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Thunderbay Mini with SSDs as a Photoshop Scratch Disk
Related: MacBook, MacBook Pro, memory, Other World Computing, OWC Thunderbay, Photoshop, RAID, RAID-4, RAID-5, SSD, storage, Thunderbolt, video
MPG tested the real-world speed using Photoshop CC 2014 with the diglloydHuge benchmark.
The diglloyd Huge benchmark uses a mix of the core Photoshop operations with a file size that requires about 56GB of memory usage in Photoshop.
With only 16GB of memory in the MacBook Pro Retina (the max), performance depends mainly on the speed of the Photoshop scratch drive.
The built-in 1TB SSD on the MacBook Pro Retina is a very fast SSD. But as shown, a 4-drive SSD stripe in the OWC Thunderbay Mini is significantly faster for Photoshop than the Apple 1TB SSD, a result strongly suggested by the very high bandwidth seen in other tests. A RAID-5 fault-tolerant configuration delivers very good performance, though at a lower level than the other two.
Speed and capacity
As a RAID-0 stripe setup, the Thunderbay Mini has lots of capacity range:
- 4 X 240GB = 960 GB (largest Apple SSD in any Mac, deeming it “1TB”)
- 4 X 480GB = 1.92 TB
- 4 X 960GB = 3.84 TB
Multiply the above numbers by 0.75 for a RAID-5 configuration (one drive is used as parity).