Drobo S performance comparison

Hi everyone,

A friend of mine with a couple of second-generation Drobos asked me to test speeds of my new Drobo S. I did so over the weekend and thought I’d post my results there too.

I used CrystalDiskMark on two machines running Windows Vista and a variety of drives.

See below for a chart. A few notes:

  • I ran all of the tests on a cheap HP desktop machine, except for the Seagate 160 GB notebook drive which is in an HP Dragon notebook.
  • the Vantec NexStar MX enclosure has two 7200 RPM Seagate drives in it.
  • the Drobo S has three 5400 RPM Western Digital drives in it.
  • the Drobo S running on eSATA shows excellent sequential read speeds that are even better than internal drives. (Presumably that’s because of the Drobo S’s quasi-striping features?)
  • sequential write speeds weren’t as good as internal drives, but was the best of the external drives.
  • random read and write speeds weren’t as good as the Vantec enclosure’s speeds.

FWIW, of course.


Sorry about the width of that chart.


two thinsg i’d like to know - one you can do the other is more work

  1. how full was the drobo s (this can have a huge difference on speed)?

  2. i’d be curious to see the drobo v2 on the same graphs

1.80 TB used. 1.78 TB free. Configured for 16 TB.

I have a Drobo 2 that I can add to the comparison, but it will probably take me a few days to find the time.


I would be most interested in DroboS eSATA vs DroboPro iSCSI if anyone is inclined to do some benchmarks :slight_smile:

I’d be real interested in that too, but I don’t have a DroboPro. Send one to me and I’ll make it happen. :smiley:


These comparisons between different drobos are pointless unless they contain the same (or same type of) drives.

Not really, in most cases the limiting factor is the drobo itself (or the choice of interface), not the drives in it

The pro is apparenl marginally faster with 7200rpm drives than 5,400/5,900 but not by much. And i tihink most people would still choose the slower drives due to their thermal profile.

Which only leaves the elite as the drobo which actually has drive-dependant performance, and i don’t think many people on the forum have one of those!

Mattlach: Ideally, the drives and everything else would be identical for a more valid comparison. But I’m not the benchmarking business, so do what you will with my real world data.


Hmmm…I don’t see much difference in USB performance between the S and the second gen. I wonder how the Drobo S does via FireWire 800. Apple hasn’t deigned to ship eSATA with their iMacs so I’m curious if (and by how much) Drobo S FW performance has improved over Drobo second gen.

FYI- it’s not quite as good as a factory solution from Apple, but it does work!


uh oh, the Fuhrer, Steve Jobs is going to be piissseeed…

HE wants to control what Apple users can and can’t do. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not available for my iMac, not sure why.

The 2010 model of the iMac has 2 internal SATA ports due to the availability of in internal HD and internal SSD.

Models before only have one internal SATA port. /:frowning:

Damn you Steve Jobs! [shaking fist] :smiley:

my pc has 10 internal and an external…

And I’m sure your PC isn’t based on a laptop motherboard.

It’s a great form factor (very wife friendly) but leaves much to be desired in the expansion department.

That’s what my Mac Pro is for! /:slight_smile:

My wife has my PowerMac G5 at her office. When it was time to upgrade I decided against having such a noisy beast in my office. It was tempting but I really didn’t need the horsepower so, for about half the price, I opted for an iMac this time. Not entirely thrilled with my decision, lack of eSATA is part of it, frequent kernel panics when I cycle the wireless LAN and occasionally when I swap USB devices is the core of my dissatisfaction.

In the end, a MacPro with a RAID card and eSATA would’ve probably made me happier and cost nearly the same as my iMac and four slot QNAP (comparing like for like in terms of CPU speed and number of cores). The MacPro is about €150 more with one less slot than the i7 iMac plus QNAP. Of course I don’t have that “great” fan noise when the MacPro gets warm either. :smiley: