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Kevin OBrien

Thunderbolt Storage With Any 2.5-inch Hard Drive or SSD Discussion

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After reviewing the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter, we decided to use it to compare performance of an Intel SSD 520 across USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, and native SATA connections.

Thunderbolt Storage With Any 2.5-inch Hard Drive or SSD

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Thanks for this review. As requested ;-)

Looks like the weak link is the implementation of Thunderbolt in Seagate's adapter, which is definitely 1st generation, just look at the sheer size. There is lots of opportunity to improve.

Also, not sure about the driver situation running Win7 on the Air? Anyway, native implemented 6Gb/s SATA is hard to beat, no surprise there.

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One more thing, you might be able to use an Icy Box as an external caddy. Could be used as a modular system.

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Isn't USB 3.0 supposed to deliver 300 MB/s?

I'm sure I've seen speeds of 130 MB/s on my HDDs.

And seems like it's confirmed by this guy: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?264800-Real-world-USB3-speed-test!&p=4698087&viewfull=1#post4698087

I don't see anything over 100 MB/s with an SSD in your review.

Any idea what's going on?

edit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC7WDwKcm8Y

300 MB/s read, 160 MB/s write

edit 2:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3923/kingston-datatraveler-ultimate-30-ocz-enyo-quick-look-at-two-usb-30-ssds

190MB/s

Edited by Nihility

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These are mixed workloads, not straight sequential transfers (which are generally the easiest thing for embedded chipsets to handle).

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Well its both sides of the coin you need to worry about. The board we tested on was an ASUS P8P67 Deluxe... but you still have the drive-side chipset to worry about.

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It seems like the problem is really with the controller used on the drive and not with the USB port on the motherboard.

Edited by Nihility

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Maybe so, this really is still new technology and there are so few options to compare it's hard to tell what's a good implementation and what's not. We'll keep banging away at it, really need more external enclosure options.

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After reviewing the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter, we decided to use it to compare performance of an Intel SSD 520 across USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, and native SATA connections.

Thunderbolt Storage With Any 2.5-inch Hard Drive or SSD

It would be helpful to see your graphs include results of other TB / SSD solutions you have tested. Anyway, with the claimed speeds for TB in mind, what do you see as the cause for eSATA being faster than TB?

(nice ride)

Edited by Knotme

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We have two more solutions in now, so we can start to figure out if its the notebook or the device chipset. Right now my main guess is the SATA>TB bridge... eSATA is native SATA so there would be no translation layer.

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We have two more solutions in now, so we can start to figure out if its the notebook or the device chipset. Right now my main guess is the SATA>TB bridge... eSATA is native SATA so there would be no translation layer.

That both makes sense and is disappointing. I was hoping to avoid installing the SSD inside my iMac but, as of now, it looks like the best solution.

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I can test out that exact combination on my mid-2012 MacBook Air if that would help. Just give me until later today and I will find the 128 Vertex 4 from the lab.

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After reviewing the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter, we decided to use it to compare performance of an Intel SSD 520 across USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, and native SATA connections.

Thunderbolt Storage With Any 2.5-inch Hard Drive or SSD

hey ..

I wonder if the reason for the Thunderbolt lower performance was that they use SATA2 internal port to Thunderbolt bridge

and not SATA3 to Thunderbolt bridge ...

the same in USB3 enclosures ... it is the INTERNAL bridge chip problem ...

please test usb3 cases WITH internal SATA3 to USB3 Bridge chip... not Sata2 to USB3 bridge ...

not all USb3 cases are same ... MOST are still using internal SATA2 NOT Sata3 thats why even if you use Sata3 SSD it will never reach above 300M/sec ...

thanks

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After reviewing the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter, we decided to use it to compare performance of an Intel SSD 520 across USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, and native SATA connections.

Thunderbolt Storage With Any 2.5-inch Hard Drive or SSD

Can you confirm that now, a year later, this is still a nice approach?

Can this solution handle 4TB drives? (as opposed to hitting the 2TB barrier I have seen with other solutions?)

Tx

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I'm not sure it was ever a nice approach, there must be accessories designed for this task rather than the hackish way we accomplished it.

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