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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

REVIEW: Angelbird 8TB SSD WRK XT and Wings X2 SSD carrier board

May 2nd, 2017, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Solid State Drives are 'the thing' but we are often frustrated with the limited capacity. Angelbird aims to fix that with their new 8 Terabyte SSD WRK XT drive. In addition, they are releasing the Wings X2, a full-length PCie card that can be used to mount two of the 8TB SSDs inside your Mac Pro tower or Thunderbolt expansion box.

GRAPH LEGEND
8TB*2 on X2*2 in cMP - Dual 8TB SSD WRK XT striped; each SSD was mounted on a separate Wings X2 boards; one X2 was in x4 slot 3 and the other in x16 slot #2 of 2010 Mac Pro
8TB*2 on X2 in Slot 2 - Dual 8TB SSD WRK XT striped and mounted one Wings X2 board and placed in x16 slot #2 of 2010 Mac Pro
8TB*2 on X2 in Slot 3 - Dual 8TB SSD WRK XT striped and mounted one Wings X2 board and placed in x4 slot #3 of 2010 Mac Pro
8TB on X2 in Slot 2 - Single 8TB SSD WRK XT mounted on Wings X2 board and placed in x16 slot #2 of 2010 Mac Pro

LARGE SEQUENTIAL
We used AJA System Test to benchmark file level sequential transfer speed using a 16GB test file (and 4K frame size).

HIGHER number in megabytes per second = FASTEST

small random
Quickbench's Standard Test includes random transfer test sizes from 4 KBytes to 1024 KBytes. The graph shows an average of 5 test cycles. Not as impressive as large sequential transfers, but reveals performance you can expect from the OS as it does housekeeping and certain applications which perform small random transfers.
HIGHER number in megabytes per second = FASTEST

WHAT DID WE LEARN?
As with most 2.5-inch SATA SSDs, the
Angelbird SSD WRK XT is limited to a top speed of around 550MB/s. Because the Wings X2 board is 2-lane, the dual striped 8TB SSD WRK XT topped out at 775MB/s. Two Wings X2 boards made 1032MB/s possible but that's a small gain to use up two PCIe slots -- unless you are going for a 32TB volume.

For Thunderbolt 2 and 3 Macs, you'll need a full-length PCIe expansion box like the Magma ExpressBox 3T (TB2 or TB3 version).

Not shown in the graphs is a quick experiment to see if a single 8TB SSD WRK XT would mount and run reliably in a USB 3.1 Gen2 bus powered enclosure. The answer is "Yes" (at 498MB/s).

CONCLUSION
By design, the 2.5-inch SSDs will not be as speedy as PCIe based flash blades, but a striped pair of Angelbird 8TB WRK XT SSDs on the Wings X2 PCIe carrier provides a nice balance between speed and capacity. And one more thing: the Angelbird SSDs natively support TRIM.


(Image above is the Angelbird Wings X2 board that accepts two 2.5 inch SSDs.)

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WHERE TO BUY THE ANGELBIRD 8TB SSD WRK XT and Wings X2
Order products direct from Angelbird. Or search for "Angelbird WRK XT" or "Angelbird Wings X2" on B&H Photo Video.

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copyright 2017 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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