Feeds
StarTech S252SMTB3 2-bay Thunderbolt enclosure

Hobbyist or hardcore? StarTech dual-bay Thunderbolt enclosure

Build your own 760MB/s storage, anyone?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Stripe action

StarTech doesn't supply any storage set-up software, however, using the free Disk Utility on the Mac and Disk Management on Windows, configuring the two drives for RAID 0 (stripe) and RAID 1 (mirrored) is swift and easy to achieve. Yet the real performance boost shows itself in stripe mode which spreads the read/write transfer burdens across both drives simultaneously.

Stripe Mode Benchmark Results

AS SSD (left) and CrystalDiskMark (right) results

AS SSD (left) and CrystalDiskMark (right) results

ATTO results show larger file sizes delivering impressive transfer rates

ATTO results show larger file sizes delivering impressive transfer rates

On the Mac, Disk Speed Test delivers similar results – thanks to reader stu 4 for the app suggestion

On the Mac, Disk Speed Test delivers similar results to AS SSD – thanks to reader stu 4 for the app suggestion

While stripe mode is a time-honoured option to boost performance in HDD arrays, on a pair of SSDs the transfer rate came close to 700MB/s on both the MacBook Pro (HFS+) and the HP ZBook 17 PC (NTFS), with the AS SSD reaching read speeds of over 760MB/s for large files. When a single SSD and HDD storage was used, the results were in line with expectations for the media.

Another use for the dual bay configuration is to clone drives. I used the restore feature in Apple Disk Utility to clone an OS X HDD installation to an SSD. The 320GB 7200RPM WD HDD had around 240GB of data to copy, which completed in just over about 70 minutes – a good deal less than the initial estimate of around 100 minutes – with the resulting OS clone on the SSD booting successfully over Thunderbolt too.

Convenient, capable yet costly

Convenient, capable yet costly

The Reg Verdict

All in all, the snappily named StarTech S252SMTB3 acquits itself well, Windows drivers notwithstanding. Swapping out drives is easy and daisy chaining to another Thunderbolt drive wasn’t a problem either. There are a few grumbles though, as the fan can get a little whiny at times, but thankfully, wasn’t constant and I’m sure many would prefer an enclosure that can accommodate 3.5in drives too. Also, it would be extremely useful to have an alternative USB 3.0 interface on board, especially given the biggest grumble of all, the price.

On the StarTech site, the enclosure sells for £295 which is very steep to say the least. Curiously, the site also states “Prices may be lower from resellers” with links to its partners. This ploy to prompt you to shop around is worth following up though, as you’ll find it for £220 elsewhere. Is that cheap enough to be tempted given the populated alternatives? After all, WD has just announced its My Passport Pro portable dual drive with Thunderbolt, which costs £239 for the 2TB model. How easy this is to take apart and stuff in different drives I expect to find out very soon. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

StarTech S252SMTB3 2-bay Thunderbolt enclosure

Hobbyist or hardcore? StarTech dual-bay Thunderbolt enclosure

Dual-drive, dual-Thunderbolt port enclosure for 2.5in storage.
Price: £295 (StarTech.com), £220 (elsewhere) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.