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Testing Thunderbolt-Enabled External Storage: Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH meets WD Velociraptor Duo
Test System Specs & Atto
Test System Specs
- Intel Core i7-3770K (LGA1155)
- x2 4GB DDR3-1600 G.Skill (CAS 8-8-8-20)
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH (Intel Z77)
- OCZ ZX Series (1250w)
- OCZ Vertex 4 256GB (6Gb/s)
- Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB (6Gb/s)
- Western Digital Velociraptor 1TB
- Asus GeForce GTX 680 (2048MB)
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)
- Nvidia Forceware 306.23
We will include the Intel SSD 520 Series and OCZ Vertex 4 SSDs for comparison purposes. The Intel SSD 520 Series drive will be tested inside the Velociraptor Duo using the Thunderbolt interface in addition to a configuration that is connected directly to the motherboard's SATA 6Gb/s ports.
It is highly likely that the Velociraptor Duo is not optimized to work with SSDs given that it is designed to work with the Velociraptor 1TB hard drives. Therefore, we will also take the Velociraptor 1TB drives out of the Velociraptor Duo and test their performance when connected to the motherboard's SATA 6Gb/s ports. These drives will be tested in RAID0, both inside the Velociraptor Duo and when connected to the motherboard.
First up, we have Atto Disk Benchmark's read results, which show how the Duo performs with the Velociraptor drives as well as a single Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB. The Duo in its standard configuration is quite slow to get started, reaching a throughput of just 15MB/s when measuring 1K performance and 30MB/s for 2K performance.
That said, when armed with the Intel SSD 520 Series drives the Duo was basically no faster, maxing out at 16MB/s and 33MB/s. However, if you connect the Intel SSD 520 Series drive to the motherboard's SATA 6Gb/s ports, these numbers jump to 35MB/s when working with 1K data and 70MB/s with 2K data samples.
Likewise, the Velociraptor drives were much faster when we attached them directly to the motherboard's SATA 6Gb/s ports. In fact, they were about 10x faster, hitting 158MB/s with 1K data and 314MB/s with 2K.
Looking at the 128K performance, we see that the Velociraptor hard drives maxed out at 358MB/s inside the Duo while they reached 431MB/s when connected to the motherboard. The SSD performance was much the same: 345MB/s in the Duo and over 500MB/s when connected to the motherboard.
We found similar trends when measuring the write performance. The Velociraptor hard drives were much faster when connected directly to the motherboard's SATA ports, particularly when working with smaller data samples. This was also true for the Intel SSD 520 Series drive, which was considerably faster when connected to the motherboard instead of using Thunderbolt with the Duo.
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