Experience in using Thunderbolt-enabled equipment

To be honest, when I was offered to test devices that support the Thunderbolt interface, I had very little idea about the interface itself.

Well, it would seem - another "apple" notion to be "not like everyone else." But it was a very naive idea, and what I learned, I want to share with you, dear readers.

Thunderbolt at a glance

The notion was originally not Apple's, but Intel's. At first, the technology was called Light Peak, and transmission was planned (as the name suggests) over optical fiber. As a result, the concept was transformed into data transmission over ordinary copper conductors, as in the USB and FireWire standards. The advantage of this replacement is that Thunderbolt can power external peripherals (power up to 10 watts). There are adapters for DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI - the fact is that Thunderbolt is tiny, and for small computers it can easily replace several connectors.

Technologically, Thunderbolt is the ability to connect to the PCI-Express bus, which provides data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps. For comparison, the modern USB 3.0 interface provides a transfer rate of up to 5 Gbps, and the ubiquitous USB 2.0 interface is only 480 Mbps. Plus, Thunderbolt combines PCI Express and DisplayPort:

Of course, a special cable is required for the technology to work (two thousand rubles for a two-meter cord).

In terms of durability Thunderbolt is ahead of the rest, the only question is - how to use it? Why such wild bandwidth?

Promise Pegasus R6

First, let's take a look at one of the first third-party Thunderbolt-enabled devices, the Pegasus R6 (there's also a simpler version, the Pegasus R4). This is an external RAID array (six 2TB drives) with two Thunderbolt connectors. You can estimate the dimensions from the photographs, the device is massive (despite the relatively modest size), it’s not worth talking about the design - this is not the product that you will show to guests. A lot of metal, there is plastic, removable disks. Two fans - one, as I understand it, blows hard drives, and the second - the RAID controller board.

Key features:

  • Supports up to six (Pegasus R6) or four (Pegasus R4) SATA hard drives
  • Two Thunderbolt ports, 10Gbps (1.25Gbps)
  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support
  • Data transfer rate 800 Mbps (Pegasus R6) or 500 Mbps (Pegasus R4)
  • Capacity
  • Pegasus R6
  • 1TB six drive model: 6TB raw capacity (4.7TB on HFS+)
  • 2TB six-drive model: 12TB raw capacity (9.7TB on HFS+)
  • 1TB four-drive model: 4TB raw capacity (2.7TB on HFS+)
  • 2TB quad drive model: 8TB raw capacity (5.7TB on HFS+)

This monster costs an average of 80 thousand rubles (in Russia), in the USA - 2.5 thousand dollars. For the sake of interest, I looked at how much the hard drives used in R6 cost separately - the price ranges from 4 to 5 thousand rubles, that is, only the disk subsystem (without controller boards, Watch for Sale cooling, cases) will cost you 24-30 thousand rubles.

However, there is no need to talk about how to assemble such a set on your own. Judge for yourself - R6 can be connected to equipment equipped with Thunderbolt connectors, and as a result, you can get data transfer rates up to 800 megabytes per second (I personally managed to achieve a slightly lower speed, but more on that below). None of the interfaces available to non-professionals provide such throughput. In addition, Thunderbolt supports up to 8 data streams simultaneously, which is important for video editing.

Concluding the introduction, here are a couple more use cases.

As you can see, the Pegasus R6 has two Thunderbolt connectors, and you can connect a chain of the same drives or a Thunderbolt Display to it. About the second use case - a little further.

And finally, a small list of devices with Thunderbolt support (mentally add all new Macs and MacBooks to it):

Monitor

  • Apple Thunderbolt Display

Drives

  • Promise Pegasus R4 and Pegasus R6
  • LaCie Little Big Disk
  • Sonnet Fusion RAID

Video capture devices

  • Blackmagic UltraStudio 3D
  • Matrox MX02

Adapters

  • Promise SAN Link Fiber Channel
  • Sonnet Allegro FireWire 800
  • Sonnet Presto Gigabit Ethernet

Tests

The test bundle is the latest incarnation of the MacBook Pro 15, Promise Pegasus R6, and Thunderbolt Display.

First, I connected the R6 to a MacBook Pro and temporarily set the Thunderbolt Display aside. The laptop was pre-installed with software from Promise under the speaking name Promise Utility. I will give screenshots without explanation, I am not a specialist in RAID arrays, I believe the set of options for people who own the question will say enough.

I then used the wizard to create a very basic 12TB RAID 0 and started running a variety of tests.

