Fast and Silent Four-Bay RAID 5 Solution
Review by Erik Vlietinck

CalDigit is a supplier of storage solutions for creative profes- sionals, including photographers and video producers. The T4 is their hybrid Thunderbolt 2 RAID-capable storage solution. T4’s have a tightly fitting die-cast aluminum enclosure aimed at silent operation and good thermal management. They have four lockable removable drives that carry a three-year warranty. The unit itself carries a five-year warranty.

The T4 is an SSD- or HDD-based hybrid RAID solution, combining a programmable chip and a macOS menu applet to configure it. The uncommon support for SSDs allows CalDigit to ship a T4/4 TB that has throughput speeds of up to 1370 MB/sec in RAID 0. You can set the unit to RAID 0, 1, 5, or JBOD. Unique about the T4 is that you can set up two different RAID 0 or RAID 1 configurations—each using two drives. A RAID 5 takes all four. Finally, you can set up one RAID 0 or 1 configuration and have the two other disks function as independent drives.

The T4 dissipates heat efficiently. The drives in my unit never ran warmer than 98.6°F with an ambient room tem- perature of 77°F. I was wary of the ventilator’s sound levels, though, but although it wasn’t completely noiseless, the fan’s sound was low enough even after an hour of editing not to interfere too much with normal audio levels. To give you an idea, before turning the unit on, the sound level in my room reached 36 dBA. After turning it on, it rose to 38–39 dBA.

The T4’s speed is downright exemplary. Before copying files to the T4, I tested its performance with both Blackmagic Design’s and AJA’s speed utilities. The write speeds were pretty impressive at 430 MB/sec on a Thunderbolt 1 port. That’s RAID 5 writing—RAID 0 is even faster. ■