Thermaltake Max 5G Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Test system, Benchmark Results

The Thermaltake Max 5G was benchmarked under three different configurations for our tests. This was to ensure that it performed as expected in various setups. Here is quick list of the test setups:

Test 1: USB 3.0 with 320GB 3.5" Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3Gb/s HDD
Test 2: USB 3.0 with 115GB 2.5" G.SKILL Phoenix EVO SATA 3Gb/s SSD
Test 3: USB 2.0 with 320GB 3.5" Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3GB/s HDD

The SSD was not tested on USB 2.0 for obvious reasons, as this would not provide a useful metric. Our tests system specifications as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.50GHz (Overclocked, Turbo Boost disabled)
CPU Cooling: Thermaltake Jing
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5-B3
Graphics: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 1GB OC
Memory: OCZ Platinum XTE PC3-16000 4x2GB
Chassis: In Win Dragon Rider
Power: OCZ ZX Series 850W
Sound: Integrated (Motherboard)
Optical Drive: LiteOn iHAS224-06 24X DVD Writer
Storage: OCZ Vertex 2 60GB; 2 x Western Digital Caviar SE 320GB AAKS RAID1
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64

The performance analysis of the tests today will not get into multiple file writes and reads as previously done on storage reviews. The reason is primarily because this method is limited to the hard drive performance itself and not the controller on the Thermaltake Max 5G -- and we do not intend to review the hard drive itself (Unless the drive controller performance on the Max 5G is deemed to have horrible performance).

Although the USB 3.0 interface should not bottleneck the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB. I can't seem to explain the flat line right under the 65MB/s mark in our curve about. This is how a bottleneck looks like for hard drives, which typically reads faster near the center and trails off linearly as it approaches the outer edge. So to see if it is really an issue with the enclosure, I plugged in an SSD to see if it made any difference.

Yep, it did. There is no bottleneck right under 65MB/s as our previous graph seems to suggest. With the G.SKILL Phoenix EVO 115GB, you will notice some distortion on the graph. This is due to the fact SSDs show lower performance in HD Tach where data is physically present. If you look at the top line (Obviously this is where there is actually free space), you can see it is performing at around 205 MB/s. This is where the actual average is supposed to be; unfortunately, we do not have a blank SSD to test this on, so we will be using 205 MB/s as average. That is a very respectable figure posted by the Max 5G over USB 3.0. Just for reference, the G.SKILL Phoenix EVO 115GB's performance when plugged into a SATA port directly is 234.8 MB/s according to my colleague Jonathan's recent review.

Moving onto our USB 2.0 tests, looking at the results provided by HD Tach, you can clearly see even though the Max 5G is marketed as an USB 3.0 enclosure, the USB 2.0 performance is very commendable as well. With an average sequential read speed of 32.4 MB/s, burst speed of 37.5MB/s, and 13.3ms random access time, everything checks in as normal and good. Other enclosures like the Thermaltake Silver River II had an average speed in the mid 30's, while the Thermaltake BlacX Duet had a controller that reached over 35MB/s. Although the average speed may not be the fastest around, this is not something to worry about.

All in all, while the USB 3.0 interface doesn't provide as much speed from the G.SKILL SSD as you would expect from a direct SATA connection, it still posted figures just above 200MB/s. For the most part, no one is really going to buy an SSD and put it in the Thermaltake Max 5G just for storage, so you can be happy to know this enclosure will not bottleneck whatever hard drive you plan to install. USB 2.0 is still very strong for the Max 5G, and is still a good alternative to users who haven't upgraded yet.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation
3. Test System, Benchmark Results
4. Conclusion