The Promise Pegasus isn't just the first external Thunderbolt device to market. Currently, it’s the only Thunderbolt product on the market, except for the latest generation of Apple Macs that launched the new port technology.

With the help of this new 10Gbps (1.25GBps) interface, there should be ample room to let a clutch of hard disks reach incredible read/write speeds, using a RAID configuration to stripe data across multiple disks.

Two version of this desktop storage unit are offered, a four-bay version (the R4) or a six-bay model, the R6 (tested). Each removable tray is able to accept either the usual 3.5in SATA hard-disk drive or smaller 2.5in notebook drives. The latter capability is useful for those bleeding edge technology professionals who need, and can afford, to equip the Pegasus chassis with super-fast solid-state drives.

The Pegasus R6 is a neatly finished tower, clad in a steel wrap with plastic fascia, all sprayed in aluminium-coloured paint. The trays pop out easily after pressing a square button on the front.

Our sample came pre-loaded with six Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 disks (3.5in SATA 3Gbps, 7200rpm), ready configured as a RAID 5 array, arguably the best setup for three or more disks.

A comprehensive software utility for OS X is also included, with which you can set up different RAID options, audit your drives and oversee the whole unit. It’s a powerful and very well-arranged piece of software.

The R6 version of the Pegasus is specified to work with transfers up to 800MBps. We were warned that some Mac benchmark utilities may not reflect all that available speed as they don’t allow enough threads. Sure enough, Blackmagic DiskSpeedTest revealed write speeds up to 586MBps and read speeds of 537MBps, still incredibly fast transfer speeds though.

Using Speed Tools Quick Bench, we really saw what the Pegasus R6 could do. Here the unit hit record speeds of 818MBps reads for 10MB data, and up to 700MBps with 6MB files.

OUR VERDICT

The Promise Pegasus is an incredibly quick and powerful desktop storage system for Mac users.