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  • nitram_tpr - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Ouch, that is one expensive drive. As you say, it appears to be the ideal solution for a laptop with only a single drive bay. I think there is another option - change the HDD for an SSD and put the HDD into the optical drive bay with an adapter. Reply
  • ddriver - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    It is kind of expensive and kind a slow and power hungry for an SSD, but still it is essentially 2 hard drives in one. I would actually get this if the SSD part was a tiny bit better. I don't think the presence of mechanical drive in the case mandates the SSD performance be any lower. I think I will just install an extra drive in the optical drive bay, seriously DELL what were you thinking who uses optical storage in 2012? Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link


    Thanks Dell for considering :-)
  • ddriver - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Poor you :) I maintain about 20 TB of data, in the past the database was much smaller so I used to back it up on CDs, then DVDs, but the damn things are just too slow, unreliable, small and the cost of storage was very high. It was this moment I began hating optical storage with passion, my life got marginally better when I destroyed all optical disks and moved everything to hard drives - faster, cheaper, more compact and reliable.

    I know manufacturers provide installation disks which some people end up using for years, failing to realize the software on that disk is usually out of data before they even made the purchase.

    And for all scenarios a hard drive is overkill there is the USB flash drive.

    I guess optical storage makes some sense on consoles and/or media center PCs, if you watch many bluray or dvd movies, but for everything else... meh... and on that dell laptop it is just dead weight and battery drain.
  • Morawka - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Try blu ray man, blu ray's will match HDD's capacity in the near future. At present, it can already match SSD's capacity of 128GB.

    The blu ray tech is good up to 25 layers @ 32 GB per layer = 800 GB

    Optical is far from dead when America has some of the worst bandwidth in the world.
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    So I'd need 5 Blu-ray discs per hard drive, which would take 15 hours to write at 16x speed. Reply
  • JHBoricua - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    But what happens when one of those 4TB drives fails? Assuming you have them in a RAID array, it will probably take as long or longer for the array to rebuild, not to mention that at those capacities, the risk of another drive failing during the rebuild are simply too great if you care about your data. Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    I don't raid, I just backup. This is IMO better. I could raid something for performance but never for safety. Reply
  • name99 - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    Jesus, You sound like iOmega with the endless succession of ZIP and JAZ drives, or Cringely talking up his aluminum foil based drive (which still has not seen the light of day).
    So the best Blu-Ray could do (in drives that don't exist, using disks that don't exist) is a very slow version of a drive that I can buy for around $50?
    Good luck getting rich with that particular technology.

    Optical is dead dead dead. And quit whining about "worst bandwidth in the world" you drama queen. Go to a real third world country and see what really bad connectivity looks like. The only problem most Americans have is that they will have to wait five minutes for their drivers to download rather than 20 seconds. That's just not enough pain to keep optical relevant.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, February 01, 2014 - link

    you forget the very restrictive bandwidth caps, the terrible customer service, the awful reliability, the throttling of data, the list goes on. Reply
  • apoe - Friday, February 07, 2014 - link

    People think US internet speeds are slow? When I lived in China, 50 kb/s was considered really fast. In the US, with a standard ISP, I can download Steam games at 6 MB / s, 120 times faster. According to Forbes, the US is in the top 10 for fastest internet speeds, but nothing tops South Korea. Helpful that plenty of larger datacenters are located here too. Reply
  • xKrNMBoYx - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Try downloading a game or program that is 20-50+ GB constantly. That eats bandwidth and datacap. With out optical drives your left having to download everything or do multi step transfer from disk to computer to another computer. There are external optical drives but that is another story. There will never be a time where optical drives become obsolete until ISP invest more in speed/reliability with lower prices. Then there's the group of people that wouldn't use the internet either. Reply
  • JMcGrath - Sunday, February 09, 2014 - link

    @Morawka -

    Forget Blu Ray, it will be left far behind in the (fairly) near future. I won't go as far as saying that BD is obsolete or going to be for quite a while, BD has far too much influence in the current movie industry or in the near future - even with 4K already hitting the markets a lot faster than people ever thought possible.

    However, as other people have stated BD is simply not a feasible solution going forward. It has served it's purpose for many years now, but just like CD and DVD better technologies will replace it with larger and faster storage mediums.

