Nine External Thunderbolt Storage Devices, Rounded Up

Tom's Hardware by Andrew Ku

We compare nine different Thunderbolt-based storage solutions, delivering scorching sequential throughput. Of the nine, three submissions rise to the top. Although it remains pricey, in the applications where it makes sense, Thunderbolt cannot be beat.

Delivering up to 1 GB/s data of throughput and the ability to communicate over PCI Express externally, it's no surprise that Thunderbolt has the attention of enthusiasts today. Those same savvy buyers see that the technology still bears a prohibitively high price premium, though, and decry its lack of value. If you aren't yet familiar with Thunderbolt and want a low-level lesson on it, check out Everything You Need To Know About Thunderbolt.

Nevertheless, several Thunderbolt-based external storage solutions are now available with the potential to nearly double the peak performance of today's most popular interfaces. The question is: are vendors able to populate these enclosures with the right hardware to enable blazing-fast transfers?

Finding Its Place

We certainly understand if you're reluctant to spend extra money on a new and unproven connectivity standard that looks like it's being set up to replace USB. But take solace in Intel's insistence (for now) that Thunderbolt is meant to complement USB 3.0 and not replace it. Although the two interfaces appear at odds, they're decidedly ideal in very different ways and for equally disparate applications. read more...

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