WD Black2 Dual Drive Review

By Julio Franco
Dec 4, 2013
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  1. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,137   +280 Staff Member

    MonsterZero you obviously didn’t read a single word of the review as its clear you have no idea what this product is intended for or what it even does. Read the review and if you still think your comments make sense I will be surprised ;)
  2. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero Newcomer, in training Posts: 39   +7

    Steve, its a great review by the way, by all means this is my opinion, please take it with a grain of salt.

    Main points of your article
    - Merged SSD+HDD in one drive (my opinion - point of failure in the HDD)
    - The Black2's flash drive has sluggish write performance compared to modern SSDs
    - 350MB/s and a write speed of 140MB/s.
    - the benchmarks show low access/seek/write/read levels compared to other SSDs

    For $300 I just cant justify purchasing one.
  3. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,137   +280 Staff Member

    MonsterZero the problem with all of your points is that you have completely missed the point of this product. You are certainly entitled to your opinion and we even appreciate you discussing your thoughts with us. That said I do feel you have missed the point of this product and I will now try and explain why…

    You first said “If cost per GB is your main concern just stick to 1TB drives in your server rack of a tower. If you want the performance of an SSD, go get one.” That statement right there shows you have missed the point of this product.

    From the first paragraph of the conclusion…

    “The WD Black2 is designed specifically as an upgrade for laptops with a single drive bay and it's somewhat pointless in any situation where separate SSDs and HDDs can be used in tandem. People who fit the usage case ultimately have a choice between one storage tech or another, and this is where the Black2 presents itself as a viable option -- the only option, in fact, as no other product offers what it does.”

    So as you can see this product is not designed for a server rack or a tower PC, it is designed for laptop users limited to one drive bay slot. In other words it’s for users that can’t simply install a hard drive and an SSD separately.

    You also said “Hybrid drives lack the throughput of an SSD, they are not even close. 140mb/s VS 550mb/s - how can you look at those figures and not realize what a waste of money this is.” This is not a hybrid drive, it’s an SSD and a HDD in the one package. Yes the SSD is slow compared to modern high-end solutions but it is still worlds faster than the fastest HDD’s out there and that is kind of the point.

    No idea why you are questioning reliability. No one knows how these will perform over time but if WD’s track record is anything to go by the Black2 will offer excellent reliability.

    Finally if you think the Black2 is a waste of money at $159 … well I don’t even know what to say really. At that price it would be a must have item for all laptop users and even some desktop users.
  4. This product is a joke right? savvy consumers have been hoping for just this kind of device since SSDs first became viable. WD is the one who doesn't understand the target market. Slapping together the crappiest components they could dredge up and calling it a WD Black product? Garbage controller, cheap memory chips, the lowest end platters they could find in the warehouse. Don't they have a single 1TB platter in 5400RPM at least. You know, so it will fit in all the high end ultralites. Only geeks will understand and be willing to pay for this and they are not going to be fooled by this shiny boxed POS. Please tell me what Black product has less than 7200RPM. Way to trash your own brand WD. Techspot's reputation is not looking too good either for not taking them to task. This could have been so good. Too bad the bean counters won out in the end.:'(
  5. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,137   +280 Staff Member

    @ random guest rant: Are there any 1TB 7200 RPM drives that are just 7mm thick? The answer is no so why would you expect the Black2 to break new ground here. There is nothing cheap or crappy about the hardware used. You could argue that the SSD controller is slow and we would agree...

    "It's not like the Black2 is cheap by any means. At $300, you're paying a premium to have the SSD and HDD merged into a single drive. A 1TB notebook drive only costs about $130 and a decent 120GB SSD can be had for less than $100. WD's combo offering isn't particularly fast, either. The Black2's flash drive has sluggish write performance compared to modern SSDs, even mainstream-oriented series like the Evo 840."

    Right from the review that you claim hurts Techspot's reputation :S (massive eye roll).

    Anyway funny rant.
  6. "You could argue that the SSD controller is slow and we would agree..."
    Is there a slower controller they could have used? In what is named as a premium device. Would a single 5400RPM platter have made it possible to get to 7mm? You think it's acceptable to call it a Black drive with the performance it provides?"Sluggish", I'd say dismal. Call it a rant all you want but IMO you went way to easy on them. You still haven't answered my question, what black product is less than 7200RPM. If you reread my comment you'll see I never said there was a 7mm 7200RPM drive. There's nothing wrong with the product, except perhaps price. Calling it a Black is WRONG.
    PS Since when is to much to ask for one of the largest hard drive makers in the world to break new ground. They've got hundreds of design wins in their history.
  7. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,137   +280 Staff Member

    What constitutes as a “Black” product anyway? Is it just a 7200 RPM spindle speed? I hope not or there will never be a black SSD.

    “Would a single 5400RPM platter have made it possible to get to 7mm?”

