How fast are striped RAID Flash drives on your Mac?

“Last week, I looked at whether partitioning or formatting USB flash drives in other ways made a difference, and I found out that the stock FAT format tends to produce the best results overall,” Dan Knight reports for Low End Mac. “Today I’m testing striped RAID arrays using the same flash drives in 2, 3, and 4 drive configurations.”

“Some weeks back, a local outlet store had 8 GB USB flash drives for just $1.50 each. I grabbed four. When I went back a few days later, none were left. The flash drives look like the minions from Despicable Me 2, but for $1.50, they were a steal. The flash drive itself appears to be sourced from PNY, a brand you’ll often find in retail stores,” Knight reports. “Other than capacity and the fact that it’s a USB 2.0 device, I haven’t been able to find any more technical specifications.”

“Overall, the two-drive RAID array has a disk test score nearly 2.5x that of the single flash drive, and some individual tests show the striped RAID array more than doubling the score of one drive,” Knight reports. “Maximum read speed of this two-drive array is 53.23 MB per second (425.8 Mb per second), which is 89% of the throughput possible using a single USB 2.0 port. By using two separate controllers, we get our best results yet – and with just two flash drives. Even better results may have been obtainable using two USB 2.0 hubs, one connected to each port, but that’s not really practical to lug around with a notebook computer. That said, it could achieve read speeds on the order of 80 MB per second.”

Much more, including the benchmarks, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We want some of those $1.50 minion flash drives!


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