The WD Black2 dual drive will be tested on our recently revamped storage testbed. The main changes are the faster Core i5-2500K processor and an accompanying Z77 motherboard which has native Thunderbolt connectivity.
To evaluate the WD Black2, we will be testing its SSD and hard disk drive performance and comparing it against recently tested SSDs and hard disk drives.
Judging from the specifications that Western Digital quoted, we do not expect the WD Black2 to be able to match the other SSDs on the list. Furthermore, the WD Black2 has 128GB of flash storage whereas the rest of the drives are 240/256GB variants. However, it will be interesting to see just how competitive it is against the current crop of popular SSDs. The mainstream Crucial M500 should be its closest competitor.
Since the hard disk drive portion of the WD Black2 is essentially a WD Blue drive, it should be competitive against the recently reviewed Seagate Ultrathin Laptop HDD and WD UltraSlim, two of the newer 5mm thick drives that were just announced at Computex 2013. However, the WD Black2's key competitor in this segment is arguably the hybrid hard disk drive, which contains a small amount of onboard NAND that acts as a cache. In light of this, we have included Seagate's Laptop SSHD in our testing, which has 8GB of onboard NAND. We will be omitting Iometer from the hard disk drive testing since users who use the WD Black2 will mainly use the hard disk drive for non-performance sensitive applications or simply as a drive to store files such as music, photos and videos.
The list of benchmarks used are as follows:
We begin with our timing tests and as you can see, the WD Black2 took a little longer than the other SSDs. However, the difference between it and the fastest drives was actually not that great, and the largest margin of difference was actually just 2.3 seconds or around 8% slower when rebooting.
Update: We also found the WD Black2 to be considerably faster than the hybrid hard disk drive. However, to put these numbers into perspective, know that while the hybrid hard disk drive took over 87 seconds to launch the entire suite of Adobe CS6 applications, a regular 7200rpm hard disk drive would take over five whole minutes to do the same.