Data Robotics Drobo S Review

CrystalDiskMark Testing

CrystalDiskMark is a synthetic test that evaluates both sequential as well as random small and large file transfers. It does a nice job of providing a quick look at best and worst case scenarios with regard to hard drive performance--best case being large sequential transfers and worse case being small, random 4KB transfers. The charts below reflect only the best-case scenario, sequential reads and write.

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks
Synthetic File Transfer Tests

As we saw with the ATTO benchmark, the SmartStor DS4600 has the fastest eSATA write and read speeds on the CrystalDiskMark test--and here as well, there is little difference between the device's RAID 0 and RAID 10 performance. In fact, the SmartStor DS4600's write performance is more than twice as fast as that of the Drobo S in Dual Disk Redundancy mode. The NexStar MX takes the middle ground with a drop in performance going from RAID 0 and RAID 1 modes. And once again, the Drobo S brings up the rear with its write speed of 51.5MB/sec when using dual-disk protection. As a point of comparison, the 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT generated a write score of 142.7MB/Sec and a read score of 149.9MB/Sec on the CrystalDiskMark test in our 2TB hard drive roundup.

When using the USB 2.0 interface there is a much tighter grouping with the performance of all the devices--indicating that the USB 2.0 interface once again is the primary limiting factor. The SmartStor DS4600 still managed to squeak ahead with the write and read performance of both of its RAID 0 and RAID 10 modes, but the Drobo S is right behind it. The NexStarMX brings up the rear of the USB performance, and there is a noticeable speed loss when it goes from RAID 0 to RAID 1 mode.

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