Thermaltake Silver River DUO Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Test System, Benchmark Results

As you can see, our four OCZ Flex XLC 1GB modules are not installed yet... at the time of photos anyway.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 @ 2.80GHz (400MHz*7)
CPU Cooling: Scythe Infinity
Motherboard: Asus P5W64-WS Professional
RAM: OCZ Flex XLC 4x1GB @ 4-4-3-9, 1:1 with CPU
Case: Thermaltake Aguila (1x120mm LED, 1x120mm)
Power: Seasonic M12 500W
Graphics: Asus EAX1950PRO (ATI Radeon X1950 Pro)
Sound: Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic
Optical Drive: NEC AD-7170A 18X DVD+/-RW
Hard Drive: Seagate 7200.10 320GB 16MB SATA2
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2

Our test station. I've opened both units of the Thermaltake Silver River DUO to conduct certain tests -- and hard drives used include a Western Digital 250GB SATAII disk with 16MB cache, and an old IDE Seagate 5400RPM 80GB hard drive to examine certain features. One thing to note is that PATA drives will not work in eSATA mode -- eSATA will only work with SATA drives.

In our tests today, I won't get into performance analysis of multiple file writes and multiple file reads as we've done previously in our storage reviews. The reason behind this is the influence of eSATA versus USB is not quite relevant to drive I/O performance -- it is quite limited to the hard drive itself, and we are not reviewing the hard drive itself today. Unless, of course, it has been recorded that the performance of the drive controllers on Thermaltake's Silver River DUO were THAT bad, then we will investigate and take such into account.

Let's go over our HDTach benchmarks, which is an OS independent industry drive performance testing tool. The USB ports on our system are controlled by Intel ICH7R southbridge, while the external eSATA port on the Asus P5W64-WS Professional is powered by a Marvell 88SE6145 controller.

Click to enlarge.

As you can see in our benchmark results above from HDTach RW, USB2.0 (Red line) resulted in a constant sequential read speed, while eSATA (Blue line) had faster read speed at the beginning of the drive and much drops as it approaches the other edges. This is very common for hard drives, and a comparison graph as shown above is a clear demonstration of USB bottlenecking the drive as the read speed is consistently slower than the slowest read speed obtained using eSATA at the end of the drive.

The rest remains the same as far as latency and random access goes. However, in terms of burst, the test conducted using eSATA connection had nearly 150MB/s score (The bandwidth limit of SATA150, which is what eSATA is based off of). USB's result is just roughly 2MB/s over its consistent read speed.

Overall, we can conclude two things. Thermaltake's Silver River DUO reached a speed of 33.3MB/s consistent read over USB -- which is very good when compared to other USB devices. However, when you have a chance -- use eSATA, it's considerably faster and you will get characteristics of an internal SATA150 drive.

Power consumption measured was between 9-10W.

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