I'm running a Late 2012 Mac mini Server, with macOS Sierra. This particular server has a 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM and SSD internal drives. The server is mostly idle, and is used as a Time Machine server for 2 users.

I have two Drobo Gen 2 external drives attached via daisy-chain Firewire 800 port. The Drobo I tested with has 4 X 7,200 RPM Seagate drives (ST2000DM001).

I ran DiskMark from the App Store and the results were consistent with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test:

Sequential Read (MB/s): 10

Sequential Write (MB/s): 9.2

Random Read (MB/s): 0.3

Random Write (MB/s): 1.0

Do these numbers seem low? What steps could I take to improve the drive's IO performance?

FYI, the same tool used to measure the performance of the internal SSD drive clocks around 450 MB/s both Read and Write.

  • 1
    Just heads up: FireWire 800 tops out at 60-80MB/s, so you'll never get more than that. However, those numbers are super low. However, they match some results I get on my Mac Pro tower with an Iomega 2TB Mac Companion external drive. Let me know if you find out why those numbers are so low! – NoahL Oct 27 '16 at 0:49
  • Older Drobos are really, really pokey devices. It was a common complaint until at least the Drobo S came out. – Alan Shutko Oct 28 '16 at 13:43
  • I am not a fan of Drobo (like the other Alan). My experience with them have been sub par for the most part - either poor performance or outright failures. Strike one. The drives you referenced aren't really high performance drives with 7200RPM and only 64MB of cache. Strike 2. If you are going to do RAID, I would go with a thunderbolt drive – Allan Oct 28 '16 at 13:50

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