    I think it's too hard to say what will become the dominant technology in the near future, and hopefully we won't have to go through another BD vs HD-DVD type war again(!) but there are a number of different technologies in the works, many of which have already shown working prototypes to replace the aging BD tech.

    Most of these tech's have gone with either smaller track widths and laser technologies, additional layers or a combination of the two. However, there is one new technology that sounds very promising, and one I believe (and hope) will become the adopted standard - Holographic Discs!

    As the focus on ultra high resolutions and the aim for "retina" type displays, deeper color depths and shading, and higher true refresh rates (4K/60 or 4K/120 for example) new technologies will be needed. Most internet connections - even the fastest available in most areas - won't support these extreme bitrates, and BD simply can't keep up either.

    I have seen demo's of everything from true 24-bit color panels, 60hz and 120hz 4K via HDMI 2.0 or DP 1.2+, multi-panel / multi-head displays de-multiplexed (demuxed) showing true 23:9 content at 11280x4320P @ 120hz using multiple DP/HDMI connections.

    When talking about just the current standard 4K/30 on an RGB 4:4:4, 12-bit panel, you're talking about:

    3840 * 2160 * 36 * 30 = 8,957,952,000 bps / 8 = 373,248,000 bytes/s...
    =1.04GB/s, that's 3.67TB/hour (uncompressed, true 2160P)!!

    That's 62.6GB / minute or just over 7.33TB for a 2 hour long movie, and this is excluding audio!!

    Now, add in new technologies (coming very soon) like 24-bit color, 60FPS, and the *real* widescreen aspect and you're looking at closer to 367.6GB/s and 43TB for a 2 hour movie!

    I haven't kept a real close eye on the holographic disc technology lately, I know it was originally created by GE (who actually had a working, but smaller 4TB/Layer, proto ~3 years ago!) The discs themselves look identical to a CD/DVD/BD, but rather than using a single laser on 1 linear track, the drive uses multiple lasers at different angles. The possibilities are really endless considering the technology itself is no different than current media, just add 2 more lasers @ 45 degrees and you increase density by 300%, add 2 more @ 30 degrees and you've increased it 500%, 2 more lasers @ 15 degrees... you get the idea.

    The last I remember reading about the technology was that they had the working 4TB/Layer model that I mentioned, but were also working on using additional lasers and a finer track which would allow them as much as 40-80TB in the future!!

    BD won the last round because Sony had such a large influence on the market, especially with the PS3 hitting the market at the same time as BD/HD-DVD players and HDTV's becoming mainstream. It remains to be seen what will be the driving factor this time around, but with a company as large as GE behind the wheel and the demand in large data centers for backup I think holographic discs stand a good chance at winning the next round.

    For everyone out there that works in a large DC using automated tape backups or cloud based backups, imagine being able to not only store 80/160/320TB on a single disc the size of a CD but being able to do it in less than 2 hours!! Considering you could write 80TB in 2 hours and assuming they release PC writers @ 2X, 4X, 8X, etc you could backup an entire enterprise data center in less than an hour, throw it in a small fire/water proof safe, and you're done!
  • patrickjchase - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    This is tangential, but...

    I have similar backup needs, and faced similar issues with OD unreliability (and also with HDD failures for that matter). I ended up developing my own archiver that stripes backup files across multiple drives/disks (optical or HDD). It calculates and embeds strong block-level checksums, and provides RAID6-style Reed-Solomon-code based redundancy within each block-sized stripe. In particular it can tolerate up to 2 block-checksum failures in each stripe (for for example if I stripe across 7 Blu-Ray disks I can tolerate read errors from any 2 within any given block-sized stripe), which means that it can tolerate a *lot* of optical disk read errors. I intentionally degraded (read: scratched up) a backup set such that every disk yielded a very large number of read errors, but the backup payload as a whole was recoverable.

    With that in mind, I find that optical (Blu-Ray) media remain very useful for backups due to their superior shock/vibration/environmental tolerance as compared to hard drives. If I were using them without my archiver I'd be pretty worried, though :-).
  • Navvie - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    I'd be very, very interested in seeing this software! Reply
  • Solandri - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    We did that on Usenet in the 1990s. When posting a big binary (e.g. a TV show episode) you had to break it up into multiple parts to fit within the Usenet post length limit. So you might break the TV show into 50 compressed archive files (usually RAR). The problem was Usenet would frequently fail to propagate a file. So even though you posted 50, many sites might only get 49 or 47. The solution was to add parity files. So you'd post the original 50 archive files (RAR) and 5 parity files (PAR).

