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

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Test System & Comparison Drives

All tests were performed on a fresh and up-to-date install of Windows 8 Pro x64 with no other applications running while using AHCI mode set through the BIOS. Synthetic Benchmarks were run with the OS loaded on a 120GB Corsair Force SSD. In between every test, the test drive was secure erased using an instance of Parted Magic. As such, all results should be indicative of optimal performance. All components were set to their default speeds and are listed below.

Z77 Test Bench

LR Bench

Intel LGA 1155 Test Platform
Component Brand/Model Live Pricing

Processor

Core i5 2500k

Motherboard

ASUS Maximus V Gene Z77

Memory

Kingston HyperX KHX16C9B1RK28 8GB

OS Drive

Corsair Force 120GB (FW 2.4)

Power Supply

Antec Basiq BP550W Plus-EC

Operating System

Windows 8 Pro 64-Bit

Comparison Drives And Other Models We Have Tested

Since there are so many SSDs out there now with different controllers, we started a reference table of which controllers are used by each drive to help you compare results. Different controllers definitely perform differently and each has various strengths and weaknesses. Like CPU’s, even identical drives will have variations in performance and part of that variance may be attributable to the NAND flash used. Since the tests of the drives listed have spanned different test benches and represent different interfaces, we have listed the most recent ones for easy reference.

SSD MODEL CONTROLLER Interface
Corsair Force LS 240GB Phison PS3108 SATA III
Samsung Evo 500GB MEX S4LN045X01 SATA III
Seagate 600 240GB LAMD LM87800 SATA III
OCZ Vertex 450 256GB Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 SATA III
Crucial M500 480GB Marvell 88SS9187 SATA III
OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SandForce SF-2200 (SF-2281) SATA III
Samsung 840 Pro 240GB Samsung MDX SATA III
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB Marvell 88SS9175 SATA III
Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB LAMD LM87800 SATA III
Intel 520 Series 240GB SandForce SF-2200 (SF-2281) SATA III
OCZ Vector 256GB Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 SATA III
Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SandForce SF-2200 (SF-2281) SATA III
Samsung 830 Series 256GB Samsung S4LJ204X01-Y040 SATA III

CrystalDiskInfo 6.0.4 Readout:

For the WD Black² drives, note that both drives are displayed on the same screen labeled D: and T:. The readout on CrystalDiskInfo is two-fold though a bit misleading as it shows that both NCQ and S.M.A.R.T. are enabled as expected but also TRIM shows for both which certainly does not apply to the HDD yet the command does pass through the same SATA III (6Gbps) interface that the HDD is using. This is a great free tool to see lots of detailed information about the drive such as the firmware version for which we are running the latest available at the time of testing – 01.01A01.

CrystalDiskMark Info 

Let’s have a look at the performance with some synthetic benchmarks followed up by some real world tests.

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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.