Black Magic Disk Speed ​​Test (the speed is far from the declared, but still high)

DiskFire (as you can see, the more threads, the higher the total speed)

AJA System Test (speed is still not declared)

XBench (I personally don't understand such performance spikes)

What can I say, I struggled with the task of reaching the nominal speed for quite a long time - I used various benchmarks, repartitioned the RAID array, but in the current configuration, the ceiling was reached when streaming reading using Speed ​​Tools Utilities. In any case, the potential of the Thunderbolt interface is used by about 60-70 percent.

A simple test also showed "margin of safety" - I connected a Thunderbolt Display monitor in series to the R6, ran the same tests - and the results practically did not change, there were only the slightest fluctuations.

For obvious reasons, I could not repeat the tests declared by Apple (I used Final Cut Pro with a specially prepared video).

Output

One way or another, Thunderbolt is a powerful and promising technology, its popularization is only a matter of time, range of devices and, of course, prices. While its use is limited to enthusiasts and professionals, Thunderbolt definitely has a future, albeit not a cloudless one.

The editors would like to thank ProVideo for providing the Promise Pegasus R6 RAID array for testing.

Experience in using Thunderbolt-enabled equipment

To be honest, when I was offered to test devices that support the Thunderbolt interface, I had very little idea about the interface itself.

Well, it would seem - another "apple" notion to be "not like everyone else." But it was a very naive idea, and what I learned, I want to share with you, dear readers.

Thunderbolt at a glance

The notion was originally not Apple's, but Intel's. At first, the technology was called Light Peak, and transmission was planned (as the name suggests) over optical fiber. As a result, the concept was transformed into data transmission over ordinary copper conductors, as in the USB and FireWire standards. The advantage of this replacement is that Thunderbolt can power external peripherals (power up to 10 watts). There are adapters for DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI - the fact is that Thunderbolt is tiny, and for small computers it can easily replace several connectors.

Technologically, Thunderbolt is the ability to connect to the PCI-Express bus, which provides data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps. For comparison, the modern USB 3.0 interface provides a transfer rate of up to 5 Gbps, and the ubiquitous USB 2.0 interface is only 480 Mbps. Plus, Thunderbolt combines PCI Express and DisplayPort:

Of course, a special cable is required for the technology to work (two thousand rubles for a two-meter cord).

In terms of durability Thunderbolt is ahead of the rest, the only question is - how to use it? Why such wild bandwidth?

Promise Pegasus R6

First, let's take a look at one of the first third-party Thunderbolt-enabled devices, the Pegasus R6 (there's also a simpler version, the Pegasus R4). This is an external RAID array (six 2TB drives) with two Thunderbolt connectors. You can estimate the dimensions from the photographs, the device is massive (despite the relatively modest size), it’s not worth talking about the design - this is not the product that you will show to guests. A lot of metal, there is plastic, removable disks. Two fans - one, as I understand it, blows hard drives, and the second - the RAID controller board.

Key features:

  • Supports up to six (Pegasus R6) or four (Pegasus R4) SATA hard drives
  • Two Thunderbolt ports, 10Gbps (1.25Gbps)
  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support
  • Data transfer rate 800 Mbps (Pegasus R6) or 500 Mbps (Pegasus R4)
  • Capacity
  • Pegasus R6
  • 1TB six drive model: 6TB raw capacity (4.7TB on HFS+)
  • 2TB six-drive model: 12TB raw capacity (9.7TB on HFS+)
  • 1TB four-drive model: 4TB raw capacity (2.7TB on HFS+)
  • 2TB quad drive model: 8TB raw capacity (5.7TB on HFS+)

This monster costs an average of 80 thousand rubles (in Russia), in the USA - 2.5 thousand dollars. For the sake of interest, I looked at how much the hard drives used in R6 cost separately - the price ranges from 4 to 5 thousand rubles, that is, only the disk subsystem (without controller boards, Watch for Sale cooling, cases) will cost you 24-30 thousand rubles.

However, there is no need to talk about how to assemble such a set on your own. Judge for yourself - R6 can be connected to equipment equipped with Thunderbolt connectors, and as a result, you can get data transfer rates up to 800 megabytes per second (I personally managed to achieve a slightly lower speed, but more on that below). None of the interfaces available to non-professionals provide such throughput. In addition, Thunderbolt supports up to 8 data streams simultaneously, which is important for video editing.

Concluding the introduction, here are a couple more use cases.

As you can see, the Pegasus R6 has two Thunderbolt connectors, and you can connect a chain of the same drives or a Thunderbolt Display to it. About the second use case - a little further.

