the SSD. This is to insure there is no confusion when installing your operating system. After you have successfully installed the OS, you can then use the included USB Key to launch the software and unlock the HDD portion of the drive.

Absolutely mindless idiocy. This drive has one single selling demographic: laptops that want both an SSD and an MHDD (i.e. two drives), but obviously can't due to their form factor. Now people can have that... except through some kind of bizarre software shim.

This is not the drive I was waiting for. What I am waiting for is effectively what Seagate has on the market right now, except their SSHD drives only offer 8GB of MLC NAND (this is mindblowing -- think about how fast the NAND flash will exhaust given wear levelling and the limited capacity!) and I have a serious problem with Seagate and their "lets park the heads all the damn time" attitude on all their drives. Toshiba is offering more or less the same thing -- still with 8GB NAND flash (not to mention the write speeds are abysmal even for MHDDs).

So here I sit, still waiting for a 1TB MHDD that also has a large amount of NAND flash (say 120GB) to be used as a gigantic cache between the host controller and the MHDD itself. I wouldn't expect write speeds to necessarily be fast, but reads would be. And all this needs to be done at the drive/firmware level, not through weird things like Intel Smart Response Technology or other wonky software shims. C'est la vie, I guess.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1

I'm currently reading the TweakTown article you linked to on the WD Black ^2. However, I can say its a bit disheartening to see their implementation of a hybrid drive requiring software for HDD functionality.

One would think that their is only software for Windows which is great for Windows but will leave other OSes out in the cold.

I'll keep reading but my concern now is the question of recovering data from the HDD component of the hybrid drive if the system it was installed in should fail.



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to koitsu

I would love to see this in a 3.5" variant, or possibly at 1.5x thickness to accommodate an up-to-500GB SSD and a 2-3 TB mHDD, but then have it as you described, show as a single drive where the firmware takes care of shuttling data between the two physical drives. Then I could put my OS and Steam library (sitting at about 1.5TB of what I have downloaded right now) on a single volume and still see loading increases.

As it is now, it can be problematic to install new Steam or Origin games outside of the Steam directory (like to the SSD).
--
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2

said by Krisnatharok:

As it is now, it can be problematic to install new Steam or Origin games outside of the Steam directory (like to the SSD).

Why not just create a hard link to drop the Steam directory on the larger drive, while still making it think it is on C:?


Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2
reply to Octavean

said by Octavean:

now is the question of recovering data from the HDD component of the hybrid drive if the system it was installed in should fail.

Well now.....that is one hell of a good point.

n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
reply to Camelot One

I use Steam Mover as a quick frontend for that. Right now I have BioShock 2 on my SSD, and everything else on my RAID.
--
KI6RIT