    Any 50 of those 55 files would allow you to recreate the original video file. You could vary the number of parity files, but about 10% was typical.

    When I was backing up stuff to DVD, I found and downloaded newer versions of the old parity programs. I broke up my backups into enough archive files and parity files that I could lose large portions of several disks, or even an entire disk and still recover my backup. Your block-level parity checksums sounds like it would be more robust and transparent, but I only had to use freely downloadable tools.
  • Navvie - Monday, February 03, 2014 - link

    When I read patrickjchase's comment my first thought was "that's exactly like usenet." Reply
  • peter64 - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    Yes, thank you Dell for making devices are easily user upgraded. I hate all these other notebooks being completely sealed. You can't even replace the battery. Reply
  • peter64 - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    I bet if Dell didn't put that removable optical drive in there, your notebook won't have a 2nd hard drive at all.

    Thanks Dell for giving people options and post-purchase upgrade ability during times of sealed non-user upgradeable devices.
  • Johnmcl7 - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    I think it would have been the ideal solution for a single drive perhaps last year but I think it's too late and too expensive as the Crucial M500 960GB is now under £330. While that's still a bit more expensive than this drive it's much neater (one drive instead of two) and I assume power consumption and heat would be better as well. That's the option I'd go for on a machine now, if they'd managed a 2TB drive for this price it would be a lot more attractive as that would put it beyond what's affordable with SSD's at the moment. I realise there are technical difficulties with 2TB 2.5in drives (I don't know if there's any standard drives available in this capacity) but they have to move forward at some point. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Yeah, with the current product choices and price point they're effectively betting "People, please don't buy this!" and will probably wonder about low sales at some point. Seagate introduced a 2 TB 2.5" drive with standard 9.5 mm height a few months ago - that's pretty impressive, but might not have enough space left for an mSATA SSD due to it using 3 platters. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    For $300, you could easily get a ~500GB SSD.

    I feel like the black2 @ $300 is only useful for people that absolutely need that extra 620GB of storage in a single 2.5" drive.
  • hucklongfin - Saturday, February 01, 2014 - link

    I guess I'm old (and I am), but I remember paying $700 for a 70mb drive (Micropolis?) back in the late 80's and not asking too many questions because I assumed it "fell" off the back of a truck.. I put it in my ALR 386 with a 1006 1:1 controller. It was the bomb back in the day. I have a long memory so lot of stuff doesn't seem that expensive to me! Reply
  • Frangelina - Saturday, February 01, 2014 - link

    That's what I did to my 8470p. An M4 256 and a momentus XT500 I bought a year ago at NE for $79 in a caddy for the DVD slot. Reply
  • Tuvok86 - Thursday, February 06, 2014 - link

    This is exactly what I did years ago, upgraded to 128GB ssd and switched the cd drive with the stock 500GB hd.
    This thing would have been great at that time but nowadays, seriously, you can get a 500GB ssd, even preinstalled, even cheaper. Too little, too late.
  • philipma1957 - Thursday, February 06, 2014 - link

    price is way too high . 290 for 1.12 tb storage a crucial 960gb ssd is 400 on sale a samsung 1tb ssd is 500 on sale. why pay 290 for a clearly inferior product. Now if it was 250 gb plus 1.5tb for 290 it would make some sense. Reply
  • twtech - Saturday, February 15, 2014 - link