    I am not quite sure what you are asking there. There are two platters in the Black2 and the issue likely isn’t space but rather heat.

    “You think it's acceptable to call it a Black drive with the performance it provides?”

    Based on that criteria alone yes I do, it’s technically the fastest Black drive to ever exist so I am not sure what your issue is.

    “Sluggish, I'd say dismal.”

    It’s worlds faster than a 2.5” HDD of any description and that’s the point.

    “Call it a rant all you want but IMO you went way to easy on them.”

    It is a rant, all feelings and no facts. Our job isn’t to go easy or hard on them, it is to present the facts and discuss them and we did that.

    “You still haven'tanswered my question, what black product is less than 7200RPM.”

    Didn’t realize there was a question in that text block sorry. The answer is a black product with an SSD :S

    “There's nothing wrong with the product, except perhaps price.“

    And the dismal performance don’t forget.

    “Calling it a Black is WRONG.”

    Which color/shade would you like?

    “PS Since when is to much to ask for one of the largest hard drive makers in the world to break new ground.”

    Umm … they just did LOL
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,096   +1,186

    Damn Steve, I'm glad you didn't dissect my comment like that. +1 for tolerating all us id-iots.
  9. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,137   +280 Staff Member


    I have to take some of the blame since we mislead you into thinking WD were marketing this as a hybrid drive ;)
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  10. "What constitutes as a “Black” product anyway? Is it just a 7200 RPM spindle speed? I hope not or there will never be a black SSD."
    WD states:
    WD has redefined the PC with the next big thing in ultra-fast performance storage.
    and
    WD Black² is built by fusing two world-class storage devices together
    Is the SSD world class? Is the HDD world class?No. And there is a Black SSD, this is it and it's not up to the best of class standard there previous black products were.
    "I am not quite sure what you are asking there. There are two platters in the Black2 and the issue likely isn’t space but rather heat."
    I thought the question was quite simple. One platter takes up less space than Two. This would make it possible to use a smaller enclosure with the same thermals. The single platter would also provide better performance.
    "Based on that criteria alone yes I do, it’s technically the fastest Black drive to ever exist so I am not sure what your issue is."
    The bar is low considering the worst SSD is way faster than any HDD. The question is how does WD's best compare in the marketplace. There SSD implementation clearly does not.
    "It is a rant, all feelings and no facts. Our job isn’t to go easy or hard on them, it is to present the facts and discuss them and we did that."
    Your job, when you present a conclusion, is to interpret the facts and come up with a value proposition. Which is what I did. I pointed out that WD did not used the premium components they could have and it resulted in a lacklustre product.
    "Didn’t realize there was a question in that text block sorry. The answer is a black product with an SSD :S"
    Blaming my paragraph structure for your comprehension deficiencies is childish. I use these ??? when I'm asking a question.
    "And the dismal performance don’t forget."
    The bad performance can be acceptable if the price is low enough.
    "Which color/shade would you like?"
    I've got better things to do than explain branding to you. I think you know better.
    "Umm … they just did LOL"
    Your the one who said "The answer is no so why would you expect the Black2 to break new ground here."
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,096   +1,186

    How naive people are in thinking two world class products can be merged using the same space without compromise. This drive is a world class product even though there were compromises made through the merger. The "Black" labeling of this product, should only be compared to other dual drive solutions.
    You must love taking comments out of context. Breaking new ground was in reference to a 2.5 inch 1TB 7200 RPM drive. But yet they are breaking new ground by making a drive dual, which combines the SSD and HDD. The dual drive is new ground!
  12. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,137   +280 Staff Member

    </end rant>

    He has told his story and everyone else can see it.
  13. I never said a drive of this nature would not require compromises. What I have been pointing out is that it looks like WD made compromises that were not necessary and then proceeded to market it as a premium product. From their website "We took the challenge and made it our mission to design a storage solution that delivers the ultimate experience."

    This product can and should be compared to any other 2.5inch drive. The black nameplate has always represented best in class or close to it. Their top tier consumer equipment.

    Breaking new ground was in reference to a 7mm high 2.5 inch 1TB 7200 RPM drive with ONE platter and I never said one existed. They have those drives, apparently just not in 7mm.
    I said "Don't they have a single 1TB platter in 5400RPM at least. You know, so it will fit in all the high end ultralites."
    I still have no answer to this question.
     
  14. It appears that WD, Seagate, Samsung and Hitachi have all failed the produce a single platter 1TB 5400RPM hard drive at this stage of the game.
    Thanks for the answer. /s
  15. Jack Nathan

    Jack Nathan Newcomer, in training

    You have just convince me not to buy this product :)
    I will stick to the regular SSDs for now.
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,096   +1,186

    Those who choose this product would likely be those who wouldn't have a choice. That is if they wanted both, SSD and HDD in a single space. If you choose otherwise, then obviously you didn't need this product.
    Steve likes this.


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