updated 10:20 am EDT, Thu March 15, 2012
WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo reaches stores
Western Digital acted on a two-month promise by shipping its range-topping MyBook Thunderbolt Duo drives. The desktop external disks use the headroom of the 10Gbps spec, along with RAID, to supply speeds faster than most individual internal drives, even on a system like a MacBook Air. In a hands-on (above) with a RAID 0 stripe, we saw real speeds of 750MB per second in reads and 640MB per second in writes, rendering it faster than a high-end solid-state drive.
The hardware can alternately be set up in a RAID 1 mirror for redundancy or JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) to distribute the storage, although individual drives run at more conservative speeds. Each drive has two Thunderbolt ports to daisy-chain it into a larger array of hardware. Mac users are the main target and get pre-formatting for the HFS+ Journaled file system, although eventual Windows users should have the option of reformatting later.
Both the web and some retail stores should have the Thunderbolt Duo, which costs $600 in a 4TB edition and $700 for 6TB.