Summary: I realize that this drive is NOT meant for a desktop environment. It might be viable for laptops, but having seen firsthand the performance of the hybrid drives, I feel like those are a better fit for the gaming laptop scenario, or even a reasonably sized solid state drive. 120 GB doesn’t seem like enough space to hold many games, and the hard drive is 5400 RPM, so it’s not a good choice to load games from.
Pros: The simple fact that there is both an SSD and HDD in this drive just blows me away. There’s a total of 1.12 TB of total combined space in a size that fits in my hand. Just too neat for me. Isn't technology great?
Cons: Despite having both a solid state drive and a hard drive in one neat package, neither performs incredibly well (see benchmarks). Having both a Samsung 840 Pro, and a Seagate 600 Series, the solid state drive loses to both in benchmarks. It’s not incredibly painful when it comes down to practicality, maybe a second or two difference in load times, but it is noticeable.
Summary: Keep in mind that when running on battery power the two drives in the Dual will draw your battery down slightly faster than a single drive would.
Pros: I reviewed Western Digital’s new WD Black Dual Drive. Unlike existing hybrid hard drives that combine 8-32 GB of SSD flash memory with a conventional rotating hard drive to form a single drive; this is actually two separate drives (120 GB SSD and 1.0 TB SATA), both physically sandwiched together. Both drives share a single SATA channel. This new innovative Dual drive is clearly aimed at the laptop market.
Cons: The main con as I see it is the current retail price. At $300+ this drive is simply too expensive for the market niche it’s trying to fill. If WD could reduce the cost down to the $200 to $250 price point, they would have a very popular item.
Summary: Like I said, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the dual drive… I thought it would either use the SSD as a cache transparent to the end-user, or it would offer both up independently for partitioning.
Pros: The speeds are the most obvious advantage. I saw read speed bursts exceeding 220MB/s in my benchmarks of this drive with HD Tune, and when they fell off the drive still averaged 100MB/s read speed. Writes were a little slower, but still bursting to over 130MB/s and averaging 88MB/s.
Cons: I wasn’t sure what to expect, as this is the first dual drive I’ve ever owned. Usually when I test a new drive, I use Linux benchmarking utilities to do so. Almost all of my computers run Linux. But, out of the box, this drive doesn’t mention Linux support anywhere.
Pros: This drive is perfect for laptops, especially gaming systems. I dropped mine in and I simply love it. I'm just glad to have a drive like this! It provides perfect speed for booting up, and I have enough space for my favorite games. And on the other drive partition are the other games that don't make me fret for load times.
Cons: As mentioned by other reviewers, the low RPM is a slight downside. But to be honest, it's the best WD could do right now, and I don't mind it. The HDD partition is a hybrid, so it has the massive cache, and that really helps balance it all out in terms of speed. To me, this 5400 RPM drive feels a bit like a 7200 RPM drive. (Which is kind of the point...)