WD Black² Dual-Drive 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD Hybrid Review

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Into The Black² and Setup

Getting the drive apart was not fun at all and in fact downright scary. It took quite a bit of time and patience to break down. We say this a lot, but seriously, do not try this at home! There’s a significant chance of damaging the delicate PCB that’s very firmly taped down and there’s no undo for that mistake.

Black2 Disassemble

The SATA interface was easy enough to take off as it was merely held by several small screws seen on the face of the drive. This carries a Marvell SATA bridge chip that allows concurrent access to both the SSD and HDD.

Black2 Open

When we finally managed to peel away the SSD portion of the drive from the HDD portion the HDD was revealed to be a Blue Slim (7.0mm z-height) drive which makes this whole product possible as it leaves enough space for an additional 2.5mm of SSD to be added to the top to make a standard 9.5mm height drive. The dual platter hard drive carries a 16MB cache and spins at 5400RPM.

Black2 SSD

The SSD portion of the drive is diminutive as well taking up only roughly 1/3 the drive length. It’s managed by a JMicron JMF667H controller with the 128GB of 20nm MLC NAND split across two chips.

Black2 Key

This is the key that gets it all started. Prior to loading the software, only the SSD portion of the drive is available.

WD Black Software Install 4

Most of the major languages are covered!

WD Black Software Install 3

Zoom, zoom…sorry, wrong company. Is that the WD F1 car that we detailed here?

WD Black Software Install 2

This is where we get down to business. Once you click install, the magic happens and then requires a reboot. After rebooting, the HDD portion of the drive should be visible and ready to rock. There may be a delay before it boots to the desktop while everything is configured.

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  • walterm

    A quick look at today’s prices. The Crucial M500 960 GB around $470-570. Which mean this makes sense, if you need it.
    It also means all those fancy laptops without an optical drive to exchange for a HHD/SSD caddy lose out, as do those requiring 7mm Drives.

  • Computer_Curmudgeon

    As far as I’m concerned, the WD Black2 is only a viable option if you:

    * Must have an SSD and a hard drive
    * Only have one drive bay available

    Otherwise, it’s grossly overpriced and underpowered. I can easily get a 120GB SSD and 1TB, 7200 RPM, 2.5″ hard drive that will run circles around this thing for less than 2/3 the price.

    • James Cook

      you forgot the third option – “because you’re rich”

      • Zlý Medvídek Míša

        rich people buy best ssd smartass…lets say revodrive? 🙂 twice the speed of usual ssd…

        • James Cook

          Not where i work, the rich buy whatever the hell they want + wasn’t trying to come across as a smartass. Just stating the truth

    • nate

      seriously though. If this was reasonably priced (and maybe it will be in time), OEMs and consumers would be all over this.