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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

REVIEW: Areca 6-bay RAID-the-box Thunderbolt 2.0 + USB 3.0

Originally posted April 23rd, 2015 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Some Macs have Thunderbolt 1.0. Some have Thunderbolt 2.0. Some have USB 2.0. Some have USB 3.0. Wouldn't it be nice if you had a RAID enclosure that can handle them all? Meet the Areca ARC-5028T2 Thunderbolt 2.0/USB 3.0 RAID storage device.


GRAPH LEGEND
6 drive RAID 0 TB2 = Areca ARC-5028T2 Thunderbolt 2.0/USB 3.0 RAID enclosure with six Seagate 2TB SSHD drives in RAID 0 mode connected to a Thunderbolt 2.0 port
6 drive RAID 5 TB2 = Areca ARC-5028T2 Thunderbolt 2.0/USB 3.0 RAID enclosure with six Seagate 2TB SSHD drives in RAID 0 mode connected to a Thunderbolt 2.0 port
6 drive RAID 0 USB3 = Areca ARC-5028T2 Thunderbolt 2.0/USB 3.0 RAID enclosure with six Seagate 2TB SSHD drives in RAID 0 mode connected to a USB 3.0 port

Test 'mule' was the 'late 2013' Mac Pro except in the case of USB 3.0 where we used the faster results from the iMac 5K's USB 3.0 port. (See comments below)

LARGE SEQUENTIAL TRANSFER TEST
We used AJA System Test to test file level sequential transfer speed using a 16GB test and 4096x2160 Frame Size.
RED graph bar means the FASTEST overall in Megabytes per Second.

SMALL RANDOM TRANSFER TEST
We used a range of 4K to 1024K blocks in the Standard Random test in QuickBench as a predictor boot volume 'house keeping' performance and a simulation of an application that does multiple small random transfers.
RED graph bar means the FASTEST overall in Megabytes per Second.

INSIGHTS
We like the flexibility of a "RAID-in-the-Box" storage device with both Thunderbolt and USB ports. We were able to use the ARC-5028T2 with every Mac from the 12" Retina MacBook with USB-C port to the 'late 2013' Mac Pro with Thunderbolt 2.0 ports. Since the RAID volume is setup using the internal ARM_based 933MHz storage processor, moving from Mac to Mac does not require reformatting.

RAID support includes level 0, 1, 1+0, 3, 5, 6, 10, 30, 50, 60, and JBOD. For complete list of features, consult the Areca product page for the ARC-5028T2.

With six bays, you don't need SSDs to take advantage of the transfer speeds possible with Thunderbolt 2.0. We used six Seagate 2TB Desktop Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHD model ST2000DX001) for our testing but even faster and larger capacity drives are possible if you want to reach the magical 1350MB/s real world possible speed of Thunderbolt 2.0.

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WHERE TO BUY THE ARECA ARC-5028 6-Bay TB/USB RAID
The Areca ARC-5028 6-Bay can be ordered from Trans International or Other World Computing or Amazon or BHPhotoVideo. Areca also has an 8-Bay Thunderbolt version.

The Seagate 2TB SSHD we used is available from Trans International or Amazon and BHPhotoVideo. (It's available in other capacities from 1TB to 4TB.)

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copyright 2015 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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