Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Jun 27, 2014 4:44 PM by tbirdvet
Vernon Alexander Level 2 (450 points)

Using the thunderbolt port and the Seagate go flex thunderbolt adapter…   I expected a speed increase in data transfer.  Instead, it seems I have a very expensive hard drive dock with no real thunderbolt advantages at all.  As far as I can tell, I'm only getting USB two speeds.


I purchased the adapter  hoping for some additional speed as promised both by Apple and by Seagate.  I reformatted one of my Seagate external drive cases that fit the adapter then tested it for speed… I was very disappointed!  FireWire 800 is much faster and that doesn't seem to make any sense.


The other reason for purchasing the adapter was to plug in a 6G SSD drive and take advantage of the manufacturer and Apple guaranteed Sustained Data Rates up to 559MB/s Read, 527MB/s Write.  ALSO… And most importantly to avoid having to  take apart my computer and installed the drive inside the case.


I have searched through post after post here and have found no answers.  I'm wondering if Seagate is lying (or greatly exaggerating) that this adapter  will give you the same speeds as if the drive was installed internally.  I mean come on… Isn't that what the thunderbolt port is all about?

Mac mini, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Quad Core i7
  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,645 points)

    Hi Vernon,


    What speed/make/model drive & enclosure are you using now?


    Open Console in Applications>Utilities & see if there are any clues or repeating messages when accessing the drive.

  • Vernon Alexander Level 2 (450 points)

    I am using the original Seagate go flex enclosure  that came with a USB adapter.  It doesn't matter which adapter you use all the drives can be used in any of the Seagate adapters.  I purchased the thunderbolt adapter hoping for faster speeds.


    I found  nothing unusual in Console.  In fact it didn't list anything at all while the drive is being accessed for read or write.


    This is what is listed for Thunderbolt when looking at it through "About This Mac" under Hardware:


    Thunderbolt Bus:


      Vendor Name:          Apple Inc.

      Device Name:          Mac mini

      UID:          0x0001000C105EB9A0

      Firmware Version:          25.1

      Domain UUID:          8DC4658E-662C-A351-BE83-960C1062B83E


      Status:          Device connected

      Link Status:          0x2

      Receptacle:          1

      Port Micro Firmware Version:          2.1.3

      Cable Firmware Version:          1.0.16

      Cable Serial Number:          C4M3506014RF797AK


    GoFlex Desk Adapter Thunderbolt:


      Vendor Name:          Seagate

      Device Name:          GoFlex Desk Adapter Thunderbolt

      Vendor ID:          0x16

      Device ID:          0x2000

      Device Revision:          0x5

      UID:          0x00162000001CA100

      Route String:          3

      Firmware Version:          26.0

      Port (Upstream):

      Status:          Device connected

      Link Status:          0x2

      Port Micro Firmware Version:          2.0.7

      Cable Firmware Version:          1.0.16

      Cable Serial Number:          C4M3506014RF797AK


      Status:          No device connected

      Link Status:          0x7

      Port Micro Firmware Version:          2.0.7



    also for… About This Mac, Hardware… SATA/SATA Express:


    Thunderbolt AHCI Controller:


      Vendor:          Thunderbolt

      Product:          AHCI Controller

      Link Speed:          6 Gigabit

      Negotiated Link Speed:          3 Gigabit

      Physical Interconnect:          SATA

      Description:          AHCI Version 1.20 Supported




      Capacity:          1.5 TB (1,500,301,910,016 bytes)

      Model:          ST1500DL001-9VT15L                     

      Revision:          CC98   

      Serial Number:                      5YD5HN7T

      Native Command Queuing:          No

      Removable Media:          Yes

      Detachable Drive:          No

      BSD Name:          disk2

      Rotational Rate:          5900

      Medium Type:          Rotational

      Partition Map Type:          GPT (GUID Partition Table)

      S.M.A.R.T. status:          Verified



      Capacity:          209.7 MB (209,715,200 bytes)

      BSD Name:          disk2s1

      Content:          EFI

    GoFlex 1.5T:

      Capacity:          1.5 TB (1,499,957,936,128 bytes)

      Available:          879.33 GB (879,325,851,648 bytes)

      Writable:          Yes

      File System:          Journaled HFS+

      BSD Name:          disk2s2

      Mount Point:          /Volumes/GoFlex 1.5T

      Content:          Apple_HFS

      Volume UUID:          2BAACFB8-E860-3917-87DA-C27F45388CDE

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,645 points)

    Is it USB2 USB3, or Firewire?

  • woodmeister50 Level 5 (4,850 points)

    I'm using the smaller "sled" adapter that Seagate makes

    and with their 500GB, 5400RPM drive using BlackMagic

    to test wit 5GB size, I get a consistent 80MBytes/sec transfer

    both read and write. 


    So, one question would be is how are you determining read/write

    speeds?  Very large files transfer much faster the a large quantity of

    small files.


    You can download Blackmagic from the MacApp Store and use that

    to test (it is free). 

  • Vernon Alexander Level 2 (450 points)

    Using the software you suggested, I tested both drives: my Seagate 1.5 TB drive connected to the GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter and my external FireWire 800 Seagate 2 TB drive.


