Western Digital has announced the world's first combined SSD and HDD, the WD Black Dual Drive.
While hard drives with flash storage have existed for a while, the Dual Drive does actually provide something a little different. Instead of using the flash portion of the drive as a high-speed cache, with the system only seeing one drive, the Dual Drive actually presents both its SSD and HDD as two separate drives.
The idea is that it provides the mass storage of an HDD and the speed of an SSD in one package that also gives the user control over how both are used. In other words, it's the perfect upgrade for a laptop or small form factor system that's limited to a single 2.5in drive.
“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,” said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of WD’s Storage Technology business unit.
The Dual Drive incorporates a 120GB SSD (MLC, 20nm) and a 1TB hard drive (single platter, 5,400rpm) into a 9.5mm tall 2.5in package that uses a single SATA 6GB/s connector. It is currently only available in this configuration with no options regarding capacity or to have a 3.5in version. The drive is also only compatible with Windows at the moment.
Available immediately from several etailers, including direct from the WD Store
, the drive has an MSRP of £249.99. This is undoubtedly quite expensive, with 1TB 2.5in HDD and 120GB SSDs typical costing just under £100 each, but £50 isn't too bad a premium for the convenience this solution will provide. Also final retail prices may well be lower than this.