    Even in the case where you need a lot of storage with just one bay, I'd argue that a 1TB SSD would still be a significantly superior option from a performance and power consumption standpoint, and you can buy a Samsung 840 series on Newegg right now for only a couple hundred dollars more. So that even further narrows the target market for this drive. Reply
  • danwat1234 - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    Now it's only $130 on Newegg!! Reply
  • Aseries - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    The real world price of this device is down to $128 at Amazon. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    So being a manually managed dual disk, could someone configure this as a Fusion Drive or similar? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    There is no official Mac support, so maybe. I just tried using the drive in OS X and added my findings but unfortunately I don't have the tools to properly test it in a Mac. Reply
  • Maltz - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    To create a Fusion drive, you have to have two separate devices, not partitions. This drive shows up as a single device. Reply
  • name99 - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    I don't think that's true. diskutil (in the command line) is crazy tolerant of gluing all sorts of weird shit together. The GUI is much more strict.
    What you MIGHT have to do if first run
    diskutil ar create concat ...
    to convert each partition to an AR2 partition. You can then run diskutil cs to fuse these partitions together. As a general principle, whenever diskutil refuses to do something with a raw partition, wrapping it in an AR2 partition will get the job done.
  • Calinou__ - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    This drive is the first Windrive. Reply
  • Panzerknacker - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Very smart and interesting how they designed this. Considering the separation between SSD and HDD happens on LBA level and is based on the partition table, I don't understand why a driver is required though. This should work out of the box. Could you test this a bit more? Reply
  • Xajel - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    As they stated, it's a limitation of the SATA protocol, SATA is a point-to-point protocol, means you can't connect more than one device to the same SATA port... there's an un-required extension to the SATA protocol which is called SATA multiplier, basically it's a chip in the other hand of the SATA cable ( of course not in the cable it self ) that will take a single SATA cable and connect it to multiple drives... though it's not available in all chipsets as it's not required...

    I still hope WD will come with another version with such support, or who knows, maybe a small switch to select between which mode you want, but that will require more space for such switching... but my main concern with these approaches is when one of the drives fails ( after warranty goes )... you will loose a hell !!

    In the mean while, I feel the best solution is to find a laptop with both mSATA and 2.5" SATA so you will not worry about one of the drives failing and you loose both...
  • Panzerknacker - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    No this is not true. As they stated, separation between the SSD and HDD happens INSIDE the drive, by means of a system which sends I/0 targeted at the first 120gb of the drive's sectors to the SSD, and I/0 targeted at the rest of the sectors to the HDD. The system in which the Black 2 is installed should see only one 1120GB disk with 2 partitions (default). I don't understand why this would require a driver because the system does NOT know or need to know what's going on inside the drive as long as you don't mess with the default partition layout. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    The 2 partitions in one drive thing only happens after the drivers are installed. It's implemented using port multiplication which means that it has 2 different drives hanging off a single sata port. Some older computers didn't come with support for it, so WD used the looks like only a 120GB drive by default kludge for wider spread compatibility.

    While I understand the need for back compatibility, and wouldn't have a problem if they defaulted to legacy support; I do wish they provided an option either in a configuration app or via a jumper selection that would let it expose itself as a pair of port multiplied drives for systems that do support the feature without having to go through WDs indirection layer.
  • extide - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Yeah but thats not the case. Panzerknacker is right. If it truly was port multiplication then the computer would see two individual drives. Instead it sees one big one. Theoretically it should be able to work without a driver and show up as a single drive, its kinda like a JBOD of the SSD + HDD built into the drive. That shouldn't need any drivers.

    Also, is there linux support for this?
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Not officially but once the partitions have been set in Windows they show up fine in Linux and OS X. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Once the partitions are set, do they show up in a different Windows box that doesn't have the drivers installed? If so, they're not really drivers, they're just a one-off utility to create the partitions. Reply
  • arturoh - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    It does sound like the WD "driver" just sets up the partition table in MBR to point to the correct places. It'd be nice if WD provides a Linux utility or, even better, gives steps using existing Linux tools to correctly setup the MBR. Reply
  • arturoh - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    I'd like know if WD plans to provide a utility to set it up under Linux. Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    SATA expanders demonstrate that most chipsets do support multiple devices per SATA port. Reply
  • oranos - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    SSD is pretty much standard. HDD is too much of a bottleneck in performance system now. Reply
  • kepstin - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    I'm rather curious whether this dual drive would show up correctly, with space from both disks available, in Linux.

    Not that I would pick it up, I've already gone the dual drive route with a SanDisk extreme II and a hard drive in the (former) optical bay.
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    It does. Reply
  • Panzerknacker - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Like I said above, it should, and it's the reason I think it should not require a driver. Would be nice if this can be tested. If someone is gonna test this, please use a OLDER linux distro to make sure that there is no specific driver included. Reply
  • calyth - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    If they required a driver for windows so that the 2 drives shows up on the same partition table, I wouldn't count on Linux support yet.