    The results are not worth writing home about, to say the least… But there again the Seagate 1.5 TB 5400 RPM drive isn't exactly a fast drive.  I was considering purchasing a SSD to insert in the Thunderbolt  Sled in an effort to avoid taking apart my Mac.  Now I'm wondering if it will be able to reach its potential speed on the sled vs. being inserted into the machine.


    In any case the performance results are just a fraction of the promised 559MB/s Read, 527MB/s Write.


    Any ideas?


    Thunderbolt adapter with Seagate 1.5 TB drive 5400 RPM:




    FireWire 800 Seagate 2 TB drive:



  • Tom Nelson1 Level 4 (2,610 points)

    Who suggested you should expect 559 MB/s Read and 527MB/s write with a 5400 RPM drive?


    The kind of perfomance you seem to be expecting is something I would see from 2 or more SSD's in a RAID array using a PCIe interface.


    80 MB/s seems pretty good for a 5400 RPM drive. You cant get perfomance faster then the slowest component in the chain. In this case the slow component is the 5400 RPM drive.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,645 points)

    Well, here's the LaCie Little Big Disk using SSDs in RAID 0...


  • Vernon Alexander Level 2 (450 points)

    No, I wasn't expecting 559 MB/s in your direction but I certainly wasn't expecting 80 MB!!  In any case, it's purchasing the SSD that's concerning me.OWC is posting the theoretical speeds of 559 MB/s Read and 527MB/s write with their 6G – SSD drives.  They don't mention having to have a RAID system to approach these speeds.  I was hoping for maybe 120 to 200 MB per second for one of their 6G – SSD drives.


    OWC is advertising Elite Pro Dual (No Hard Drives) for $299.00 that can operate two 4 TB drives giving you 8 TB of storage in a raid.   They give no clue as to how fast it would be though…


    I'm still hoping to get about 120 MB per second from a single 6G – SSD drive.  Do you think I'll get anywhere near that kind of performance from a single solid-state drive?

  • Vernon Alexander Level 2 (450 points)

    I've seen that drive.  It will not be available until October so I haven't seen a price on it yet.  Anyway, I'm just going to get the fastest hard drive I can and use it with my Seagate thunderbolt sled.


    I have a FireWire 800 enclosure with 22 TB drives inside for total of 4 TB of storage.  I'm going to purchase a single 4 TB drive to use as a backup for the FireWire 800 enclosure.


    The REALLY good thing about the Seagate thunderbolt  sled is that when you plug a hard drive into it the computer is able to  obtain a discs S.M.A.R.T.  status.  I have several drives laying around the house and I plugged them into the sled knowing some of them were giving poor performance.  I didn't know until I got the thunderbolt adapter but the computer reports the S.M.A.R.T.  status as being "FAIL"… I suspected this, but I couldn't confirm it with FireWire.


    NOW, if I can only get the sled to run a drive at speeds faster than 80 MB per second… LOL

  • Vernon Alexander Level 2 (450 points)

    Oh and… Exciting news… I guess…


    I have another go flex enclosure with a 2 TB drive inside, I didn't know it was a 7200 RPM drive so I tested it and hear of the results.


    Not bad!  So I'm hoping an even faster drive like the new Seagate hybrid (part SSD part HHD) 4 TB 15,000 RPM drive for $224.98 might be my next ridiculous expenditure.  I don't want to do it, then again those two hard drives in the  FireWire 800 enclosure are over two years old.  With no way of knowing their  SMART status, I'm forced to come up with a plan to back them up.


    I'm still thinking one 4 TB drive will do the trick.


    Any suggestions?  Am I missing a simpler less expensive solution?


    Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 1.46.07 AM.png

  • tbirdvet Level 4 (2,845 points)

    I have a USB3 enclosure with the latest chip and I've tested 5400, 7200, Seagate Hybrid and SSD drives.  I found that the speed is only as fast as the slowest component.  A 5400 RPM drive was slow and no better than using it with USB2 or FW.  The 7200 RPM drive was much faster and the Seagate Hybrid drive was about the same.  The SSD was extremlty fast.  I tested the Samsung EVO and it had speeds of 450 Mbps R/W which was almost the same as my internal SSD.

  • Vernon Alexander Level 2 (450 points)

    I've never tried USB  3, but I've seen the same results with Thunderbolt… The 5400 is much slower than the 7200, that being said…


    You say you HAVE tested a Seagate hybrid drive?



    What will the read/write speeds… I was about to go out and purchase one.  On the other hand, I do want to get a SSD drive is just that the size limitation to cost ratio is still quite offputting.$449.99 for a 480 GB hard drive.   I've been waiting for the prices of these drives come down since they were introduced.


    In any case, I was about to purchase a 4 TB Seagate hybrid drive… But if they're not much faster than your average 7200 RPM drives… Then what's the point?

  • woodmeister50 Level 5 (4,850 points)

    Hybrid drives only have a speed advantage for files that

    are frequently accessed as they end up caching in the

    flash portion of the drive.  So, typically, most of those files

    end up being OS related or apps that are accessed

    most frequenty.  Data type files will only end up being

    in the slower HDD portion of the drive, especially if they are

    very large files.


    If you want the fastest access to everything, SSD is the only choice.

    Anything else will end up slower, unless you get some highend

    Thunderbolt RAID enclosures like those from Pegasus.

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