Monday, April 4, 2011

Thunderbolt Enclosure Coming Soon... Promise!

Promise Technology has announced an upcoming Thunderbolt RAID enclosure, called Pegasus. This is great news for new MacBook Pro users (like moi) with the new TB port. Exceeding SATA speeds, this will give laptops the high end performance that only desktops had in the past. Video editing and audio recording on a laptop can now almost match the power and speed of their desktop counterparts.

Although the speed limit will be the SATA drives themselves, and even SSD drives aren't fast enough to max out a single Thunderbolt port, this will allow parallel tasks to be run.  Saving files while streaming uncompressed media to and from the drive(s).

Even RAID enclosures don't come close to TB's limit, this offloads a lot of the processing, high-end application stress, and file serving to an external box, theoretically giving mobile systems a modular approach.  Similar to the laptop docks of the 80's and 90's, the Thunderbolt port will allow high performance storage and displays to be conveniently connected to a mobile system and access files faster than the laptop's own internal drive.

**Hallo, ich lerne Deutsch und ich kann ein paar Fragen zu beantworten.
Je parle un peu français aussi. Je peux répondre à des questions sur mes messages.**


  1. Where do you get the idea that you can put SATA drives in a Thunderbolt enclosure?

  2. Hi Ron, Thunderbolt is much like USB and Firewire. If you click on the Pegasus link in my post, you'll see that Promise will be offering a 4-6 SATA drive enclosure for their new Thunderbolt line.

    It works on the same principle as having a SATA drive in current USB3 and Firewire enclosures. Some older Firewire enclosures have IDE drives inside them as well.

    The Promise Pegasus will allow a full RAID system to function over Thunderbolt (with a lot of bandwidth to spare) and pretty much off-load all the storage work to an external device. This is gonna be great for video and audio fieldwork.

  3. Hi John

    I suppose Im confused. I thought the Pegasus Thunderbolt enclosures were going to be using SS drives. But I see they're using SATA 6.0 drives. So how is a Thunderbolt enclosure going to be any faster than a eSATA Raid when it can only be as fast as the drive itself?

  4. BTW, Seagate is also planning to release new Thunderbolt cables for their existing GoFlex drives. Allowing you to just swap out the interface cable to whatever you need... currently USB2, USB3, Firewire, and eSATA... they said they'd announce the new Thunderbolt cables over the summer... still waiting. :P

  5. Hey Ron, Thunderbolt enclosures and drives can use SS drives (like Lacie's upcoming one)... Depending on how many RAID enclosures you have daisy-chained, it can be faster since Thunderbolt has more bandwidth to handle bi-directional transfers.

    Current tests show that not even SS drives can max out Thunderbolt's current speed limit.

  6. Just an update, MacWorld did a benchmark review on eSata vs Thunderbolt RAID drives and these were their initial results:

    Benchmarks: Thunderbolt vs. eSATA (2GB File)

    Promise Pegasus R6
    Read : 177
    Write : 212.8

    Promise SmartStor DS4600
    Read : 127.4
    Write : 95.2

    Promise SmartStor DS4600
    Read : 86.2
    Write : 77.2
    All results are in megabytes per second (MBps).


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