THUNDERBOLT 2 SPEED – INTEL TEST BENCH
The test Bench we are using for Intel ThunderBolt 2 tests is that of our Z87 Test Bench which contains the ASRock Extreme 11/ac with two ThunderBolt 2 ports. We also have a Z97 test Bench, with the updated ASRock Z97 Extreme 11 that also incorporates ThunderBolt 2, however I haven’t this on hand as it is a few thousand miles away with one of our reviewers. We wanted to mention this Z97 Test Bench, not only because it was used in testing the OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 device, but also, we found a peculiarity when using ATTO between both systems that we will get to.
This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project. Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.
|PC CHASSIS:||Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 EATX|
|MOTHERBOARD:||ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac EATX MotherBoard|
|CPU:||Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz Quad Core|
|CPU COOLER:||Cooler Master Seidon 120M|
|POWER SUPPLY:||Cooler Master V1000|
|SYSTEM COOLING:||Cooler Master 120mm Red and Green Fans|
|GRAPHICS CARD:||EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler|
|MEMORY:||Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer Memory|
|KEYBOARD:||CM Storm QuickFire XT – Limited Edition|
|MOUSE:||CM Storm Sentinel Advance 2|
|MOUSE PAD:||CM Storm Control-RX Large Gaming Mouse Pad|
|6x MOBILE RACK||Icy Dock ToughArmor 6x SATA/SAS HDD/SSD|
|4x MOBILE RACK||Icy Dock ToughArmor 4x SATA/SAS HDD/SSD|
|DISPLAY MONITOR||QNIX QX2710 27? 2560×1440 Display Monitor|
|DUAL MONITOR MOUNT||Rosewill Dual 27? Monitor Mount|
|MONITOR WALL MOUNT||Rosewill RMS-MA3210 Wall Mount|
ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256MB and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.
We can see that there seems to be a steady high transfer speed just above 1GB/s which is obviously well above what we saw in ThunderBolt, however, it seems just a bit odd that the final read transfer speed of 1.3GB.s was accompanied by a write transfer speed that seemed to drop a bit to 930MB/s. We thought we had seen something similar before, and then remembered testing the OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 device on our Z97 test Bench. Check the ATTO result out in this link.
Up next is our Crystal Disk Mark result which is definitely lower, however, special attention should be paid to the low 4K write performance, remembering of course that this is an external device and these lower results are typical.
Last but not least, we have one final look at QuickBench 4.0 that displays the slightly lower speeds of Intel ThunderBolt 2 results that appear pretty consistent, at least with both ASRock boards we have on hand.