Bought mSATA for Drobo Mini - but not seeing performance improvements?


Bought a Drobo Mini (£263.98 inc free carry case from Dabs if you’re in the UK!), and a Crucial m500 240Gb mSATA as well.

The drives I am using are 4x2TB Samsung M9T drives, and I got the mSATA for the accelerator bay to … erm … accelerate everything, but according to XBench (Mac) it’s not … well, not much!

My USB 3 connected Seagate 2.5inch 4Tb external drive gives an Xbench performance of 171.36.

The Drobo Mini (WITHOUT mSATA) yields 54.98 on Thunderbolt, and 60.42 over USB 3.

WITH the mSATA installed I get 61.06 over Thunderbolt, and 62.82 over USB 3.

In the first instance, I thought Thunderbolt was meant to be faster than USB 3? And in the second instance shouldn’t I be seeing bigger gains than I am seeing?

I assume the slowdown is manly caused by the Samsung M9T drives - they only run with 5.400rpm, which is not very fast.

Have a look here and compare it with the other HDDs in the test:


Thanks for your response, but isn’t that surely the point of the 240Gb mSATA drive?! To give performance boosts when using slower drives? This is an mSATA in the Drobo Accelerator Bay underneath.

Even if the mSATA helps to improve the reading speed a bit (that happens mostly with sequential reading - commonly streaming large files - “read ahead”) the drives still are very, very slow - the unit can’t perform magic.

If you have a 7200rpm spare drive try it out - you will see much better results even if you use a single drive inside the Drobo.

Anway, you can alway contact support and let them check if something is worng with the drives itself (thats also a possibilty).

hi tony,
it would be interesting to see how the results turn out, (or if they improve) with quicker drives, but it might be a bit of hassle/expense to find out. (if you find a way though, still make a backup of your data just in case) :slight_smile:

i keep thinking that the msata will learn your data usage patterns, and speed things up more and more over time, but it might just simply take all small files under a certain size (possibly of a certain type) and simply store and cache those. (will need to research, or maybe a drobo support team member can confim for us).

either way though, i’d assume that the msata would not solely be used as dumb storage cache, because at some point, the integrity of the original data would need to be verified throughout the drobo beyond raid system, otherwise it just adds another failure point for your data, and that verification will probably depend upon the speed of the drives to some degree too)