And finally, a small list of devices with Thunderbolt support (mentally add all new Macs and MacBooks to it):

Monitor

  • Apple Thunderbolt Display

Drives

  • Promise Pegasus R4 and Pegasus R6
  • LaCie Little Big Disk
  • Sonnet Fusion RAID

Video capture devices

  • Blackmagic UltraStudio 3D
  • Matrox MX02

Adapters

  • Promise SAN Link Fiber Channel
  • Sonnet Allegro FireWire 800
  • Sonnet Presto Gigabit Ethernet

Tests

The test bundle is the latest incarnation of the MacBook Pro 15, Promise Pegasus R6, and Thunderbolt Display.

First, I connected the R6 to a MacBook Pro and temporarily set the Thunderbolt Display aside. The laptop was pre-installed with software from Promise under the speaking name Promise Utility. I will give screenshots without explanation, I am not a specialist in RAID arrays, I believe the set of options for people who own the question will say enough.

I then used the wizard to create a very basic 12TB RAID 0 and started running a variety of tests.

Black Magic Disk Speed ​​Test (the speed is far from the declared, but still high)

DiskFire (as you can see, the more threads, the higher the total speed)

AJA System Test (speed is still not declared)

XBench (I personally don't understand such performance spikes)

What can I say, I struggled with the task of reaching the nominal speed for quite a long time - I used various benchmarks, repartitioned the RAID array, but in the current configuration, the ceiling was reached when streaming reading using Speed ​​Tools Utilities. In any case, the potential of the Thunderbolt interface is used by about 60-70 percent.

A simple test also showed "margin of safety" - I connected a Thunderbolt Display monitor in series to the R6, ran the same tests - and the results practically did not change, there were only the slightest fluctuations.

For obvious reasons, I could not repeat the tests declared by Apple (I used Final Cut Pro with a specially prepared video).

Output

One way or another, Thunderbolt is a powerful and promising technology, its popularization is only a matter of time, range of devices and, of course, prices. While its use is limited to enthusiasts and professionals, Thunderbolt definitely has a future, albeit not a cloudless one.

The editors would like to thank ProVideo for providing the Promise Pegasus R6 RAID array for testing.

Experience in using Thunderbolt-enabled equipment

To be honest, when I was offered to test devices that support the Thunderbolt interface, I had very little idea about the interface itself.

Well, it would seem - another "apple" notion to be "not like everyone else." But it was a very naive idea, and what I learned, I want to share with you, dear readers.

Thunderbolt at a glance

The notion was originally not Apple's, but Intel's. At first, the technology was called Light Peak, and transmission was planned (as the name suggests) over optical fiber. As a result, the concept was transformed into data transmission over ordinary copper conductors, as in the USB and FireWire standards. The advantage of this replacement is that Thunderbolt can power external peripherals (power up to 10 watts). There are adapters for DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI - the fact is that Thunderbolt is tiny, and for small computers it can easily replace several connectors.

Technologically, Thunderbolt is the ability to connect to the PCI-Express bus, which provides data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps. For comparison, the modern USB 3.0 interface provides a transfer rate of up to 5 Gbps, and the ubiquitous USB 2.0 interface is only 480 Mbps. Plus, Thunderbolt combines PCI Express and DisplayPort:

Of course, a special cable is required for the technology to work (two thousand rubles for a two-meter cord).

In terms of durability Thunderbolt is ahead of the rest, the only question is - how to use it? Why such wild bandwidth?

Promise Pegasus R6

First, let's take a look at one of the first third-party Thunderbolt-enabled devices, the Pegasus R6 (there's also a simpler version, the Pegasus R4). This is an external RAID array (six 2TB drives) with two Thunderbolt connectors. You can estimate the dimensions from the photographs, the device is massive (despite the relatively modest size), it’s not worth talking about the design - this is not the product that you will show to guests. A lot of metal, there is plastic, removable disks. Two fans - one, as I understand it, blows hard drives, and the second - the RAID controller board.

Key features:

  • Supports up to six (Pegasus R6) or four (Pegasus R4) SATA hard drives
  • Two Thunderbolt ports, 10Gbps (1.25Gbps)
  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support
  • Data transfer rate 800 Mbps (Pegasus R6) or 500 Mbps (Pegasus R4)
  • Capacity
  • Pegasus R6
  • 1TB six drive model: 6TB raw capacity (4.7TB on HFS+)
  • 2TB six-drive model: 12TB raw capacity (9.7TB on HFS+)
  • 1TB four-drive model: 4TB raw capacity (2.7TB on HFS+)
  • 2TB quad drive model: 8TB raw capacity (5.7TB on HFS+)

This monster costs an average of 80 thousand rubles (in Russia), in the USA - 2.5 thousand dollars. For the sake of interest, I looked at how much the hard drives used in R6 cost separately - the price ranges from 4 to 5 thousand rubles, that is, only the disk subsystem (without controller boards, Watch for Sale cooling, cases) will cost you 24-30 thousand rubles.

