Buy it on Amazon – (affiliate link). Index:

0:09 – Hardware overview
1:59 – RAID 0 Performance
2:15 – Discussion of other RAID configurations
4:29 – Configuring for single drive use
5:45 – Single drive benchmark
6:09 – Configuring a mirrored RAID partition
7:20 – Mirrored RAID benchmark
7:28 – Conclusion

We’re finally seeing the speeds we were promised when Thunderbolt was first introduced a number of years ago. And this relatively low cost array delivers that speed in a very big way. Running with the three included drives in RAID 0, this array is reading and writing at speeds of over 500 megabytes per second. Essentially SSD performance with multiple terabytes of disk space available.

You do need to be careful in this mode, however, as a failure of any of the three drives will result in the entire array going down. But for those in need of both high performance and high capacity, this array is an excellent solution that delivers the advertised speed.

It lacks an on-board RAID controller, so it will rely upon your operating system’s drive utility to set up the array. This means that each drive shows up individually so it could be used as a JBOD (just a bunch of disks) where each drive can be individually mounted. RAID modes are up to the host operating system, so Windows and Mac users will have RAID 0 (striping) and RAID 1 (mirroring). Because there are three disks you could choose to mirror or stripe the first two and have the third drive as a separate volume, or have have a triple redundant volume that’s mirrored across all three.

Speed on a single drive is also impressive, with my tests showing about a 175-185 megabyte write speed and a similar read speed. There is no speed penalty for mirroring either.

The bottom line? This is a very fast drive array that has some great options. I do wish there was a way to get RAID 5 working with it but overall it’s very fast, very flexible, and very easy to use.

DISCLOSURE: Caldigit let us borrow this unit to review


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