    Unless WD sends a bunch to some linux hw devs ;)
  • Maltz - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Except that it works fine on a Mac without drivers... once it's partitioned in Windows. I suspect the driver is only important or needed in the partitioning process. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    What a joke. For $300 you can just buy a 512GB SSD and not have to deal with a 2nd partition that might just decide to disappear at any moment due to its odd driver dependency. There's actually one on sale right now for $260. What is WD smoking? Reply
  • LauRoman - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    As i understand it it is not a weird driver dependency. The driver is really only needed to flip a switch that woun't suddenly flip back by itself, even if you destroy the drive's mbr/gpt. It should work in any os after the switch is flipped. I don't know if you need a Windows install to switch it on though. Reply
  • Panzerknacker - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Exactly, that's what I'm thinking as well, the driver is only used to flip a certain switch that's unique in this particular drive. Now that I'm thinking of it they probably did this to help with installing Windows. When installing Windows the installer will only find the 120gb partition, Windows has the strange behaviour of messing around with partitions during installation and putting system stuff on other partitions. Normally you can disconnect the other drives in the system, not on this one ofc because it's 2 in 1. Then when everything is installed you can enable the other partition with the switch triggered by the driver.

    I'd wonder how you would do this without Windows tho, they should also include a hardware switch.
  • mikato - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    I HATE that. Detaching everything but the SSD is standard procedure during Windows installation now because of that. It's a nasty surprise when you decided to take out your hard drive or switch it with another only to find that Windows won't boot now, even when you had installed Windows on the SSD! Do you know if Windows 8 does this? Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    It's been a long time since WD truly impressed me with a new product. Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    I've seen the 1TB Samsung 840 EVO go under $500. If you gave me the choice between paying $300 for a slow 1TB HDD with a pretty terrible 120GB SSD, or paying $500 for a fast 1TB SSD, which do you think I'd pick?

    About the only thing that could make the WD solution interesting is if it offered a substantially more attractive price than the SSD (and "somewhat cheaper" isn't), and if it had the SSD caching solution in hardware so that it could just be plugged in and used as a normal drive.

    With a full 1TB SSD costing not much more than this thing, it's not useful for the "notebook with only one 2.5" slot" scenario... or any other scenario.
  • coolhund - Sunday, February 09, 2014 - link

    Exactly. Also keep in mind that SSD prices keep falling and falling, while HDDs still havent gotten back to the prices that we had before that 'flood' and are not really getting cheaper nowadays. And thats why it will fail, just like the hybrid ones. I think it will actually fail even more. Reply
  • mobutu - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Too little, Too late

    I mean with very good 1TB SSDs ready to go mainstream at 400-500USD this wd2 is completely useless, especially for all the people that already use SSDs and know what a tremendous impact it has over a hdd dinosaur (performance/power/heat/silence/formfactor) (msata at 1TB already gimme a break must be a joke to look at wd2).

    HDDs are close to extinct, it is a matter of time/price until they'll dissapear completely exactly like the FDD ... both are/were huge bottleneck to a system.
  • chizow - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    I thought this was pretty useless when it was announced a few months ago, but with the increasing popularity of SFF and NUC-like devices, this drive would be perfect. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Or you could just get a 1TB SSD, this drive isn't that much cheaper. Reply
  • chizow - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    Hmm yeah you're right, I didn't know this was priced so high at $290 and 1TB SSDs are in that $500-600 range now from what I've seen.

    This would probably need to drop down to ~$180 to be worthwhile, based on pricing of a 120SSD ($80ish) and 1TB 2.5" HDD ($80) with a small premium for combined slot.
  • Braumin - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    This is a bit silly. If they had gone to the trouble of merging the two into a single logical unit, it would make more sense.

    As you rightly pointed out - it makes little sense to anyone. If you need more space, you can do that in so many other ways...

