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AKiTiO Neutrino Thunderbolt 120GB Aluminium SSD Enclosure Review

AKiTiO Neutrino Thunderbolt 120GB Aluminium SSD Enclosure Review
The Thunderbolt and Intel SSD powered Neutrino storage enclosure from AKiTiO graces the lab and we put it to the test.
By Tyler Bernath from Aug 21, 2013 @ 17:41 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: AKiTiO



As Thunderbolt begins to take center stage in the external storage market, many manufacturers have jumped on-board, one of which is AKiTiO. AKiTiO specializes in creating professional storage options targeted for the most part, at Macintosh users.


The latest product to come out of the camp at AKiTiO is the Neutrino Thunderbolt Edition, and as the name suggests, it is a Thunderbolt equipped external storage device. This isn't your standard Thunderbolt storage device, as AKiTiO has stepped up their game offering the Neutrino with solid state storage over the traditional spinner.


The Neutrino Thunderbolt is equipped with the Intel 330 Series SSD for the 120GB capacity and the SanDisk U100 SSD for the 256GB capacity. AKiTiO backs their Neutrino Thunderbolt with a two year warranty.




Adding to the scope of delivery, we found AKiTiO to include the Thunderbolt cable with the device, making this a true plug and play storage solution.




If you have seen any of AKiTiO's Neutrino devices in the past, then it would come as no surprise that the Thunderbolt edition shares the same design characteristics. The outer shell is a single piece of aluminium, which you can see at the bottom houses a heat sink to aid in cooling the drive.




The backside of the Neutrino houses the single Thunderbolt port.




Opening up the enclosure, we found the drive inside protected by a second aluminium shell.




Disassembling the unit further, allowed us to get down to the PCB. The front side houses the Marvell 9182 SATA 6GB/s controller.




On the flip side of the PCB, we find the ARM Cortex 32-bit microcontroller operating at 50MHz to the left, and under the grey thermal pad, we find the Intel DSL2210 2-channel Thunderbolt controller.




As I alluded to in the beginning of the review, the 120GB capacity Neutrino Thunderbolt houses an Intel 330 Series SSD. Here we see our drive was packaged by AKiTiO in November 2012 with firmware 300i.



To test external storage platforms, I utilize two of the most well-known and respected benchmark applications. ATTO Disk Benchmark is the first and is recognized as the industry standard for marketing specifications. Through DiskBench, we offer real-world testing as it offers a custom data set that can be controlled by the user. For our testing I use a 10GB directory of mixed data that includes, pictures in both the RAW and JPEG file formats, AVCHD video and documents in both the XLS and DOC formats.




The AKiTiO Neutrino Thunderbolt is formatted in the NTFS file system, carrying 111GB of useable capacity.




ATTO allowed the Neutrino to stretch its legs a little, with results coming in at 452 MB/s read, followed by 313 MB/s write.




In our DiskBench testing we found the AKiTiO Neutrino Thunderbolt to be quite a capable drive. In fact, it is the quickest single drive external storage solution we have tested so far.


With the Neutrino Thunderbolt, AKiTiO has taken external storage to the highest of tiers. The single cable design powered by Intel's Thunderbolt technology allows for the utmost in portability, all housed in a very durable aluminium enclosure.


In terms of performance, the Neutrino was very quick to take the top spot in our DiskBench testing coming in at 281 MB/s. ATTO proved even further the performance of the drive, where we saw numbers near 455 MB/s in read testing.


The price of the AKiTiO Neutrino Thunderbolt in the 120GB capacity tested here today is set at $199.99 and can be found at many online retailers.




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