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Old 23-07-2014, 06:34 PM   #67
ferta_32
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 28
WD BlackČ Dual Drive Review - The Conclusion



The WD BlackČ Dual Drive is an exceptional product from Western Digital. It is a revolutionary hardware combining both a SSD and an HDD into a 2.5 inch form factor. It is not in line with hybrid drives as the WD BlackČ use an actual stand-alone 120GB SSD based on the JMicron's JMF667H controller with 20-nm MLC NAND compared to the 4GB or 8GB SSD for caching used by hybrid drives.

The packaging is well designed. The contents are ample and useful especially the USB to SATA cable for cloning or back ups. It is about time that we see sexy packaging for speedy hardware. Good job with the overall aesthetics inside and out along with a five year warranty. A minor observation though, is that the drive must be placed on top of the packaging when opened and not the manuals and the warranty information, but that is just me.

All over the benchmarks we see the performance of the WD BlackČ SSD to stay close and even in some benchmarks surpass its specified transfer rates. Some benchmarks also showed the ability of the WD BlackČ SSD to keep up with the SanDisk Extreme SSD as seen on the PCMark 7, PCMark 8, PCMark Vantage, AS SSD benchmark, and on the CrystalDiskMark tests. A good upgrade is emphasized by the huge performance difference between the WD BlackČ SSD and the Toshiba 750GB HDD from the test laptop. The 1TB HDD on the other hand showed its ability to keep up with the WDC Blue 500GB 7200RPM even if the WD BlackČ HDD is only spinning at 5400RPM. It even outscored the WDC Blue in some benchmarks such as in Anvil and in ATTO. It is not that drastic but is impressive as based on the performed benchmarks.

On the gaming benchmarks once again we see huge improvements in load times from HDD to SSD. The SSD performance of the WD BlackČ is consistent when compared to the SanDisk Extreme, staying close to the values on all tests. FPS test on Battlefield 3 showed slight FPS increase from SSD usage. Newer games may benefit more FPS when such game utilize its textures, environment, and other graphical aspects from the storage device, but still, such will be game dependent.

But every premium comes with a price. With an estimated price of around Php 14,000 an enthusiast commonly will go for the common setup which a discrete SSD for OS and with a separate mechanical drive for storage. That common setup will yield at an expense lesser or may be equal to the price of the WD BlackČ, but surely will beat the dual drive in all performance aspects. With this price a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter is suggested, which will show WD's interest of selling this hardware among desktop users. Desktop users tend to hide or reduce storage devices, as it is becoming a norm especially in the computer modding and enthusiast users.

One more thing which impacted the overall score of the WD BlackČ is on the simultaneous tests. Benchmarking both the SSD side and the HDD side simultaneously revealed drastic drops in both read and write transfer rates as seen on the Passmark and AS SSD Benchmarks. Durations are lengthened as another result of these drops, and instability is experienced as shown in the AS SSD Compression Benchmarks. The firmware update improves the noise produced by the drive and another update is expected to address this issue regarding simultaneous transfer rates.

The Good:
Premium Packaging
Easy to setup
2.5 inch form factor
Offers both capacity and speed
Five year warranty
Decent performance from the SSD
Decent performance from the HDD among the HDDs tested

The Bad:
High price
Proprietary software in accessing the HDD
Low write speed among 120GB SSDs in the market
Instability in simultaneous transfer rates

The Mediocre:
9.5mm height may not fit in every laptop
A 2.5" to 3.5" adapter not included
Manuals and warranty information covering the drive when opening the box

Overall the WD BlackČ is an awesome product with some flaws that may be fixed with firmware updates. The major disadvantage of this hardware is its high price. Single slot laptops and laptops without msata slots are the ones most beneficial with this product. Desktop users may find this hardware a hit if performance to price ratio is improved. Modders and enthusiasts prefer to hide storage devices anyway so this dual drive is an option. The WD BlackČ is a choice for consumers not wanting to have sole SSD storage at the same price point, or consumers needing storage along with SSD performance all through out.



*PS copies of this review are posted in the national TPC website and in MBB website of Baguio.

TPC link: http://tinyurl.com/lr8rhw6

MBB Link: http://tinyurl.com/lgf5qcb

Last edited by ferta_32; 23-07-2014 at 08:34 PM..
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