WD Thunderbolt Duo is Here and Smokin’ Fast

WD Thunderbolt Duo

WD Thunderbolt Duo

Just a quick note on the WD Thunderbolt Duo that I’m putting through the paces over the next few weeks.  I just took it out of the box a little while ago and ran a speed test on it with the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test.

WD Thunderbolt Duo Speed Test

WD Thunderbolt Duo Speed Test

How about a write speed of 242MB/s on a MacBook Pro for a drive that sits on your desk?  Holy crap.

For the record, this is coming from the WD Thunderbolt Duo 6TB drive.  That’s two 3TB drives inside a single housing running in RAID 0.

Compare this to the G-Drive Mini FireWire 800 drives that I normally pack around with me…

G-Drive FW800 Speed Test

G-Drive Mini FW800 Speed Test

While the comparison isn’t a fair apples-to-apples test (and I’m by no means giving up my G-Drive Minis…), it gives an idea of the difference in throughput that Thunderbolt can bring along with a peppy RAID 0 setup.  And this is just a single unit.  What I saw of the demo at CES 2012 showed a daisy chain array of four Thunderbolt Duo drives pushing over 800MB/s read and write speeds.

Just in the past hour or so, I’ve notice that the Thunderbolt cable is getting pretty hot at my MacBook’s port area, as well as on connection going into the WD drive’s port. It’s not too crazy; however, it’s something I’ll keep an eye on as I push some video editing through it.

I’ll have more on the WD Thunderbolt Duo as I get more time with it over the next few weeks.  For now, you can see more specs and features on Western Digital’s site.  They’re also in-stock and now shipping from B&H Photo.



  1. Alex B says

    Nice results for spinning disk!

    Is the outer shell metal or plastic? Have you thought about grabbing another one and doing a Raid 5 style setup? Would love to see the speeds for that.

  2. Tom says

    For a protocol that advertises up to 10GB/sec, isn’t 242MB/sec a little anemic? After all that’s 1/40 of their claim! Please elaborate on my you think that is fast. I keep a minimum of a terrabyte of graphics images that I want to backup every once in awhile and 242MB/sec means a little over an hour. I was counting on Thunderbolt to be an honest fast read/write method. Now I am wondering…

    • Alex B says

      The answer is simple…spinning HDDs. This isn’t an array of 6Gbps SSDs. RAID-0 a half dozen 6Gbps SSDs and you will hit close to 7-800 MB/sec transfer speeds.

      There isn’t a HDD spinning or SSD available that can maximize the 10 Gbps available on the market.

      Thunderbolt speeds are for real…the issue is that hardware doesn’t exist that can maximize it.

    • Alex B says

      Also, I think you’re getting confused with what a gbps represents. 1 gbps is equal to about 100-125 MB/sec, so in the case of this WD unit it’s running around 2 gbps…quite fast for a pair of standard 7200 RPMS HDDs.

  3. James says

    I am just interested on what kind of speeds you must be getting on your external hard drives in order for you to shun This drive.