At peak, the drive pair transferred just over a gigabyte per second, much faster than the USB 3.0 version. With the Thunderbolt dock and hard drives, the speed of the transfer will generally be limited to the media, and not the bridge board as is common with lesser devices. The Thunderbolt version of the dock trumps both the USB 3.0 and, surprisingly, edges out the SATA-3 version of the dock, which, in theory, is capable of 12Mbit per second transfers.
Thunderbolt is daisychainable interface, much like Firewire before it. The 5212 dock has a solitary Thunderbolt port, making it either the last device on the chain, or only one.
This sounds good, but it’s $219, compared with $48 for the USB 3 version, though that requires two ports and apparently doesn’t let the drives spin down. I wonder whether the Thunderbolt version shares that problem.
I’ve been using several $38 Newer Technology Voyager S3s. The performance is good, but despite powering them with a Smart UPS and connecting them directly to the MacBooK Pro (no USB hub), I’ve had lots of problems with the drives spontaneously unmounting during backups.
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