Since the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt has both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interfaces, we naturally tested both options to see how USB coped up against the newer interface on the same drive.
Given a lack of Thunderbolt-enabled devices to test, we had to include the Western Digital My Book Duo as a comparative note. It is essentially a Thunderbolt-enabled enclosure with a pair of WD Caviar Green (model WD30EZRX) 3TB SATA 6Gbps desktop HDDs. We understood that this particular HDD already outclassed the one found in Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt; hence, we already had expectations that the desktop storage drive will outperform the portable drive though they both feature the same new speedy interconnect technology. Our new system that has onboard support for Thunderbolt technology has the following system specifications:
Take note that the WD My Book Duo device can be configured for RAID 0 or RAID 1; however, the software utilities for doing so, is only supported on Mac OS X. Hence, on our Windows 7-based testbed, we were only able to test one of the WD Caviar Green HDDs in a non-RAID environment. On our test system, we were able to see the two physical HDDs as a pair of logical drives in our Windows environment. As such, the comparisons we've made in the test results sections are well aligned (apart from the fact that we're comparing a notebook-class drive against a desktop-class drive) since we're comparing single disk drive performance. .
We also picked the best drive from our 2.5-inch 1TB portable hard disk drive shootout for comparison with the drives from the Thunderbolt camp. That drive is the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme. The shootout was conducted on our usual storage testbed that has the following system specifications:
The list of drives tested are as follows:
The list of benchmarks used are as follows: