Is there any point in paying extra for this HDD with Thunderbolt?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gwelmarten, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. gwelmarten macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    England!
    #1
    Hi
    So, I was looking at the Western Digital My Book Studio 2 in the 6TB form (see here), when I saw they make a thunderbolt version (see here).

    So, I can't see why I would pay at extra $200 for this. The non-thunderbolt version has USB 2.0, which has read/write speeds of about 480Mbps (correct?).
    The hard drives in there (because they are SATA, physical hard drives with moving parts) are limited to around 40Mb/s. So surely USB 2.0 is capable of moving data faster than the drives can read/write, so there is no need for anything faster?

    Doesn't this therefore mean that putting thunderbolt into a product like this is pointless, as it will work at exactly the same speed as the USB version, limited by the HDD speed?

    Or am I missing something?

    Thanks for your comments,

    Sam
     
  2. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502

    jmcgeejr

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    USB 2.0 is much slower than the 480Mbps it says, with overhead and such you are lucky to get about 25MB/s, I ended up going with firewire800, high bandwith and less overhead, I get about 55MB/s with that. Avoid 2.0 if you can mate it's so slow.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #3
    Normal modern 3.5" (desktop) HDDs can deliver up to 130 MB/s when connected via S-ATA interface. USB 2.0 limits the transfer to 37 MB/s.
    Since that model you linked to has two actual HDDs, you can employ RAID on them and stripe data onto two HDDs, thus getting 250 MB/s, thus Thunderbolt is quite helpful.
    But then again, with RAID in striping mode (splitting data onto two ore more HDDs), you need to employ a proper backup system, as when one HDD fails, all data is lost.
     
  4. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    England!
    #4
    Thanks for that.
    As I want to use it in mirroring mode (so if one HDD fails, the other will still have the data), is what you are saying that USB 2 would work around 37Mb/s and if I were to have thunderbolt, it would be 125Mb/s?

    Do you know anything about the Western Digital Caviar Green drives being bad in a RAID array because they 'spin down'?

    Sam
     

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