Performance Question. This Thunderbolt Drive as a boot drive vs. SATA 5400rpm drive in Mac Mini

I am severely limited by the lack of storage space. I have the stock 500GB drive in my Mac Mini and have all my media on an external FW800 drive. Browsing my Aperture/iTunes library etc is slow and I would like a faster solution.

I'd like to setup this Thunderbolt drive as the boot drive for my Mac Mini. In RAID 0, would the performance of this drive exceed or match the performance of my internal 500GB 5400rpm drive in a mid-2011 Mac Mini?

The tech specs do state 327MB/s but it doesn't specify if this is read or write, or both! I'm thinking real world specs here - as in what I'm actually likely to get. If the Thunderbolt drive does exceed the performance, how would it compare to an internal SSD like the Crucial M4? Crucial state 500MB/s read and 175MB/s write.

LaCie 2big Thunderbolt Series RAID Hard Drive

LaCie 2big Thunderbolt Series RAID Hard Drive

Product No Longer Available

1 Answer from the Community

  • Answer

    An internal SSD is going to offer the best performance. Next best is an external Thunderbolt HDD.

    If used in the default RAID-0 configuration, you will experience 300+ MB/sec when using the 2big Thunderbolt drive. This has 2 7200RPM 3.5" drives which individually are must better performing than the 5400RPM drive standard within the Mac mini.

    You can configure the 2big with Disk Utility to be the RAID-0 drive where the 2 drives are striped and appear as one or more volumes; optimizing for performance. Or you can configure as RAID-1, for safety, where the drives are mirrored for redundancy.

    Or you can configure as 2 independent drives; and each would still perform better than the 2.5" 5400rpm drive internal to the Mac mini.

    Lots of options for you to consider.