Intech's QuickBench - The Custom Sequential Test (1024MB) gives a quick snapshot of the large file transfer speed. We post the average of 5 cycles. (HIGHEST number means the FASTEST in megabytes per second.)
two 6G SSDs = two miniSwap/U3 USB 3.0 enclosures with 6G SSDs -- each connected to a separate USB 3.0 port on the Retina MacBook Pro and striped (RAID 0) using Apple Disk Utility.
one 6G SSD = one miniSwap/U3 USB 3.0 enclosure with 6G SSD connected to a USB 3.0 port on the Retina MacBook Pro.
(The 6Gbps SSDs used in this test were Samsung 840 Pros.)
AJA System Test is used to measure large sequential read and write speed (which emulate playback and capture of HD video). Settings were 8.0GB File Size, 2048x1556 10-bit RGB Video Frame Size, file system cache disabled. (HIGHEST number means FASTEST in megabytes per second.)
WHAT's UNIQUE ABOUT THE MINISWAP/U3?
The FirmTek miniSwap/U3 is the fastest USB 3.0 device we have tested to date. For that matter it's the fastest bus powered storage device we've tested to date regardless of the interface type (including Thunderbolt). We tested with 6Gbps SSDs to show the full speed potential. (Have you noticed the price of SSDs is dropping?)
We did some quick benchmarking of three notebook HDDs (WD Green 2TB, WD Black 750GB, Seagate Hybrid 1TB). They clocked 113MB/s, 131MB/s, and 118MB/s respectively on the large sequential transfers. The SSDs were 5 to 10 times faster on the small random transfers. However, if capacity and price is your priority, these notebook HDDs will do the job.
Though the test results in the graphs above were from the 2012 Retina MacBook Pro, we also tested the miniSwap/U3 on USB 3.0 ports of the 2012 iMac, 2012 MacBook Air, 2012 Mac mini. The results were essentially the same. Fast.
If you ordered your iMac or Mac mini or MacBook Pro with a slow drive, you don't have to crack it open to install a fast drive. Just pop a fast drive in the miniSwap/U3, install OS X, and boot from it instead.
No mounting of the drive is required. No screws. No trays. Just open miniSwap's door, slide the drive in, close the door, rock'n'roll. Use a 6Gbps SSD one minute for a Photoshop Scratch volume. Next minute, dismount and eject that drive to insert a Green 2TB HDD for a Time Machine backup. It mounts without rebooting your Mac. Yes. Hotswap.
The miniSwap/U3 runs all standard notebook HDDs and SSDs on bus power. No AC adapter needed. Nice for Apple laptops or even iMac owners wanting minimal clutter and cables in view.
IT'S COOL and QUIET
No fan. Uses passive cooling through ventilation holes and heat transfer through the aluminum case. Our stress test of a 7200 rpm HDD inside the miniSwap/U3 showed temperatures only a few degrees above that of the internal SSD of the MacBook Pro and the internal HDD of the iMac -- both of which were at idle and are cooled by a fan.
STRONG, QUALITY CONSTRUCTION
The case is made from sturdy aluminum similar to what's used on the Mac Pro. It's designed to be stackable in case you plan to use more than one.
We will post the pricing in a few days but suffice to say it will be surprisingly reasonable.
If you are looking for a fast, affordable, convenient, bus-powered notebook storage device for your 2012 Mac with USB 3.0 ports, the FirmTek miniSwap/U3 is definitely worth strong consideration.