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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

LaCie Bolt3 Thunderbolt 3 Drive

Originally posted February 24th, 2017 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

When we read 'up to 2800MB/s speeds,' you can imagine how anxious we were to review the LaCie Bolt3 Thunderbolt 3 drive.

Internal Flash - 'late 2016' MacBook Pro 15-in 1TB internal flash storage
LaCie Bolt3 = LaCie Bolt3 Thunderbolt 3 Flash Drive (1TB * 2 = 2TB)
connected to a USB-C (Thunderbolt 3 capable) port of the 'late 2016' MacBook Pro 15-inch laptop.
Thunder3 SM951*2 = AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box with Amfeltec Gen3 PCIe M.2 Carrier board and two striped SM951 AHCI flash blades (512G x 2 = 1TB) connected to a USB-C (Thunderbolt 3 capable) port of the 'late 2016' MacBook Pro 15-inch laptop.

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

The LaCie Bolt3's large sequential READ speed didn't reach 2800MB/s. It did reach 2513MB/s which makes it competitive with other Thunderbolt 3 external storage solutions like the Thunder3/Amfeltec combo. However, the large sequential WRITE speed is much slower than the competing Thunderbolt 3 external storage solutions and the internal Apple flash storage.

As for small random READ speeds, it surprised us by being much faster than the both the Thunder3/Amfeltec storage solution and Apple internal flash storage. But the small random WRITE speed was much slower than the internal Apple flash and significantly slower than the Thunder3/Amfeltec solution.

As with other Neil Poulton designed products, the Bolt3 has killer looks. The connectors are even hidden by a hinged cover. The black exterior matches the LG UltraFine 5K display if not the MacBook Pro itself. Maybe the designer had in mind black Windows PC laptops like the Razer Blade.

The Bolt3 package includes a power brick, short Thunderbolt 3 cable, and magnetized stand which poses the Bolt3 at an artistic angle. Though not always the fastest, it does run silently and has a small footprint.

The $1999 price was initially jarring but if we 'built' a Thunder3/Amfeltec solution with 2TB capacity, it would cost between $1743 and $2185, depending on the brand and model of flash blades.

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WHERE TO BUY THE LaCie Bolt3 Thunderbolt 3 flash drive
Order from B&H Photo Video.

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