AKiTiO Thunder2 Quad Mini

With Thunderbolt™ 2, speeds are doubled from 10Gb/s to 20Gb/s and the interface supports true uncompressed 4K video but what does that mean for Thunderbolt 2 storage drives in the real world? What requirements have to be met in order to fully utilize this new technology?

In this article we will have a look at the upcoming AKiTiO Thunder 2 Quad Mini, a 4-bay storage enclosure designed for up to four 2.5" SATA-III drives that features the latest Thunderbolt 2 interface.

AKiTiO's Thunderbolt 2 drive, the Thunder 2 Quad Mini, will be available this summer in 2015.

How fast does it get?

The expected real world performance of a Thunderbolt 2 product based on the Falcon Ridge chipset is about 1375 MB/s after subtracting the protocol overhead. To reach these kind of speeds with the AKiTiO Thunder 2 Quad Mini, it is necessary to install four SSD drives an set them up in a software RAID 0 system. A software RAID is done with the help of the Operating System (e.g. Mac OS X 10.9). Go to our information center to learn more about RAID systems.

As seen in the benchmark results below, in some cases, the performance of the AKiTiO Thunder 2 Quad Mini comes very close to the upper limit with read speeds of up to 1363 MB/s. Of course, results will vary depending on the environment, so for reference, we have included two different benchmark results.

The computer that was used for this test is a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) with a Thunderbolt 2 interface. The four SSD drives are setup in a software RAID 0 system on Mac OS 10.9.1.

QuickBench

BlackMagic Disk Speed Test

What do I need?

It is important to understand that to achieve transfer rates with speeds of up to 1375 MB/s, a certain setup is required. Just having a Thunderbolt 2 capable computer and storage enclosure is not enough. For example, without software RAID, speeds are nowhere near as fast and creating a RAID with only two or three drives will also reduce the performance.

Depending on the setup, Thunderbolt 2 might not even be required, because transfer rates do not exceed 10 Gb/s. To find out if you really need double the speed, please see how Thunderbolt 2 affects our existing Thunderbolt products.

benchmark-thunderbolt2-ssds

Where do I buy the AKiTiO Thunder 2 Quad Mini?

AKiTiO's Thunderbolt 2 storage enclosure, the Thunder 2 Quad Mini, will be available this summer in 2015 from AKiTiO. For more details, please email sales@akitio.com.

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