Thunderbolt 3 4-bay Enclosure only?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by olahe97, May 18, 2017.

  1. olahe97 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    #1
    Hey,

    I've been waiting for a thunderbolt 3 4-bay enclosure to use with my macbook 15" for a long time now. I wonder if anyone know of anyone supplying these? Needs to be for 3,5" drives.

    Found some very expensive options like this, http://www.datoptic.com/ec/thunderb...nd-a-hub-of-esata-and-dual-usb-3-1-ports.html , but this is very expensive. I've been waiting for the akitio Quad to upgrade to mac support but it seems like they don't going to? I'm running softraid on my old computer and I'm happy with that solution although hardware raid isn't a problem either if that's what available. Using it for Photography, photoshop etc.

    Hope anyone have come across something I've missed, thanks in advance.
     
  2. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #2
    Is using a Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter from Apple out of the question? It's not like a 4-bay RAID could use Thunderbolt 3 speed
     
  3. olahe97 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 25, 2012
    #3
    I've thought about it but that means I have to an adapter which I preferably don't want to use. Also running Raid5 with 4 SSDs will probably get the use of Thunderbolt 3 speed? Or am I wrong? Will it benefits speed on thunderbolt 3 if I run Raid5 on HDDs?
     
  4. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #4
    Even 4 SSDs running in RAID5 won't need all of Thunderbolt 2, much less Thunderbolt 3. I know because I have a Thunderbay 4 mini running 4 SSDs in SoftRAID, RAID5 mode. The most I've gotten out of it was 1200MB/sec, or less than half the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2.
     
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #6
    Sonnet will almost certainly release a multibay TB3 enclosure soon, if they have not already, and likely one that supports hard RAID in addition to soft. AKiTiO plans to release both a TB3 dock and a quad enclosure that is Mac-compatible, although I cannot recall offhand during my chat with them if they said it was 2.5 or 3.5 inch.

    To my understanding, even four striped SATA SSDs would not come even remotely close to pushing TB2 to the limits.
     
  6. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #7
    Sonnet don't even have TB2 multibay enclosures thus far, so it seems overly optimistic to think they'll release a TB3 one.
     
  7. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #8
    I thought they were the company that made the DX RAID series???? Did I get my brands mixed up? Sorry in advance if I did :(
     
  8. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #9
    The DX RAID series is only available as a PCI card interface, not Thunderbolt
     
  9. jimthing macrumors 6502a

    jimthing

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    Definitely a lack of Thunderbolt 3 enclosures currently out there, given the connector has completely changed.

    If you have an always on Mac, doesn't one rather use a fast connection with same file system external DAS of some kind, compared to a slow connection with proprietary file system'd NAS...?
     
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #11
    If you aren't using RAID'd SSD's then stick with a USB external.

    For a NAS unless you have a 10Gb NIC installed in your NAS you are limited to the speed of a single ethernet gigabit cable which is 120MB/s roughly.
    If it has 4 gigabit ports ... you still only get 120MB/s. Link aggregation does not combine those lines. So do not think 2 Gigabit ports will give me 240MB/s, 4 with give 480. It does not work like that with ethernet ports.
    If you RAID0 /5/6/10 whatever a NAS ... you still get 120MB/s

    You are always limited to the slowest point in a given system. So Thunderbolt will not make a hard drive that can only write at 120MB/s write faster than 120MB/s.
    While 120MB/s is roughly the theoretical maximum read/write for a spinning hard drive, just do the math.
    4 x 120 = 480 = still in the realm of USB3 = much much less expensive than any form of Thunderbolt from 1-3.


    You also have to be careful with the cheaper Thunderbolt enclosures. Vendors sometimes put the cheapest Thunderbolt controller into the enclosure, so while this gives Thunderbolt connectivity it may not give you the speed Thunderbolt may be capable of.
    I have 3 different Thunderbolt 2 enclosures that MAX out at 350MB/s read and write. Regardless of how drives are configured, 350 is the absolutely max speed of the controller in those enclosures. So be wary... you may not always be getting what you think you are.

    Companies will write "Thunderbolt 2 capable of 20Gb/s read and write, 2x faster than USB 3.1" while yes that statement is true, but the actual hardware used inside the product is still TB2 yet is slower than USB 3.0 and can not even max out speeds a single SSD.
     
  11. jimthing, May 31, 2017
    Last edited: May 31, 2017

    jimthing macrumors 6502a

    jimthing

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    #12
    But what about LATENCY.

