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WD shows world's fastest 4TB hybrid SATAe HDD at Storage Visions 2015

WD looks to up the SSHD game with a dual-drive 4TB HDD that includes up to 128GB of flash for the ultimate in storage speed and capacity

Paul Alcorn | Jan 4, 2015 at 08:58 am CST (1 min, 32 secs reading time)

Storage Visions 2015 - WD has a new 4TB HDD that works in tandem with an integrated SSD with up to 128GB of capacity. The new drive connects via the new SATA Express (SATAe) connection, which communicates over the PCIe bus. This is accomplished with a new cable that plugs into a special port embedded on the motherboard. SATAe has been in the works for several years, and new products are just now coming to market that can utilize the blazing speed of the connection. WD's implantation comes as two separate drives merged into one, which allows users to either use a caching setup or install the operating system directly to the SSD, and use the HDD as storage. Another key point is that the ASRock and GIGABYTE systems on display have the integrated connectors. This signals that major motherboard manufacturers are already leveraging the new technology.

WD shows world's fastest 4TB hybrid SATAe HDD at Storage Visions 2015 18 | TweakTown.com

The Prototype version of the drive comes in 4TB and features 128GB of JMicron flash. It communicates via the PCIe Gen 2 x2 connection. There is no external RefClock cable needed, which is a big improvement over the early versions of SATAe drives.

WD shows world's fastest 4TB hybrid SATAe HDD at Storage Visions 2015 10 | TweakTown.com

There is also a Prototype II version. We were able to obtain the spy pics, but have no further information on the difference between the two drives. We will follow up with more details later in the day.

WD shows world's fastest 4TB hybrid SATAe HDD at Storage Visions 2015 11 | TweakTown.com

The Prototype II version was on display in a RAID configuration.

WD shows world's fastest 4TB hybrid SATAe HDD at Storage Visions 2015 12 | TweakTown.com

Here we can see the new larger SATAe connector and cabling on the left.

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WD shows world's fastest 4TB hybrid SATAe HDD at Storage Visions 2015 14 | TweakTown.com

The Prototype I drive is connected to the GIGABYTE system with a GA-Z97X motherboard.

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The Prototype II in a RAID configuration is connected to the ASRock Z97 motherboard.

WD shows world's fastest 4TB hybrid SATAe HDD at Storage Visions 2015 17 | TweakTown.com

Finally we have a breakdown of the connector mating matrix.

Last updated: Jan 6, 2015 at 09:27 am CST

Paul Alcorn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Paul Alcorn

The quest for benchmark world records led Paul further and further down the overclocking rabbit hole. SSDs and RAID controllers were a big part of that equation, allowing him to push performance to the bleeding edge. Finding the fastest and most extreme storage solutions led to experience with a myriad of high-end enterprise devices. Soon testing SSDs and Enterprise RAID controllers at the limits of their performance became Paul's real passion, one that is carried out through writing articles and reviews.

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