AKiTiO Thunder SATA Go SSD reader

Solid state drives (SSDs) provide faster data transfer rates than mechanical hard disk drives (HDD's) but how fast can an SSD with a SATA interface really go and what is needed to achieve the best possible speeds in an external storage enclosure?

A single SSD with a SATA 6Gb/s interface, also known as SATA-III or SATA 3, can deliver speeds of about 500-550MB/s. This means that the storage enclosure should have a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface at 10Gbps or a Thunderbolt interface to provide sufficient bandwidth. However, when it comes to Thunderbolt enclosures, not all are built the same way and if you plan on getting the most out of a single SSD, you need to make sure that the SATA controller also provides enough bandwidth to run at full SATA 6Gb/s speeds.

Thunder SATA Go

This article is a translation based on Stanley's review at MACUKNOW.

"Hey, what's this?" asked Stanley, when he borrowed an AKiTiO Thunder2 Quad from AKiTiO for a review.

He saw this little gadget laying on a table, thinking it is some kind of card reader but as it turned out, this is actually an eSATA to Thunderbolt adapter with two eSATA 6Gbps ports.

Perhaps you still have one of those earlier external drives with multiples interfaces including eSATA, USB 2.0 and FireWire 800?

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.

Thunderbolt 2 dock

Whenever a new revision of a technology is released, the question arises, do you really need to upgrade and if you do, what requirements have to be met in order to fully utilize the new technology.

In this article we will have a look at the latest Thunderbolt™ 2 interface and how it affects AKiTiO users that have already purchased or are thinking of purchasing a Thunderbolt product. With Thunderbolt 2, speeds are doubled from 10Gb/s to 20Gb/s and true uncompressed 4K video can be transferred and displayed.

To learn more about Thunderbolt technology in general, please visit Apple or Intel.


One of our customers recently came to us with a Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1 TB, External, 5400 RPM Hard Drive (WDBACX0010BBK-NESN) that he wanted to take apart and insert into one of our enclosures. He did not like, as he put it, “the cheap look and feel of the plastic WD enclosure” and wanted to remove the hard drive from the enclosure and install it into one of our aluminum enclosures featuring USB 3.0, FireWire and eSATA interfaces.

It seemed like a fine idea to us until he took apart the WD enclosure only to find that the hard drive within the enclosure was NOT a SATA hard drive, but rather a USB Native hard drive.

What that means is that the drive has a USB port connected to it rather than the typical SATA connector and therefore cannot be connected to the bridge board of a normal external enclosure or installed into a laptop. Basically, it can only be used in the WD enclosure.