Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup

Internals:

I normally dive right in and field strip these devices as they arrive for testing. The Black2 is so precisely assembled that I opted to do the disassembly *after* all of the testing, out of fear for rendering it inoperable after the surgery. There is a dust-sealed HDD in there after all, and inadvertently breaking that seal would mean no test results for you fine folks. That said, I did manage to break it down while leaving the important bits intact.

First the belly:

After warranty voidance step 1 we expose the drive electronics. These parts are mostly responsible for driving the HDD portion of this drive, with an added bridge to tack on the SSD controller:

Now for the real goodies – the SSD portion. This part is extremely delicate as the PCB is razor thin and is very well attached to the HDD frame. Do not try this at home – seriously:

As you can see from the plain-as-day label, the SSD board is in fact mounted straight to a right off the line WD 1TB Slim HDD chassis.

The SSD only takes up a small portion of the PCB. Looking at the thicknesses involved, it's possible to get more chips within the sandwich, but WD chose to keep everything mounted closer to the 'open' end of the HDD structure. Here's a detail shot of the SSD logic:

Aah, finally, we get to see the new(ish) JMicron 667H (details / specs) in action. 

Here's what the 667H looks like, functionally:

As SSD controllers go, this is a standard setup. We just hope the newer JMicron model performs better than previous generations from this manufacturer.

One last shot to show the difference between the drive logic and SSD PCB's:

You can see just how thin WD needed to go in order to make this happen. The Slim is a 7mm chassis, meaning WD had only 1.5mm to work with for the entire SSD portion.

Testing Methodology

Our tests are a mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. PCMark, IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out! 

Test System Setup

We currently employ a pair of testbeds. Our trusty Z68 SandyBridge testbed sits along side a newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt.Results between both boards have been +/- 2% of each other – well within the best data scatter of a typical benchmark.

PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rigs. 

 
Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V Pro
Memory Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card Intel® HD Graphics 3000
Video Drivers Intel
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows 7 X64
  • PCMark05
  • Yapt
  • IOMeter
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • PCPer File Copy Test
  • Write Caching Test
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