Portable Thunderbolt drive promises 750MB/sec speeds for $799

By on October 10, 2012, 2:00 PM

Promise Technology today announced the availability of what it claims to be the world's fastest ultra-portable storage device with Thunderbolt connectivity: the Pegasus J2. At the time of this writing, the J2 appears to only be available at the Apple Store -- $799 and $1499 for the 256GB and 512GB models, respectively. Techreport claims Newegg should have it for around $600.

The Pegasus J2 is indeed very fast, topping the 750MB/sec mark in sequential read benchmarks. Also, the form factor is indeed portable, measuring in at 2.91 x 4.33 x 0.81 inches and weighing just over 4 oz. However, the stiff price tag will undoubtedly keep most consumers at a safe distance, not unlike garlic and 1960s vampires. It's worth mentioning the device is only officially compatible with Mac OS X, so potential PC buyers will want to look elsewhere anyhow.

What makes the Pegasus J2 so fast? The device is comprised of two high-performance mSATA SSDs sandwiched together in RAID-0, giving it a fair amount of internal oomph. Thunderbolt, of course, handles this horsepower comfortably with its 10Gbps of theoretical bandwidth.

One area where the Pegasus J2 falls short though are random writes. Anandtech reviewed a J2 unit last month and discovered just how bad it is, with random write benchmarks hitting 200-400KB/sec. The reviewer blamed the unit's entry-level Phison PS3108 controller, but it's worth mentioning SSDs in general are notoriously poor performers when it comes to this particular discipline.

What makes the Pegasus J2 so expensive? Well, I'm not really sure -- SSD prices have been plummeting as certain top-shelf 128GB models have bottomed out at just $70 (on sale, of course). And sure, Thunderbolt is part of it, certainly. Even a simple Thunderbolt cable is still $50 and said cables are almost entirely under Apple's control until 2013. Of course, the Pegasus J2 does not include a Thunderbolt cable, so there's one more thing to consider.

Although the price is undeniably stiff, it is the fastest external drive of its kind though -- that'll surely be reason enough for some.

User Comments: 12

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Thunderbolt drive...

Sounds kinda catchy lol

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Yeah - it'll catch lots of weenies and the price will certainly create a class divide for a while. [I'm in the "cannot afford this" class btw]


:o Only at apple stores. What would be beneficial from having such high speeds?

ikesmasher said:

So you can backup your entire laptop in 2 minutes! you know.

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

"What makes the Pegasus J2 so expensive? Well, I'm not really sure"

I'm just going to point out the elephant in the crowd...the Apple tax.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Other parties supply Thunderbolt cables nowadays. How many people have boards that support it though?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I was wondering when they were going to start an SSD raid configuration in a portable enclosure. BTW, is this the first drive or is it just the first drive I have seen?

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

First one I've seen using mSATA, but there has been at least one using regular 2.5" SSDs released by Lacie.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Never complain about too much speed. It's a great enabler.

It's a bit disappointing it had taken this long for a 10Gbit serial tech to hit the market. With SSD tech it is already a bottleneck. Just look at Revodrive 3 X2 transfer speeds. It is so easy to just parallel up more data bus lanes and see proportional bw gains.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

What an incredible waste of money!!!

Today I can get 2 x Samsung 840 (256GB) for about $570 (512GB in total). In RAID 0 they will perform faster than 750MB/s on SATA-III.

So, the extra $930 is for the thunderbolt disk case? Really?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So, the extra $930 is for the thunderbolt disk case? Really?
That would be the first Thunderbolt case to support mSata in a raid configuration.

Of-coarse they are going to want royalties for being the first ones out the door with it. Sounds very much like any other company in existence.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

I saw the price and laughed.

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