    This needed to be like the Fusion drive or it's DOA.
  • Mayuyu - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Dead on Arrival. Device makers don't believe that consumers can handle a file manager. WD thinks people want to separate their files between a hard drive and a SSD? Reply
  • mikato - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    I'm not giving it to my parents, that's for sure. They only get single drive systems. It may be an SSD if they keep dropping in price. Reply
  • speculatrix - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Am I the only person who on seeing the picture of someone holding the nSATA card by its connector thinks "well, that's part ruined... likely to die early from ESD, or corrosion on the edge connector"? Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    The devices held like that for marketing purposes are often defective parts already. Reply
  • Gasaraki88 - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    I'm not seeing the point of this drive. Why don't I get a 128SSD and a 1TB drive separately? Reply
  • Gasaraki88 - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    They should have made this a hybrid drive. That would have been awesome, 128GB SSD cache with a 1TB spinning disk. Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, February 03, 2014 - link

    The Seagate Momentus XTs are already pretty nice with an 8 GB cache (I have 2 of the older models with 4GB cache, and even those are "pretty good"). So a hybrid with this much cache could be awesome. I don't think the hybrid drives cache writes, so that would limit performance. I'm on the fence with this - I think it needs to be priced around $200 to be more interesting. Reply
  • mr_tawan - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Some people on a laptop does only have 1 bay for 2.5" drive available, with no mSATA socket whatsoever. Given that larger SSD is still quite expensive, you might have to choose between having a speedy system with no room for storage, and a plenty of space but slow as snail.

    These people might go with SSD and a USB3 HDD, of course, but carrying another external drive makes the system bit less mobile.

    If the laptop has optical drive, then you might swap it with a 2.5" drive caddy. But it does not, well this might be a good option.

    Too bad the drive does not really perform, and it's pretty pricey. I'd have gone with a drive caddy and a external bluray drive :-(.
  • azazel1024 - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    That is ridiculously high power consumption. I know these aren't targeted at tablets, but DANG!

    A 45whr notebook though, with a 6hr run time averages 7.5w of power consumption. Drop one of these "bad boys" in it, and assuming it was some kind of really low power consumption drive before, you are talking maybe an extra watt of power consumption. Doesn't sound like much, but that drops it from 6hrs of run time to 5 1/2hrs. If the run time was even longer before, say 8-10hrs, you might be knocking an entire hour of time time off...without ever using the drive at all (which would be worse).
  • DanNeely - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    That "ridiculously high power consumption" you're complaining about is normal power consumption for a 2.5" spinning drive. Unfortunately Kristian didn't put power numbers from an ordinary 2.5" spinning drive into the table to make that clearer. Reply
  • jmke - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    major issue would reliability and backup.
    If you have separate SSD en HDD disk, you can backup that 120GB SSD OS/Apps installs easily to the larger HDD. In case of SSD failure, RMA, new one, restore. In case of HDD failure, replace, copy content back or restore from other backup.
    With the SSD-HDD combo, failure of either one SSD, HDD, makes the product useless.

    this product was so not thought out.
  • Maltz - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    This drive is for people who only have space for one device. They could not backup from an SSD to an HDD because they have to pick one or the other. With this drive, they can have most of the advantages of two internal drives, but they would still require an external drive to back up to whether their internal drive was this drive, an SSD or an HDD. Reply
  • MF2013 - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Today I got an email from Newegg that the ADATA 512GB MLC SSD is $260 with free shipping. See the drive here:

    So this article's description of the prices of 500~GB class SSD's is, if anything, generous to the WD Black2. You can, right now, get a 512GB MLC SSD for $30 less than the Black2. The pricing is really going to have to improve for this to be a smart option for a substantial number of people.
  • Hrel - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    This is stupid and makes no sense.

    Either give me a hybrid caching drive with 24-32GB on NAND. (Value option)

    Or give me an m-SATA SSD with a 2.5" hdd. (Performance option)

    I don't want some shitty SSD, super slow, paired with a sub par hdd for MORE than I'd spend on the damn performance option.

    WD this makes no sense.
  • Hrel - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    I want to see 1TB and 2TB laptop drives paired with 24GB of on board NAND for SSD caching. Seagate has the right idea, they just aren't using enough NAND yet. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    I absolutely agree. Seagate are insane. They're sitting on the correct technology, but they haven't gone far enough.

    They have attractive 7200 RPM 3.5" 2TB desktop drives with 8GB NAND that are excellent. If only that was 32GB or so, it would make the world's best Steam drive, caching the last few games you played in NAND at all times.

