WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo 6TB and ASUS ThunderboltEX: High Speed Mass Storage on Windows
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! We are finally starting to see Intel Thunderbolt-enabled motherboards and peripherals trickling into the PC ecosystem, albeit still commanding ridiculous prices. This weekend, we try out WD's high capacity storage solution for creative professionals – My Book Thunderbolt Duo 6TB.
Two months ago, we played with a speedy 2.5-inch SSD RAID enclosure with Thunderbolt from LaCie (retro-fitted with a pair of Corsair Force GTs) during our review of the Asus P8Z77-V Premium/MSI Z77A-GD80. That contraption was screaming fast, but creative professionals like film makers and other digital media artists also need bulk storage on top of stable sequential transfer speeds, and a pure SSD implementation is still too expensive $/gb wise to fulfill that requirement.
Enter the WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo, which offers 4 to 6TB of storage in a dual-disk enclosure, and can be configured as JBOD, RAID-0 stripping (speed) or RAID-1 mirroring (redundency).
Behind, we see two 10Gb/s Thunderbolt ports capable of daisy-chaining, an external power connector and a kensington security lock hole.
The two 3.5-inch SATA mechanical hard disks used were from the WD Cavier Green family (WD30EZRX), which boasts of a rotational speed between 5400 to 7200rpm (IntelliPower) and 64MB cache. WD claims they are "user-replaceable" in the event of drive failure.
Up front, there is a small 40mm fan providing the drives with some air flow to avoid overheating during long hours of intensive operation.
From here, we will be carrying out our tests with ASUS's aftermarket ThunderboltEX expansion card for select H77/Z77 boards, shown below hooked up to a Ivy Bridge ROG MVG rig.