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Drobo Mini First Impressions
11-20-2012, 10:10 AM
Post: #1
Drobo Mini First Impressions
I've had my Drobo Mini for about 5 days now, so I thought I'd share my initial impressions.

1) The unit does get quite warm, and the fans do run almost constantly, but there are fairly quiet and do not bother me running. However, I wouldn't want this running if I were recording audio.

2) Setup was quite easy, as was mentioned in another thread, it only took a few minutes to go from connect to availability (in my case closer to 10-15 minutes)

3) I have a mix of 5400 RPM, and 7200 RPM drives, along with a 128GB mSATA drive installed. I'm not sure what specs are "good", so I'm linking to a screenshot of the last speed test I ran, with the same Black Magic free tool used. From a "feel" perspective, it doesn't feel like I'm having any latency issues. I have my lightroom library running on the Drobo, and have not had any issues in the 1-2 days I've been using it. [Image: drobomini.png]

4) Size. While it is much smaller than other Drobo's and NAS devices, I'm not sure I would want to travel with it. From a business perspective, I don't see an issue traveling with it, but would not want to do it if I was traveling for personal activities.

All in all, I'm happy with the purchase, and am looking forward to the freedom and peace of mind this will be giving me.
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11-25-2012, 08:09 AM
Post: #2
RE: Drobo Mini First Impressions
thanks for posting your info

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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12-10-2012, 04:23 PM
Post: #3
RE: Drobo Mini First Impressions
Hi all,
i've had my mini for 2 weeks now, and to be honest i haven't had a chance to use it yet, too busy working.

Just a quick note to anyone worried about the Test results from Darren, i ran the Blackmagic Test and the results look a lot better.

Drobo Min with:
4x WD Scorpio Black 750GB
1x Crucial CT 256GB M4 SSD (mSATA)
(MacBook Pro Retina 2012 - connected via Thunderbolt)

Write Speed: 231 MB/s
Read Speed: 257 MB/s
(running the test using 1GB Stress load)
10bit YUV 4:2:2 - all formats incl. 2k
10bit RGB 4:4:4 - up to 1080i/50
12bit RGB 4:4:4 - just SD

Sorry, can't post a pic directly here, silly forum glitch.
Fans are on constantly, the cable provided is quite short. The Apple TB Cable is 2m long, so one could put it out of ear-shot.
Will get back and post a better review once i get a chance to give it a good going-over.
j
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12-11-2012, 08:11 AM
Post: #4
RE: Drobo Mini First Impressions
even cooler Smile

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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12-17-2012, 03:25 AM
Post: #5
RE: Drobo Mini First Impressions
That's the sort of performance I'm looking for but am way short currently. The Seagates I'm using for now aren't as fast as the Scorpios, so that part is straightforward. For the mSATA card, I understood that capacity wise, there's no real benefit going over 64GB - do your findings suggest that it may improve real-world performance to go beyond 64GB? Or is it simply that the 256GB Crucial drive has much better write speeds than the 64GB version, and the extra capacity isn't really doing anything? I'd like to get the Deneva 2, which looks like the fastest option, but it doesn't seem to be available in Europe.

(12-10-2012 04:23 PM)jamie Wrote:  Hi all,
i've had my mini for 2 weeks now, and to be honest i haven't had a chance to use it yet, too busy working.

Just a quick note to anyone worried about the Test results from Darren, i ran the Blackmagic Test and the results look a lot better.

Drobo Min with:
4x WD Scorpio Black 750GB
1x Crucial CT 256GB M4 SSD (mSATA)
(MacBook Pro Retina 2012 - connected via Thunderbolt)

Write Speed: 231 MB/s
Read Speed: 257 MB/s
(running the test using 1GB Stress load)
10bit YUV 4:2:2 - all formats incl. 2k
10bit RGB 4:4:4 - up to 1080i/50
12bit RGB 4:4:4 - just SD

Sorry, can't post a pic directly here, silly forum glitch.
Fans are on constantly, the cable provided is quite short. The Apple TB Cable is 2m long, so one could put it out of ear-shot.
Will get back and post a better review once i get a chance to give it a good going-over.
j
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12-17-2012, 08:08 AM
Post: #6
RE: Drobo Mini First Impressions
hi string,
if you try a search on "msata" on the boards theres some other threads discussing it in more detail.

it might be a case of the 64gb being good enough "on average", but i think there are also scenarios where a 256 (or larger than 64) will have benefits. (but also some more cost) Smile

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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12-17-2012, 03:49 PM
Post: #7
RE: Drobo Mini First Impressions
HI String,
to be honest, i hadn't given much thought to the size of the mSATA, and just presumed bigger is better. I've since too read that it isn't really, and that i could've saved a few bob, but now i have 256 and i'm happy. I don't have a 64GB mSATA lying around, nor any other size, so i can't confirm nor argue the above.

The BlackMagic test just writes to- and reads from the drives themselves, and doesn't use the mSATA (or any disc cache) during the test, which explains why the mSATA doesn't effect the results of the test.
The AJA System Test (also freeware) allows one to ignore the cache, or use it during the test. That's when the results look very funny indeed - Read speeds up to 6,000 MB/s!!!!

As for everyday real-world use - i've just started an editing job this weekend (Avid MC, Alexa footage, DNxHD 120), and i'm more than pleased with the performance.
But i'm the wrong guy to ask about comparisons, i've never had a RAID before, i mostly edit in post-houses on their gear, and the few jobs i did with my laptop up until now were on eSATA drives (fast, but very annoying due to mac-driver compatibility).
Got the new MBP this year and have had to buy lots of new gear, and was very excited about a portable, thunderbolt RAID.

When this job's done i'll write more, but i'm quite happy right now.
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