    For a laptop, I'd like to see the same, really. 1TB drive with 32GB NAND. They could provide some real SSD competition.
  • Hrel - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    So we just disagree on amount of RAM. According to Intel's testing return on investment drops off heavily beyond 20GB. Which is why I feel 24GB would be the right amount. More obviously wouldn't hurt. I mean, in terms of actual cost we're talking a few dollars. If the retail price difference between the two options was <$20 then I'd say do the extra and use around 30GB. But since it's already a low margin product that few dollars could be the difference between in making sense to pursue the product and it not making sense. Weighed against the minimal performance advantage of an additional 8-12GB of NAND I'd say 24GB is the correct choice. That's already 4GB over price/performance sweet spot. Reply
  • MichaelD - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    Interesting product and a point. What I'd like to see is this drive with the option to use it as is OR with the two drives (SSD and HD) as physically separate drives. One power connector, but TWO SATA connectors. You could have a small jumper on the drive or a tiny switch or even program it through a FW update or similar software mechanism. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    I don't know what WD was thinking with this product, I read other reviews before..
    A terrible SSD and a normal HDD with no caching....
    ... For a price that's equal to buying a Samsung 840 Evo 500GB. This product has no purpose.
  • RealBeast - Thursday, January 30, 2014 - link

    "(the first generation 80GB Intel X-25M cost $595) and performance wasn't much better than what hard drives offered"

    Nonsense, the X-25M was a huge improvement on HDDs and it got the whole SSD thing going. I replaced 4 RAID 0 Raptors for my OS with an X-25M at around $450 and never looked back.

    I still use my original three X-25M drives as Adobe scratch drives and they are going strong well beyond 150GB of writes to each. I doubt that my current 250/256-480/500GB OS drives will outlive them.

    Black 2 makes sense for laptops with only one slot, no real place for it in desktops unless the prices gets competitive to 2 drives.
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    I didn't specifically mean the X-25M, I just used it as a pricing example. It was one of the first SSDs that didn't suck but some of the SSDs before it were truly horrible and could barely compete with hard drives. Reply
  • xrror - Monday, February 03, 2014 - link

    The irony is guess who made the controllers on many of those early drives that sucked? ;) Reply
  • Frallan - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    To little to late

    This is just 2 bad drives in one package - combining the bad of both sides - and expensive to boot.

    Just my 0.02€
  • name99 - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    Of course on a Mac the smart thing to do would immediately be to run core storage to fuse the two "partitions" together to give a genuine hybrid drive with genuine hybrid performance.

    If WD had the slightest intelligence, they would cobble together some basic program that could do all this automatically --- set up the appropriate partition table, set the partition types, then run diskutil cs to perform the fuse operation. Mac users may be less numerous than Windows users, but they also tend to have more money to spend on peripherals... But they're not going to spend all that glorious money that has made Apple so rich on companies that treat the like second class citizens...
  • stratum - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    Does this work under Linux? Reply
  • jeffbd - Friday, January 31, 2014 - link

    Doesn't work on Linux without requiring access to a Windows OS? Pass. I was going to buy this too. Oh well. I'll stick to my dual drive using dual components method for now. Reply
  • Horsepower - Saturday, February 01, 2014 - link

    My desktop system has no internal hard drive, just a removeable rack which I use for booting to different drives. My most recent refresh included a Seagate SSHD with only slight HDD performance increase (over previous Velociraptor(s). This could be useful for my setup. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    I just keep thinking about data recovery on the mechanical drive.

    If a driver is required to access the 1TB spinner then exactly how are we suppose to use various low level data recovery tools?

    I can't see recommending this to my customers. I'm a bit nervous about using one for anything other than a gaming rig.
  • Crocodile2014 - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    The Seagate Hybrid Drive could have been epic... it could have taken the market by storm... but it didn't. WHY? Because they overpriced the thing out of the market.

    A 500Gb Seagate Hybrid drive should have been priced very similar to a 500Gb Hard Drive + 8Gb of NAND. Instead we got a device priced at the level of a 500Gb Drive with a 30Gb SSD. Why did they do this?

    I get you pay a "performance premium" but when the alternatives for better performance are cheaper, you've really missed the mark.

    I suspect this drive by WD will also be a fail except for OEM's wanting a smaller package for their ultrabooks also based on the price.
  • SDKat - Friday, February 07, 2014 - link

    Amazon has a best price of almost $300 for a 1TB HD with 120 gb SSD.
    FAR cheaper (by about half) to buy a 1 TB HD and separate SSD. AND more versatile too!
  • coder111 - Friday, February 07, 2014 - link

    On scale of 1 to 10, how useless is this drive on Linux? If it needs special drivers to work properly, are these drivers available in Linux? Since which kernel version? Are they open-source or a buggy binary blob?

