Storage Speed Tests

iMac internal 1TB disk

This is my baseline measurement for performance. I've been running from this internal disk since the iMac's with Thunderbolt came out. It is pretty easy to saturate this disk.

imac1tb speedtest

Lacie Little Big Disk with factory 1TB 5400 RPM disks - saw sparks in the TB connections when I plugged in the power cord… That doesn't instill confidence! Plugged in the Thunderbolt cable to the iMac and It appears to be roughly 2 times the speed of the internal disk. While that's great… I can hear it's fan and I like very near silent devices.

lbd 2tb speedtest

SSD's swapped in and now used as boot disk - the results appear to be just about 2x the factory hardrives and almost 4x the iMac's internal disk. The performance of the SSD is very noticeable when using the computer. I don't know how long it will last (fan removed) but for now it will remain my main OS & boot disk.

AJA's disk speed test shows a much higher read result… 


Synology DS411J 8TB NAS configured as RAID 5. This has been a great little storage device for me… Here's a test before a performance update, followed by another test after a Synology update that stated about 14% gain for the 411J.

ds411j nas speedtest

After the updated firmware, I don't see much difference

A Sans Digital 5 bay 4x1TB Raid box connected to the Synology USB port is pitifully slow! Too slow to use that much space. 4TB in raid 0 configuration. 

The same disk stack connected to esata via Sonnet's Thunderbolt ExpressCard/34 adapter (single port card). This is about 4 times faster and tolerates multiple file streams far better than with its USB interface. I like the eSata performance but even with a quiet 120mm fan in the chassis I don't like the noise, so this will only get turned on for specific reasons.

Here's the 4TB Sans Digital connected to the 2 port expresscard/34 in Sonnet's thunderbolt converter. This is about the same write and a bit faster read

Adata 16GB SDHC card that is several years old

Adata16GB SDHC speedtest

Sandisk Extreme Pro U class

SandiskUltraExtreme32GB speedtest

OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro quad interface enclosure with the Lacie 1TB disks in Raid 0 configuration and connected by Firewire 800 port. Not extremely impressive by any means but will work perfect for portable storage completely powered by the Firewire connection. This box doesn't have a fan and doesn't get hot with the disks running.

Here it is connected by eSata (needed a power adaptor). Similar writes were unexpected but over 3 times the read speed was higher than I expected. Humm… Anyway… I like the OWC quad interface dual disk boxes. My guess here is that the results are somehow effected by the eSata to thunderbolt converter by Sonnet.

Another OWC Quad interface Raid enclosure with 500GB drives 7200 & 5400 rpm. This test is connected to FW800.