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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

'Late 2013' Retina MacBook Pro
beats the 'Late 2013' iMac on
Thunderbolt 1.0 Write Speeds

Originally posted Monday, December 16th, 2013, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

We made a puzzling discovery while benchmarking some new and old Thunderbolt 1.0 storage devices. We were testing them on both a (27-inch, Late 2013) iMac 3.4GHz Core i7 and (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) MacBook Pro 2.6GHz Core i7. The large sequential write speeds on the Retina MacBook Pro turned out to be significantly faster. Check out the graph below.

LARGE SEQUENTIAL WRITE TEST
We used AJA System Test to test file level, large sequential transfer speed using a 16GB test document that simulates a video whose frame size is 4096x2160.

(RED bar is the 2013 Retina MacBook Pro, GRAY bar is the (27-inch, Late 2013) iMac -- HIGHEST number means FASTEST)

GRAPH LEGEND
rMBP Q6G = (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) MacBook Pro connected to the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 1.0 notebook RAID 0 enclosure
iMac Q6G = (27-inch, Late 2013) iMac connected to the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 1.0 notebook RAID 0 enclosure

rMBP Q6G = (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) MacBook Pro with ThunderTek/TX + SeriTek/Q6G + miniSwap/ES with one Samsung 840 PRO SSD
iMac Q6G = (27-inch, Late 2013) iMac with ThunderTek/TX + SeriTek/Q6G + miniSwap/ES with one Samsung 840 PRO SSD

rMBP Son6G = (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) MacBook Pro with ThunderTek/TX + Sonnet Tempo SATA Pro 6G + miniSwap/ES with one Samsung 840 PRO SSD
iMac Son6G = (27-inch, Late 2013) iMac with ThunderTek/TX + Sonnet Tempo SATA Pro 6G + miniSwap/ES with one Samsung 840 PRO SSD

rMBP Neutrino = (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) MacBook Pro connected to the Akitio Neutrino (512G 6Gbps SSD) bus powered Thunderbolt 1.0 Notebook Drive
iMac Neutrino = (27-inch, Late 2013) iMac connected to the Akitio Neutrino (512G 6Gbps SSD) bus powered Thunderbolt 1.0 Notebook Drive

THOUGHTS
The (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) MacBook Pro's Thunderbolt storage device WRITE speed was 20%, 37%, 39%, and 120% faster than the 'late 2013'
iMac on the four respective Thunderbolt 1.0 storage devices we tested.

It is true that the 'late 2013' Retina MacBook Pro has a Thunderbolt 2.0 controller while the 'late 2013' iMac has a Thunderbolt 1.0 controller, but all four storage devices tested are Thunderbolt 1.0 rated. Shouldn't they run at the same write speeds on both Macs?

It may be that, though the 'late 2013' Retina MacBook Pro has a controller designed to support Thunderbolt 2.0 devices, the engineers were able to squeeze better performance from Thunderbolt 1.0 devices as well -- at least in case of write speed. (READ speeds were essentially the same for both Macs.)

If I come up with any alternate theories of the 'crime,' I will append them to this article.

Feedback or comments? Contact me , mad scientist.
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Twitter @barefeats

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copyright 2013 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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