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WD demonstrates world's fastest 4TB SSHD drive

by Mark Tyson on 6 January 2015, 16:05

Tags: AsRock, Gigabyte (TPE:2376)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacngb

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Western Digital demonstrated a super-fast 4TB hybrid drive, at Storage Visions 2015, in Las Vegas yesterday. This prototype SSHD drive combined a SATA Express PCI-e interface, a 4TB 3.5-inch hard disk and up to 128 GB solid state storage. The aim of the prototype is to demonstrate the compelling performance stats of the hybrid storage device.

WD says that its new hybrid drive will deliver highly attractive performance and GB-per-dollar solutions for desktop and gaming applications. It used currently available motherboards developed by both ASRock and Gigabyte in its demos.

We were emailed the chart below which WD says demonstrates "near-SSD performance at an optimised GB-per-dollar value". In some notes about the chart WD wrote that "Heavy desktop usage scenarios will benefit from larger cache sizes (64 GB will be demonstrated) by enabling retention of key hot data across multiple applications, which improves overall performance. In WD's labs, WD's SATA Express 4 TB drive with 64 GB cache achieved a PCMark8 benchmark score of 4459". You can see how the prototype performed in PCMark8 Storage tests compared with other types of drives below.

Understandably WD is working to extend the appeal of traditional spinning disc based storage in computer systems. Its hybrid tech does look attractive according to the above PCMark8 tests. Gary Meister, senior vice president of engineering, WD, explained how the demo system worked; "We see the industry moving toward simplification of the overall PC subsystem to a single storage bus based around the PCIe protocol. In this demo, we placed a hard drive, flash NAND and SATAe technology into one package, freeing up one slot in the system and simplifying how our customers could create and maintain such an advanced storage solution." He went on to predict "When our customers ask us to move to the next storage bus, we will have done all the necessary work to be ready to support the move."

ASRock and Gigabyte were also pleased with the prototype, suggesting it could be the foundation of future "world class gaming" machines. Unfortunately we don't have any information about the availability or pricing of WD's future hybrid storage products.



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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I was looking at that graph for ages thinking “BS!”, until I realised that the Y-axis is GB/$ not GB/s! Looking at the various numbers for each type, I can only guess that the x-axis is “Mbps”

As always, graphs created by marketing are useless.
So you'd technically be getting 1.128 TB of storage. What would the advantages be to getting this over a dedicated SSD and a HDD?
risapylsa
So you'd technically be getting 1.128 TB of storage. What would the advantages be to getting this over a dedicated SSD and a HDD?

Only advantage I can see is if you have 1 drive bay. Intel boards you can use an SSD as a cache for 1 or more hard drives….and TBH, I personally think hybrid drives are useless anyway. Manage it yourself rather than hoping/waiting for the drives algorithm to put the data you want to load fast on the SSD.
shaithis
I personally think hybrid drives are useless anyway. Manage it yourself rather than hoping/waiting for the drives algorithm to put the data you want to load fast on the SSD.
I'm going to agree and disagree with you on this, (oh, and you're correct - WD's hybrids are probably a good idea for single drive bay laptops and/or ultrabooks). The way WD have implemented their SSHDs, with a schizophrenic drive appearing as two separate devices, is pretty dumb apart from that laptop use-case. And I'm going to agree that hoping that your (external) software knows enough to put the right stuff on the fast partition is a bit daft compared to explicitly saying “put OS on SSD, everything else on HDD”.

On the other hand, I've got a Seagate SSHD where the SSD part is merely used as a very large, persistent cache for frequently-used data. It's a single drive and the internal drive electronics handle all the decisions, and it really doesn't care if it's using Linux, Windows, MacOSX, etc - it's just data as far as the drive's concerned. Unlike the WD one, which was Windows-only last time I looked, and needed a special driver. :yucky:

I replaced a shockingly-badly performing WD Black user-data drive with my Seagate SSHD and the login-to-usable times went down dramatically after about a day, and they've stayed there ever since. Okay, they're not as good as moving my data to “proper” SSD, but the price of those proper drives was prohibitive at the time.
shaithis
I was looking at that graph for ages thinking “BS!”, until I realised that the Y-axis is GB/$ not GB/s! Looking at the various numbers for each type, I can only guess that the x-axis is “Mbps”

As always, graphs created by marketing are useless.

“PCMark8 benchmark score of 4459”. You can see how the prototype performed in PCMark8 Storage tests compared with other types of drives below."

;)