Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 500GB Review

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goodtime

I wanna see a comparison of thunderbolt vs usb 3.0 vs esata III. My understanding is that esata will always be the fastest with external hard drives since there is no protocol conversion.

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Engelsstaub

I used to have an eSATA external HDD enclosure for my last PC. It was jaw-droppingly fast for an external drive. There was also some Intel software I downloaded for Windows 7 that made it possible to mount and eject the drive repeatedly without the need for a reboot.

Can't give you any meaningful data for comparison but I can only offer you my experience and tell you I was pretty damned impressed.

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Baer

So we get to greatly overpay for a device that really has no big advantage, is not that large in capacity and to use it we have to dumb down our CPU to one that has embedded graphics. Let's see, I need to use USB or Thunderbolt perhaps 20 minutes a day or so, let me decide......ahhh, NOPE!

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PCWolf

I LOL at the "Apple Price" for a 500Gb Hard Drive. But Hipsters wont mind paying it. I also LOL at the fact that Apple Fanboys will soon proclaim Thunderbolt an "Apple Innovation".

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Engelsstaub

Nobody needs to "soon proclaim" it as an Apple innovation. It's an established fact that Apple co-designed it with Intel quite some time ago now. It's not meant to replace or supersede USB (which Intel also co-designed with Microsoft among others.)

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pastorbob

+1 @Engelsstaub

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Paper Jam

With the exception of specific applications, can TB every overcome the legacy and ubiquity of USB? I like the idea of using one connector for displays, storage, etc., but until it become cost effective to manufacture thumb drives, input devices, web cams and the like, I can't see TB replacing USB. Even with the slower throughput, USB is just so much simpler because you know that wherever you go, no matter what version of USB your device is, it will plug and play. Let Apple keep Thunderbolt. I refuse to spend $50 on a cable.

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PCWolf

A Winrar is you!

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HouseFoxx

And what about the upcoming USB 3.0 100 watt power spec?
Does thunderbolt even have supplied power?

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Paper Jam

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface)

According to Wikipedia, yes it does supply power. Up to 10 Watts on TB 1.0, which is about double USB 3.0 in its current form.

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severnia

I have to ask, what was the point of this 'review'? almost every reader on here knows a mechanical drive wouldn't come even close to taxing either of these modern interfaces. Rip the guts out of this and toss an SSD in there and let us know what this is capable of!

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Engelsstaub

I think even a 7200 rpm 2.5" HDD would be too slow to make a TB connection any better than USB 3.0.

I'm glad Thunderbolt technology exists but it's really not that useful at this time for most consumer-grade purposes.

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pastorbob

"I think even a 7200 rpm 2.5" HDD would be too slow to make a TB connection any better than USB 3.0."

True that Engelsstaub. But you would think for the price they would at least use a top of the line HDD and get as much out of the interface/mechanical drive combo as possible.

It will be interesting to see how Thundarbolt plays out in the long run.

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Engelsstaub

I hear you about the price. I was sort of scratching my head at the idea of using a 5400 RPM drive in the model discussed here.

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borkbork

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but USB 3 is rated at 5 gbit/s, and compared to SATA 3's 6gbit/s it should be fairly close in terms of performance. Considering that even high end SSDs still haven't hit the performance ceiling in SATA 3 (at least as far as I know), I imagine that external HDDs have a very long ways to go before they start approaching the limits of USB 3.

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Engelsstaub

Sounds right to me.

I like the idea of having a TB port though. If we could get adapters and stuff to run like multiple USB 3, FW, etc connections off of one port perhaps therein will lie it's immediate usefulness.

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nlriehl87

Yes with mechanical drives the drive is still the bottleneck, however if 512 GB SATA3 SSD was used I wonder what the results would be. Would the drive or drive controller still be the bottleneck or would we actually see one interface beat the other?

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Thresher

Lacie makes an external Thunderbolt 2x256 SSD RAID box. They ought to check out what type of throughput they get on that.