    Thunderbolt is supposed to have much lower latency than any USB connections. How much exactly, I'm not sure. But surely it must be worthwhile or the pros/prosumers wouldn't want or need it?

    The question is does it make a difference for playback of, say, decent quality 4K video to, say, two (or more) devices concurrently...? Compared to an average 4-drive non-RAID 0 NAS.
     
  12. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #13
    Again it comes down to the actual Thunderbolt controller used inside the device.
    I posted a screenshot of a speedtest to one of my Thunderbolt 2 RAID externals. Inside is 2 - Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD's.
    After some testing I found the speed shown below is the maximum speed for the Thunderbolt controller inside this particular device. This speed shown was for a single drive as well as in RAID0.
    Had this been a particularly good Thunderbolt controller I should be easily getting 500MB/s read and write off of a single drive and close to 1 GB/s RAIDed. But this is not the case.
    This was also information I had zero clue about. I just thought any Thunderbolt drive is going to be as fast as it's slowest drive. I wasn't aware they purposely made Thunderbolt controller chips much much slower than the advertised speed.

    Heck, Thunderbolt 1 should be able to give 10Gb/s yet it's doing 3Gb/s roughly.

    I am just sharing my advice on, not all Thunderbolt devices will perform the same.
    If it is cheaper there may be a reason for that. Research.

    Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 11.04.36 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 11.33.52 AM.png
     
  13. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    .nl
    #14
    Not just the controller but all of the other things that are at play. The main thing is that Thunderbolt has been designed to carry other protocols and be as low in latency as possible whereas USB is not. The applications where latency matters will be the applications where you are going to see the difference. Simple tests like the on from Aja and Blackmagic aren't one of those.

    It's not a matter of slowest drive and they didn't make any Thunderbolt slower than advertised. You simply don't understand the technical side of it all. Thunderbolt is a protocol that carries other protocols. Thunderbolt doesn't understand storage so it has to rely on other protocols that do. One of those protocols is SATA which can't go beyond 6 Gbit/s (=SATA3 speeds). In some cases they use HBAs that won't do more than 3 Gb/s (=SATA2) because it doesn't make sense to go with the faster one since the drives being connected to it won't saturate the available bandwidth. The solutions that do this are the cheap ones.

    3Gb/s would be the same as SATA 2 speeds. The Thunderbolt protocol has a maximum bandwidth and thus it will be shared with everything that is going over that connection. Things are more strict with Thunderbolt 3 with it only doing a max of 22 Gb/s for PCIe, 18 Gb/s for DisplayPort and a maximum total of all protocols being limited to 40Gb/s.

    You need to look up the bandwidth used of all the devices that you connected to that very same Thunderbolt port in order to figure out what it actually consumes.
     
  14. mmomega, Jun 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017

    mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #15
    This whole thing is so confusing.

    One unless I am mistaken the OP is looking for storage advice for option that he may use towards photography and Photoshop. Is latency an issue here for storage of photos?


    Well. The only. Only. Only thing connected to that very same Thunderbolt port is a Thunderbolt cable that connect to the port which connects to the controller which goes to the sata connect to the Solid State Drive.
    I know the connector is correct.
    I know the SSD is capable of 500+MegaBytes per second read and write.
    I know that when I test for the speed of a particular device I make it the only device connected outside of a keyboard and mouse.
    So this is when I will dig deeper, what is making all of this work? Why is is slower than advertised speeds?
    The controller used.
    And in my particular case on this particular device the controller is an ASMedia ASM1061 Controller. Correct, it's a SATA controller.
    The only way to have found out this information is to tear apart the device and find the parts and cross reference the wording and letters located on the controller chip.You're usually not find thing this info out on the side of the box or manual or even support forums depending on how new the product is. With this drive only being a two drive setup at $750 for 4TB I was not expecting a bottom of the barrel chip controller.
    A little digging deeper on that one can see that this controller on utilizes a single PCI lane.
    Then digging a little deeper I come across some information @ Toms.
    Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 4.01.42 AM.png Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 4.04.14 AM.png

    So the speeds they discovered over at Toms on different controllers is essentially identical to my findings. Everything is as it should be. But the device isn't going to do more than roughly 350-380MB/s regardless of how fast Thunder is. How fast the SSD is, the cable, if 1 or 2 things are upstream.
    I understand what you're saying. And I am just trying to advise the average Joe that isn't going to know that, well his SATA controller built into his Thunderbolt device is the thing that is causing it to slow down the device and that Thunderbolt is capable of 40Gbps but his chip is only capable of 6.

