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How fast can a 4xSSD RAID system be? We try the AKITIO Thunder 2 Quad (with PNY SSDs)

1 minute read


This is the fastest affordable drive combination we've ever tested

Do you remember just a few years ago when external storage meant SCSI cables the size of hose pipes? These things had massive connectors that needed a special retaining clip to hold them in.

Around twenty years ago a 1GB SCSI drive cost £2,700. The AKITIO SSD drive box is the fastest thing we’ve ever tested, has a two thousand times that capacity (2TB), uses hassle-free Thunderbolt 2, and costs under £1000, fully loaded.

It’s a good looking unit, too: Nicely machined and in a sort of gun-metal grey, it has a very handy handle on the top for portability.

Surprisingly, for all that speed, it’s very quiet, which is yet another advantage of using SSDs, which, unless something is very seriously wrong, have no moving parts.

The speeds you see from this unit are astonishing. It’s perfectly happy to play uncompressed 25fps 4K footage while connected to a Macbook Pro, without any signs of visible stress.

The akitio can take up to four SSDs. The ones we used were by PNY, and are in themselves pretty fast, but when you stack them in a RAID level 0 configuration, they just keep getting faster. These are the speeds we saw as we added drives:

1 x ssd Write 328 MB/s, Read 385 MB/s,  
2 x ssd Write 637 MB/s, Read 760 MB/s,
3 x ssd Write 790 MB/s, Read 873 MB/s
4 x ssd Write 835 MB/s, Read 903.1 MB/s



This is the only device under £1000 that we have had on our bench that can max out the Blackmagic speed test. Note that we tested this with a Macbook Pro Retina which only has Thunderbolt 1. We might have seen even greater speeds if we'd had a system with Thunderbolt 2.

This looks like a very competent unit if you have a need for speed and don’t have a huge budget for it.

Thanks to www.scan.co.uk for lending us this unit!

Tags: Technology