However, there is no need to talk about how to assemble such a set on your own. Judge for yourself - R6 can be connected to equipment equipped with Thunderbolt connectors, and as a result, you can get data transfer rates up to 800 megabytes per second (I personally managed to achieve a slightly lower speed, but more on that below). None of the interfaces available to non-professionals provide such throughput. In addition, Thunderbolt supports up to 8 data streams simultaneously, which is important for video editing.

Concluding the introduction, here are a couple more use cases.

As you can see, the Pegasus R6 has two Thunderbolt connectors, and you can connect a chain of the same drives or a Thunderbolt Display to it. About the second use case - a little further.

And finally, a small list of devices with Thunderbolt support (mentally add all new Macs and MacBooks to it):

Monitor

  • Apple Thunderbolt Display

Drives

  • Promise Pegasus R4 and Pegasus R6
  • LaCie Little Big Disk
  • Sonnet Fusion RAID

Video capture devices

  • Blackmagic UltraStudio 3D
  • Matrox MX02

Adapters

  • Promise SAN Link Fiber Channel
  • Sonnet Allegro FireWire 800
  • Sonnet Presto Gigabit Ethernet

Tests

The test bundle is the latest incarnation of the MacBook Pro 15, Promise Pegasus R6, and Thunderbolt Display.

First, I connected the R6 to a MacBook Pro and temporarily set the Thunderbolt Display aside. The laptop was pre-installed with software from Promise under the speaking name Promise Utility. I will give screenshots without explanation, I am not a specialist in RAID arrays, I believe the set of options for people who own the question will say enough.

I then used the wizard to create a very basic 12TB RAID 0 and started running a variety of tests.

Black Magic Disk Speed ​​Test (the speed is far from the declared, but still high)

DiskFire (as you can see, the more threads, the higher the total speed)

AJA System Test (speed is still not declared)

XBench (I personally don't understand such performance spikes)

What can I say, I struggled with the task of reaching the nominal speed for quite a long time - I used various benchmarks, repartitioned the RAID array, but in the current configuration, the ceiling was reached when streaming reading using Speed ​​Tools Utilities. In any case, the potential of the Thunderbolt interface is used by about 60-70 percent.

A simple test also showed "margin of safety" - I connected a Thunderbolt Display monitor in series to the R6, ran the same tests - and the results practically did not change, there were only the slightest fluctuations.

For obvious reasons, I could not repeat the tests declared by Apple (I used Final Cut Pro with a specially prepared video).

Output

One way or another, Thunderbolt is a powerful and promising technology, its popularization is only a matter of time, range of devices and, of course, prices. While its use is limited to enthusiasts and professionals, Thunderbolt definitely has a future, albeit not a cloudless one.

The editors would like to thank ProVideo for providing the Promise Pegasus R6 RAID array for testing.

Experience in using Thunderbolt-enabled equipment

To be honest, when I was offered to test devices that support the Thunderbolt interface, I had very little idea about the interface itself.

Well, it would seem - another "apple" notion to be "not like everyone else." But it was a very naive idea, and what I learned, I want to share with you, dear readers.

Thunderbolt at a glance

The notion was originally not Apple's, but Intel's. At first, the technology was called Light Peak, and transmission was planned (as the name suggests) over optical fiber. As a result, the concept was transformed into data transmission over ordinary copper conductors, as in the USB and FireWire standards. The advantage of this replacement is that Thunderbolt can power external peripherals (power up to 10 watts). There are adapters for DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI - the fact is that Thunderbolt is tiny, and for small computers it can easily replace several connectors.

Technologically, Thunderbolt is the ability to connect to the PCI-Express bus, which provides data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps. For comparison, the modern USB 3.0 interface provides a transfer rate of up to 5 Gbps, and the ubiquitous USB 2.0 interface is only 480 Mbps. Plus, Thunderbolt combines PCI Express and DisplayPort:

Of course, a special cable is required for the technology to work (two thousand rubles for a two-meter cord).

In terms of durability, Thunderbolt is ahead of the curve, the only question left is how to use it? Why such wild bandwidth?

