nMP storage speed, int vs. ext

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by GoSUV, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. GoSUV macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #1
    I know the current nMP design, at least in Apple's standard or BTO configurations, don't come with an awful lot of internal storage - only up to 1TB. And there is not much room for expansion later on should you need more down the road. Apple is pushing for storage to be attached externally as the future.

    But what kind of data transfer speeds, in practice, that you can realistically expect from the internal PCIe SSD, versus something connected externally via Thunderbolt 2? Assuming that external device is also SSD, not a spinning hard drive, as that would be an, well, apples to oranges comparison. I know there aren't terribly many Thunderbolt 2 SSD external drives at the present moment, but assuming manufacturers will slowly adopt such interfaces down the road, we'll expect to see more. Indeed, Lacie will be releasing their TB2 SSD ext drive very soon.

    But my concern is, if the internal storage is significantly faster, that will be a huge bummer because unless Apple decides to provide DIY upgrade parts later, you'll be stuck with maximum 1TB of internal "fast" storage but infinite external "slow" storage. If it's the other way around (TB2 external storage is faster) then that's probably ok, because you could keep just your OS and some seldomly used system files there and rely on "fast" external storage for your day to day tasks. In this case even just 256G of internal SSD would probably be plenty, because you would be buying external drives yourself anyway.

    I know TB2 is supposed to be 20Gb/s, but that means nothing to me. I am looking for some real world figures if any one has any experience. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Anim, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014

    Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #2
    My 7200 platter drive on my PC gets around 120MB/s it's slow at todays standards but ok and what I am used too. Once windows and my apps are up and running then everything runs fine.

    The internal nMP PCI-e SSD drive can get in the upper 800 MB/s It is a single drive.

    External storage can come in all sorts of configurations but you can daisy chain thunderbolt 2 drives together and then in a raid config get 2,000+ MB/s which is screaming fast.
    e.g.
    http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/05/lacie-little-big-disk-thunderbolt-2/

    It all comes down to money and your transfer speed demands though.

    And to answer your question, external storage on Thunderbolt 2 can be two or maybe even three times faster than the already fast internal drive.
     
  3. Reno Richter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    #3
    Quote from the above article:
    "The successor to the original model, version 2.0 touts transfer speeds of 1,375 MB/s, thanks to Intel's port, and a new all-black paint scheme on its aluminum shell."

    Read that statement again....Learn something new everyday. Never knew the paint on the enclosure had anything to do with transfer speed! :D
     
  4. CH12671 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 29, 2013
    Location:
    Southern US
    #4
    I'm painting mine RED....hang on!:D
     
  5. wildmac macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2003
  6. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #6
    Are they THAT bad? I said the same thing about Western Digital about 5 years ago when two externals died in the same week. My backup and my backup of the backup!

    ----------

    Ha, for the cost, I'm taking mine down to the local wheel refurb shop and having it anodised in Subaru Gold!
     
  7. GoSUV thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #7
    Thanks for the replies. I have no particular preference whether the drive enclosure comes in Subaru Gold, Ferrari Red or Lacie Black, as long as it is not Maytag white then I guess I'm fine.

    It's good to know external storage can be as fast, or faster than the built-in SSD, provided you have some form of RAID setup. That way I see no reason to order more than the standard 256G of SSD from Apple.
     
  8. Anim macrumors 6502a

    Anim

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Macclesfield, UK
    #8
    One reason that many of us opted for 512 or 1TB SSD is for the ease of having both Windows and OSX on the boot drive rather than faffing about with getting an external. But seems installing an OS on external is becoming easier (as more users are doing it) if using TB drives, rather than USB3.
     
  9. Reno Richter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    #9
    If your externals are 7200 spinners even at Raid0, you are not going to be near the internal SSD in read write speed. The internal drive uses PCIe. In another thread here somebody posted some speed tests with SSD to TB vs SSD to a PCIe enclosure then then to the TB port in the nMP and the speed difference is considerable. Tried to locate that post again and can't locate it. Maybe somebody else can provide the link.

    In my case at this point the cost benefit ratio wasn't there to get a PCIe card in an enclosure based on what I do which is a lot of Rendering in C4D and or Lux which both can take advantage of the D700 graphic cards vs streaming content.
     

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