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RAID-0, RAID-5, RAID 1+0 Performance (SoftRAID, Thunderbolt v1)

OWC Thunderbay

Various configurations starting at about $499 without drives.
Thunderbay RAID-5 edition also available.

Tests shown here uses the fastest portion of the drives in order to show the peak speeds possible with the Thunderbay; all hard drives slow down as they fill up, as per the simple physical fact of πD (track circumference).

The Thunderbay performed admirably, as did the Toshiba MG03ACA300 hard drives, which offer very impressive performance.

Results

Tested with the Thunderbay IV (Thunderbolt, not Thunderbolt 2).

SoftRAID 5 beta was used in order to explore the performance of RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 1+0.

The OWC Thunderbay was tested using four Toshiba MG03ACA300 hard drives. These are very fast drives as of 2014.

Tests performed using DiskTester, specifically the fill-volume command.

Results shown are real-world throughput through the file system API (not unachievable driver-level throughput).

The performance is outstanding—using four hard drives, these speeds are exceptional. It demonstrates not only that the drives are fast but that the Thunderbay itself is an efficient unit that does not get in the way of performance. Consider that four solid state drives top out not much beyond this level in the Pegasus J4; the speed approaches Thunderbolt itself as a limiting factor.

RAID 0: 720 / 753 write/read MB/sec
RAID 5: 534 / 563 write/read MB/sec
RAID 1+0: 364 / 375 write/read MB/sec

Note that RAID 5 (striping with parity) and RAID 1+0 (striped pair of mirrors) offer fault tolerance, yet the performance level remains in excess of what most programs can benefit from or take advantage of. Even Photoshop tops out around 500-600 MB/sec before running into its own internal bottlenecks when saving or opening big files.

OWC Thunderbay performance with RAID

 

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