Promise Pegasus R6

First, let's take a look at one of the first third-party Thunderbolt-enabled devices, the Pegasus R6 (there's also a simpler version, the Pegasus R4). This is an external RAID array (six 2TB drives) with two Thunderbolt connectors. You can estimate the dimensions from the photographs, the device is massive (despite the relatively modest size), it’s not worth talking about the design - this is not the product that you will show to guests. A lot of metal, there is plastic, removable disks. Two fans - one, as I understand it, blows hard drives, and the second - the RAID controller board.

Key features:

  • Supports up to six (Pegasus R6) or four (Pegasus R4) SATA hard drives
  • Two Thunderbolt ports, 10Gbps (1.25Gbps)
  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support
  • Data transfer rate 800 Mbps (Pegasus R6) or 500 Mbps (Pegasus R4)
  • Capacity
  • Pegasus R6
  • 1TB six drive model: 6TB raw capacity (4.7TB on HFS+)
  • 2TB six-drive model: 12TB raw capacity (9.7TB on HFS+)
  • 1TB four-drive model: 4TB raw capacity (2.7TB on HFS+)
  • 2TB quad drive model: 8TB raw capacity (5.7TB on HFS+)

This monster costs an average of 80 thousand rubles (in Russia), in the USA - 2.5 thousand dollars. For the sake of interest, I looked at how much the hard drives used in R6 cost separately - the price ranges from 4 to 5 thousand rubles, that is, only the disk subsystem (without controller boards, cooling Watch for Sale, housing) will cost you 24-30 thousand rubles.

This monster costs an average of 80 thousand rubles (in Russia), in the USA - 2.5 thousand dollars. For the sake of interest, I looked at how much the hard drives used in R6 cost separately - the price ranges from 4 to 5 thousand rubles, that is, only the disk subsystem (without controller boards, Watch for Sale Watch for Sale cooling, housing) will cost you 24-30 thousand rubles.

However, there is no need to talk about how to assemble such a set on your own. Judge for yourself - R6 can be connected to equipment equipped with Thunderbolt connectors, and as a result, you can get data transfer rates up to 800 megabytes per second (I personally managed to achieve a slightly lower speed, but more on that below). None of the interfaces available to non-professionals provide such throughput. In addition, Thunderbolt supports up to 8 data streams simultaneously, which is important for video editing.

Concluding the introduction, here are a couple more use cases.

As you can see, the Pegasus R6 has two Thunderbolt connectors, and you can connect a chain of the same drives or a Thunderbolt Display to it. About the second use case - a little further.

And finally, a small list of devices with Thunderbolt support (mentally add all new Macs and MacBooks to it):

Monitor

  • Apple Thunderbolt Display

Drives

  • Promise Pegasus R4 and Pegasus R6
  • LaCie Little Big Disk
  • Sonnet Fusion RAID

Video capture devices

  • Blackmagic UltraStudio 3D
  • Matrox MX02

Adapters

  • Promise SAN Link Fiber Channel
  • Sonnet Allegro FireWire 800
  • Sonnet Presto Gigabit Ethernet

Tests

The test bundle is the latest incarnation of the MacBook Pro 15, Promise Pegasus R6, and Thunderbolt Display.

First, I connected the R6 to a MacBook Pro and temporarily set the Thunderbolt Display aside. The laptop was pre-installed with software from Promise under the speaking name Promise Utility. I will give screenshots without explanation, I am not a specialist in RAID arrays, I believe the set of options for people who own the question will say enough.

I then used the wizard to create a very basic 12TB RAID 0 and started running a variety of tests.

Black Magic Disk Speed ​​Test (the speed is far from the declared, but still high)

DiskFire (as you can see, the more threads, the higher the total speed)

AJA System Test (speed is still not declared)

XBench (I personally don't understand such performance spikes)

What can I say, I struggled with the task of reaching the nominal speed for quite a long time - I used various benchmarks, repartitioned the RAID array, but in the current configuration, the ceiling was reached when streaming reading using Speed ​​Tools Utilities. In any case, the potential of the Thunderbolt interface is used by about 60-70 percent.

A simple test also showed "margin of safety" - I connected a Thunderbolt Display monitor in series to the R6, ran the same tests - and the results practically did not change, there were only the slightest fluctuations.

For obvious reasons, I could not repeat the tests declared by Apple (I used Final Cut Pro with a specially prepared video).

Output

One way or another, Thunderbolt is a powerful and promising technology, its popularization is only a matter of time, range of devices and, of course, prices. While its use is limited to enthusiasts and professionals, Thunderbolt definitely has a future, albeit not a cloudless one.

The editors would like to thank ProVideo for providing the Promise Pegasus R6 RAID array for testing.