    For people that do the car analogies it's like back when Ford made 4 cylinder Mustangs in the 90's.
    When you see a Mustang or thought of one you thought of the GT or the Cobra. It was quick.
    So when someone would say hey look at my new Mustang it would be yeah, it is ..... but it isn't.

    Thunderbolt means speed. The fastest thing out there. Everything is wide open to the max.
    But some of it isn't.
     
  15. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #16
    Check out some from Akitio. Like it was stated earlier, not all enclosures are created equal.
     
  16. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
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    .nl
    #17
    It's not going to go much over that 500MB/s limit though, you're already at the max speed you can get from SATA3.

    Yep and it does support SATA3 and comes in both USB and PCIe versions. The specs from ASMedia though say it is PCIe 2.0 x1 and thus the theoretical max is at 500MB/s (this usually also includes all overhead so actual speeds are always lower). There are no actual figures of what this controller is capable of when it comes to performance. For real world figures you need to benchmark. Do keep in mind that these cheap ASMedia controllers won't ever get the full power out of SATA; you get what you pay for.

    It wasn't in System Profiler/System Information (hold down the option key and hit the Apple logo on the menubar)?

    Exactly. This applies especially to storage controllers.
     
  17. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #18
    Right, but it isn't even touching 500MB/s. I am getting the same speeds as the Tom's hardware test shows. 360 -380MB/s maximum. But the drive itself is capable and has performed up to and some over 500MB/s in a different enclosure.

    Unless someone decided to question what type of SATA controller was installed into a Thunderbolt Enclosure. They would never know what in there is actually causing slower speeds than anticipated.
    When a 2 drive raid enclosure with thunderbolt is costing $700+ for 4TB. One is not thinking they are cheaping out. One would be thinking I am getting what I pay for. I am probably actually paying more than I normally would.
    I have just in my previous post, listed benchmarks provided by Toms Hardware while testing many SATA controllers that covers the one we are speaking about.
    Back to the fact that, let's say Western Digital or Lacie sell a thunderbolt external drive enclosure. The manufacturers do not list the SATA controller and model # used in the making of the enclosure. Someone will have to tear apart the enclosure to get this information. Had the company said "Inside you will find a turd controller so do not be alarmed if you experience much much less than expected results." I would assuredly have found something else.

    No. This only shows the linked speed. Which depending on the v of Thunderbolt you're using. will be 10Gb/s, 20Gb/s or 40Gb/s. It also shows the vendors name. The products name. The things you can find on the outside of the box.

    And my entire point is that not just everyone who buys a Thunderbolt equipped storage controller is going to know this unless. They read that someone else went through finding this out or they themselves find it out.
    The issue I have with being an early adopter is I am more so on the latter end of finding out myself so the folks coming to the party later can find out and use some of the information I came across.
     
  18. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
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    .nl
    #19
    That just a matter of theoretical speed vs real world speed. It doesn't say anything about it being right or wrong. With cheap hardware those lower speeds can be right or even higher than expected.

    Quite a lot of those devices actually show up in System Information under the USB or PCIe tab. May USB3.0 HDD dock for instance does exactly that. That's how I found it too uses an ASMedia controller. It's also how you can find out that the ethernet-thunderbolt adapter from Apple uses a Broadcom chip. Checking System Information is a good starting point.

    Indeed and yet these things do happen. A higher price doesn't always mean that it also has a higher quality or higher performance. Putting in a slower controller doesn't always have to be a cheap way though. They may favour reliability over performance for example (with ASMedia controllers I'm not so sure something like that will apply).

    Have you looked under the USB and PCIe tabs?

    That's being captain obvious and applies to any product on the planet. It's actually why the Dutch consumer law has a clause where it is mandatory for a consumer to actual do some homework (as well as being mandatory for the seller to provide the consumer with information about the product). Reviews are a good starting point for this as well as the spec sheet from the manufacturer and simply asking someone who knows this sort of stuff. However, you don't always get the nitty gritty info.

    Yeah and that is a good thing to do. It makes it easier for others to educate themselves on things so keep it going!

    One word of caution though: don't go pointing your finger at something just like that. Check if that is the actual cause first.
     
  19. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #20
    Good day sir.
    Let us all move on and have a great day.
     

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