    If it works with Linux, does it show up as 2 separate drives, or as 1 combined accelerated drive? If it's 1 combined accelerated drive, how does the performance compare to having dedicated SSD + dedicated hard drive combined using Linux BCache or dm-cache?
  • ivan256 - Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - link

    The Momentus XT is the least reliable hard drive I have ever experienced. The various iterations of it haven't improved on the situation much. I have seen failure rates of more than 50% in 18 months out of a sample size of hundreds of drives.

    The NAND wears out way sooner than it should. Failure isn't catastrophic, because there is a copy on the rotating media, but the NAND access failures slow the drive down to a more pathetic level than you would expect even from the slow legacy portion of the disk.

    They need to get the reliability up to be taken seriously. And then they need to pair the tiny amount of flash with a much faster disk.
  • Haravikk - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I just don't get the point of these drives at all; okay, so putting the two drives into one bundle is neat, but the fact that you need software to actually run it is just bewildering. Why not include hardware on the disk to manage the split between SSD and HDD, and just let users configure that as either a SATA multiplier (two disk) or a hybrid disk as desired? Shipping it as a hybrid as standard would not only make it compatible with Linux and Mac computers too, but also make things so much easier.

    Instead you're getting two, not every good, individual disks in a single package. I mean, 350mb/sec sequential read is decent, but hardly amazing, plus that's competing with traffic going to the HDD at the same time.

    It just seems a very messy way to produce a product that I'm not sure many people really need. I'd personally rather go with a (much cheaper) hybrid drive, assuming one 2.5" drive is all I can fit. While 8gb flash gives far from the hybrid SSD performance advertised, it's just so much simpler to setup and manage (no juggling of separate volumes) and works pretty well in real-world use.

    A shame, I got really excited thinking WD were making a hybrid with 128gb of flash, i.e - something that would actually be really useful.
  • danwat1234 - Sunday, January 25, 2015 - link

    I don't think the SATA protocol allows for more than 1 drive per channel. So, the drive couldn't have been designed to act as 2 separate drives to the controller. Reply
  • BDProductions - Thursday, May 01, 2014 - link

    I have to wonder at the author's comment about his photos..
    WTF do you need a DSLR for to take great images?

    Ever hear of a scanner?

    - Set item on glass, cover with black velour, scan, instantly AWESOME images. (you may choose another solid color to cover the item, or even turn out the lights instead when you scan)

    Some scanners do better than others for material not touching the glass, but most look better than the pictures in this article...

    I have a question nobody seems to address... WHY IS THERE A MANDATORY DOWNLOAD instead of just putting the drivers on the USB thumbdrive? That makes no sense, other than to FORCE you to register the drive with WD.

    That will keep me from buying such a product.

    How stupid is it to make such an artificial requirement when a person might want to install the drive in a remote location where not even a cellular data connection would work? Just because anyone reading this has no such worry does not validate their theory that everyone these days MUST have an internet connection where ever they are... that just isn't true.

    Some users may have remote locations with little more than power, and still NEED a replacement drive with the Black2's functionality for performance reasons.

    Anyway, who has installed one and been able to save the "drivers" downloaded from WD at install time?

    If you can save them, how big is the package, and why would it not make sense to have included the driver on the thumbdrive instead of a forced download?

  • bungle2000 - Tuesday, December 09, 2014 - link

    Has there ever been a review of the Toshiba (500Gb/8Gb) Hybrid HDD SSD Drives on AnandTech? Reply
  • danwat1234 - Sunday, January 25, 2015 - link

    It's down to $130 on Amazon/Newegg/Ebay! Now it's a great buy. Wish it had a 7200RPM drive though Reply
  • Aseries - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    I have two HP gaming laptops that have a mSATA slot with a 32 GB micro SSD installed running Raid 0 with the a 7200 RPM drive using Intel Rapidstore driver. Two years ago it was a reasonable solution. Laptop #1 has two 7200 RPM 1 TB drives in the two drive bays available. Today I would use a 240 GB SSD drive paired with the largest available 2.5 inch 5400 RPM drive. Laptop #2 has only one drive bay. Without the mSATA option I would definitely consider the WD solution. Reply

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