Thermaltake Silver River II Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Test system, Benchmark Results

Unlike the Zalman ZM-VE200 I have reviewed a few weeks back, the Thermaltake Silver River II does nothing else other than for storing data. The Silver River II is just a normal enclosure, where a user utilizes it as an external drive only, and as a reviewer, I am actually quite relieved. Everything works well out of the box, so without further adieu, let us look at the benchmark results.

Our benchmark results today will be tested by the following system. Here are the specifications:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.66GHz
Motherboard: Proprietary - Dell Studio XPS 435MT mATX
RAM: 8GB Elpida DDR3
Case: Thermaltake Armor A60
Power: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 750W
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Optical Drive: Dual-Layer Blu-Ray Optical Drive
Hard Drive: Seagate 1TB Barracuda 7200.11
Operating System: Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 64-bit

In testing the Silver River II, we will be using a 3.5" 7200rpm Western Digital Caviar SE 320GB AAKS desktop hard drive.

The benchmarks today will not get into tests regarding multiple file writes and reads as previously done on storage reviews. The reason behind this is because this specific analysis is limited to the WD Caviar's performance itself and not the controller on the Silver River II -- and we do not intend to review the hard drive itself (Unless the drive controller performance on the Silver River II is deemed to have horrible performance).

The USB ports on our system are controlled by the Intel ICH10R Southbridge, with the eSATA port being controlled by the same chipset.

As always, we fired up HD Tach RW for the tests. The image above reflects our results. The USB 2.0 performance, represented by the blue line, read at a constant sequential speed. The reason is because the USB interface bottlenecked the sustained performance of the drive. Our eSATA speeds are represented by the red line. eSATA performance is no different than connecting the drive directly into your motherboard, so we can reference the true performance of the AAKS itself.

Looking at our readings, we can see that over eSATA, it reached the burst speed of 127.4MB/s with an average read speed of 66.1MB/s. This began with the HDD peaking at 80MB/s near the center, and reduces to just over 35MB/s near the outer edge. As far as USB readings are concerned, we reached a burst speed of 35.1MB/s and an average reading of 34.5MB/s.

We cannot expect the JMicron controller to perform well enough to exceed limitations of the USB interface, so with the readings, I am quite content with the Silver River II. Other units like the Zalman ZM-VE200 had an average speed in the low 30's, while the Thermaltake BlacX Duet had a controller that reached over 35MB/s. This one is actually pretty good. As aforementioned, having USB 3.0 support will eliminate this bottleneck. However, with its current USB 2.0 speeds reaching into the mid 30s, the enclosure definitely utilizes a very reliable and decent performing USB 2.0 controller. When we look at eSATA speeds, obviously we can make the simple conclusion that it is faster. Therefore, if you have the choice, use eSATA where available.

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