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Review: AKiTio Thunder2 Duo Pro RAID Storage

I found the Thunder2 Duo Pro unit solid and fast. It looks like it will take a beating if you work in a tough environment. If you add in a few Solid State Drives (SSDs), it will be very rugged and lightning-fast. Set it up in a RAID 0 and you'll enjoy fast data throughput for your more demanding edits.

Speed Testing

I don’t have access to a machine with Thunderbolt so I couldn’t test the fastest option. Thunderbolt is prevalent in Mac systems and on a few higher-end PC systems. For my PC, USB 3.0 would have to do. Figure 4 (below) shows speed test results from my laptop USB 3.0 external drive that I normally edit from. I know it’s not the fastest setup around but it has met my needs and I haven’t needed much faster except in occasional circumstances.

Figure 4. Speed test results using my previous external hard drive with my laptop

Then I plugged in the AKiTio with the RAID 0 setup. The speed is significantly better. I will be using the AKiTio as my main edit drive from now on, green-label drives notwithstanding. Since I back up daily to my NAS, any reliability concerns I might have with the green-label drives are not an issue in my workflow.

Even though Thunderbolt speed rates higher, USB 3.0 specs list 640MB/sec as the max speed attainable. I’m nowhere close to those numbers but the RAID 0 is significantly faster than my external laptop drive spinning at 5400rpm. Many of my edit projects are relatively simple, single-layer edits with an occasional multicam production thrown in. When I work with my laptop drive on multicam projects, it did get a little sluggish. The increased speed of the Thunder2 Duo Pro makes working on those edits much more fluid. Figure 5 (below) shows speed test results using the Thunder2 Duo Pro.

Figure 5. Speed test results using the Thunder2 Duo Pro with USB 3.0

While there were a few things I found a little annoying, like the very basic instructions, overall I found the Thunder2 Duo Pro unit solid and fast. It looks like it will take a beating if you work in a tough environment. If you add in a few Solid State Drives (SSDs), it will be very rugged and lightning-fast. If you need sheer speed and have a computer with Thunderbolt, your read-write speeds will be fast enough for most basic editing tasks. If you need even higher capacity and faster speeds, AKiTio also has 4-drive models. Set one of those up in a RAID 0 and you’ll enjoy really fast data throughput for your more demanding edits.

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