Western Digital Dual Drive Combines SSD, HDD

By Jeffrey Burt

Western Digital wants to give PC users the best of both worlds in their storage.

The company's new WD Black2 dual-drive combines a 1TB hard-disk drive (HDD) and a 2.5-inch 120-GB solid-state drive (SSD) that officials said is aimed at consumers and service providers that want to upgrade their notebooks, smaller desktop PCs and all-in-one (AIO) PCs. It works for everyone from PC builders and enthusiasts to creative professionals and gamers.

The WD Black2 dual drive, unveiled Nov. 25, connects to the system via a single cable.

"Our customers told us they like our Solid State Hybrid Drive technology, but our tech-savvy users asked for more control of where they store their data," Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of WD's Storage Technology business unit, said in a statement. "The WD Black2 dual drives empower our customers to enjoy SSD performance and access high-capacity storage in a no-compromise package."

Western Digital's dual drive comes as SSDs become more popular. Gartner analysts have said they expect the SSD market to grow from $390 million last year to $4 billion by 2016, and IDC analysts in 2012 said the demand is being fueled by the increasing use of flash in the enterprise, the rapid rise in the number of mobile devices and the increasingly lower cost of SSDs.

SSDs are faster than hard-disk drives, but also are more expensive and have less capacity. However, there also are no moving parts on SSDs, which increases their reliability.

Apple in October 2012, with the rollout of new Mac systems, introduced a similar product called Fusion Drive, which company officials said combined the performance of a flash drive with the capacity of an HDD.

The dual drive is housed in a 9.5mm, 2.5-inch form factor, and comes with a legacy Serial ATA connector, which officials said makes its compatible with a range of operating systems, including Microsoft's Windows XP and Windows 8.1. The WD Black2 offloads data from the SSD to the hard-disk drive, which can extend the life of the SSD.

Through the use of the dual drive, consumers also can eliminate the need for cloud-based storage, officials said.

The WD Black2 is available now, starting at $299.

This article was originally published on November 26, 2013

Originally published on http://www.eweek.com/blogs/first-read/western-digital-dual-drive-combines-ssd-hdd.html.