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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 06:38 AM   #1
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Thunderbolt adapter real life test

The Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter has finally gone on sale in the UK and I received mine this morning

For those who haven't heard about the product, it's a small docking base for any hard drive in the Seagate GoFlex family (there are two sizes, I am referring to the portable, laptop powered ones). It requires an Apple Th'B cable, making the overall package pricey but you just need one base/cable for all your drives. I chose this option because, for the time being, Thunderbolt-equipped users can only buy the bulky and expensive LaCie drives or the very fast but very small capacity Egato SSD.

The test was very straightforward: copy 6 Gigs from my MacBookAir's SSD to a GoFlex 1TB - oddly, Seagate doesn't provide rotational speed for their drives so not sure if it's a 5400 or 7200, I suspect the former.

I started with the USB 2.0 : 3min52s Not bad

Then the Thunderbolt: 1min54s almost exactly half the time...

No idea how this compares to FireWire or USB 3.0. I assume the bottleneck is the HD. As SSDs get cheaper, then the benefits will get more obvious.

My conclusion: for MacBook Air users it's a no brainer. For others who have access to FW800 the improvement may not be that obvious until you attach an SSD...

François
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 09:16 AM   #2
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You would want to test the speed with a 2 gb file setting - leave the rest alone

part way down the page

Software - AJA Video Systems

AJA System test.

Post it up

We did some Promise RAID tests as well if I can find.

Here we go - 4 x 2 TB Hitachi drives

RAID 0
Write: 432 MB/s
Read: 207 MB/s


RAID 5
Write: 321 MB/s
Read: 216 MB/s
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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You would want to test the speed with a 2 gb file setting - leave the rest alone

part way down the page

Software - AJA Video Systems

AJA System test.

Post it up

We did some Promise RAID tests as well if I can find.

Here we go - 4 x 2 TB Hitachi drives

RAID 0
Write: 432 MB/s
Read: 207 MB/s


RAID 5
Write: 321 MB/s
Read: 216 MB/s
It seems to be approaching SSD speeds!
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 04:56 PM   #4
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Keep in mind that the Mbps ratings are for writing of contiguous files and don't take into account seek time and rotational latency. Seek time and latency becomes a much bigger deal for reading and writing many small files - because the few ms that it takes to get to the first bit of each file becomes a significant % of the read time if the files are tiny.

SSDs have no seek time or rotational latency.

Car analogy:
Maximum Read/Write rates are like the top speed a car can get to on the Bonneville salt flats with an unlimited acceleration time and no corners.

IOPS or small file random reads and writes are like the zero to 60 speed and cornering performance of a sports car.
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 05:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moscool View Post
The Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter has finally gone on sale in the UK and I received mine this morning
... ... ...
The test was very straightforward: copy 6 Gigs from my MacBookAir's SSD to a GoFlex 1TB - oddly, Seagate doesn't provide rotational speed for their drives so not sure if it's a 5400 or 7200, I suspect the former.
... ... ...
My conclusion: for MacBook Air users it's a no brainer. For others who have access to FW800 the improvement may not be that obvious until you attach an SSD...
François
A quick check and some review sites especially for the larger Seagate GoFlex and Seagate GoFlex Turbo drives are all 7200 RPM.

Some nice speed there, but a bit pricy with $50.00 for the TB cable and $100.00 for the adapter, plus the cost of any drive of course.
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 05:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CanadaRAM View Post
Keep in mind that the Mbps ratings are for writing of contiguous files and don't take into account seek time and rotational latency. Seek time and latency becomes a much bigger deal for reading and writing many small files - because the few ms that it takes to get to the first bit of each file becomes a significant % of the read time if the files are tiny.
My early test was 120 files/folders. I used the drive for the rest of the afternoon and it really flies with a small number of large files. Nice.
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 07:14 PM   #7
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SSD speeds - yes - the big strength of SSD is speed for both small and large files and insane "get to" performance.

The downside is price.

For graphics clients we go with a pair of 10k Velociraptors for about $700 that gives 1.2 TB of 250- 280 meg per second sustained.
All have been pleased with them. Big work space and very good speed.
That could be complemented by a 120 ssd purely for boot and apps - sweet rig.
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 03:35 AM   #8
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MacDoc, what is your experience in daisy-chaining Thunderbolt drives? - I always found that it delivered a lot less than it promised with Firewire, especially when one of the devices was a video camera.
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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Not in the category yet. Promise was a one off at a good price for testing and passed it along to a client.
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