Technology and gaming content trusted in North America and globally since 1999
8,612 Reviews & Articles | 60,968 News Posts

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review

Buffalo joins the Thunderbolt movement with the MiniStation storage enclosure. It also includes USB 3.0 if that's what you prefer.

Tyler Bernath | Aug 22, 2013 at 1:08 am CDT - 2 mins, 48 secs time to read
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Buffalo
Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 99 | TweakTown.com

With the invention of the Thunderbolt interface, portable storage solutions have begun to transition allowing for increased performance, and even more than what we saw from USB 3.0. The Thunderbolt interface allows for users of Macintosh computers the much needed increase in external storage speed, when previously being stuck on the aging Firewire interface.

The latest external storage solution from Buffalo, dubbed the MiniStation Thunderbolt, takes ample storage capacity ranging from 500GB to 1TB, and adding both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectivity. Compatibility of the unit extends from Mac OS X 10.6+ and Windows Vista, 7 and 8. Buffalo warranties the MiniStation Thunderbolt for a period of three years.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 02 | TweakTown.com

The scope of delivery for the MiniStation extends as far as including both a USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt cables in white.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 03 | TweakTown.com

At the back of the enclosure we find both the USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 04 | TweakTown.com

The only brand identification on the enclosure is found on the side of the enclosure.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 05 | TweakTown.com

Internally, we found the MiniStation to use the Samsung Momentus hard disk drive.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 06 | TweakTown.com

The front side of the PCB houses the ARM Cortex LPC1114 50MHz microcontroller.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 07 | TweakTown.com

The back side of the PCB houses several controllers including the ASMedia1061 PCIe to SATA 6GB/s bridge, along with the Intel DSL2210 Thunderbolt controller.

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.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 20 | TweakTown.com

The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt is formatted in the NTFS file system, carrying 931GB of useable capacity.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 21 | TweakTown.com

In ATTO testing using the Thunderbolt interface, we found the MiniStation capable of 116 MB/s read, followed by 117 MB/s write.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 23 | TweakTown.com

Utilizing the MiniStation's USB 3.0 interface, the drive ended with the same results as we found with Thunderbolt, although the drive was able to get to the top speed much quicker through Thunderbolt.

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 24 | TweakTown.com

In our DiskBench testing, we found the Buffalo MiniStation capable of 105 MB/s transferring our 10GB directory with the Thunderbolt interface. Comparing this to the drive using the USB 3.0 interface, we find a 4MB/s difference in overall capability. This puts the device near the top of our chart, just behind the two WD Passport drives.

The Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt combines both an aesthetically pleasing design with its use of aluminium for structure and durable plastics to aid in cost, with next generation technology in the form of the Thunderbolt interface.

Performance of the MiniStation was on par with expectations when we compare it to other drives in the USB 3.0 market space. DiskBench testing had the drive as one of the quickest in our charts, slightly behind the drives from WD. On the Thunderbolt side, Macintosh users will truly enjoy the speed increase of last generation devices.

At the time of writing, I was able to find the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt in the tested 1TB capacity at several online retailers for $179.99.

What do TweakTown.com awards mean? Click for details!

Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 1TB HDD Storage Enclosure Review 100 | TweakTown.com

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:32 pm CDT

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Tyler Bernath

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Tyler Bernath

Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags