TerraMaster TD2 and D5 Thunderbolt assessment: Good {hardware}, dangerous software program

TerraMaster TD2 and D5 Thunderbolt assessment: Good {hardware}, dangerous software program

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The TerraMaster TD2 and D5 Thunderbolt 3 are well-engineered desktop onerous drive enclosures that may develop your Mac’s desktop storage — however the value you pay for what you get is not the place it must be.

Media professionals who take care of excessive file capacities, equivalent to video editors, are more likely to discover their Mac mini or MacBook Professional’s inside capability filling up rapidly. There have very almost all the time been exterior enclosures for onerous drives to bolster that capability.

We have already examined a TerraMaster USB-C kind 3.1 enclosure that may maintain as much as 5 drives. The corporate additionally has Thunderbolt 3 enclosures, and we’re trying on the two-drive TD2 plus the D5 Thunderbolt 3 that reuses the enclosure of the five-bay USB-only one.

However, with spinning onerous drives, the pace and the price of Thunderbolt is generally pointless.

TerraMaster TD2 and D5 Thunderbolt 3 enclosures — Key specs

TerraMaster TD2TerraMaster D5
Drive Bays25
Drives Supported2.5-inch,
Laborious drives and SSDs
Laborious drives and SSDs
Most Capability32TB80TB
RAID HelpSingle-disk,
Rear PortsTwo Thunderbolt 3,
DisplayPort 1.4
Two Thunderbolt 3,
DisplayPort 1.2
Claimed Learn Speeds810MB/s1,035MB/s (RAID 0),
830MB/s (RAID5)
Claimed Write Speeds806MB/s917MB/s (RAID 0),
850MB/s (RAID 5)
Unladen Weight3.1 kilos5.1 kilos

#table-0 td:nth-of-type(1):earlier than{ content material: “TerraMaster TD2 ” }#table-0 td:nth-of-type(2):earlier than{ content material: “TerraMaster D5 ” }

TerraMaster TD2 and D5 Thunderbolt 3 enclosures — Design concerns

The aluminum storage home equipment are a compact desk addition, with the TD2 taking on a mere 8.9 inches by 4.69 inches by 6.8 inches. In the meantime, the D5 is 8.9 inches by 6.9 inches by 8.9 inches tall. The heights of every aren’t for the whole unit, as there is a fastened deal with in place on the highest, making it considerably moveable if required.

TerraMaster's giant fixed handle is useful for portability, but also adds height.
TerraMaster’s big fastened deal with is beneficial for portability, but in addition provides top.

We would have most well-liked if that deal with was detachable, or designed with a hinge to fold down flat, lower the unit’s top, and permit the items to be stacked.

The entrance has a collection of indicators for every drive, an influence LED, and an influence button, in addition to a pair of drive slots. Across the again is one cooling fan on the TD2 and two on the D5, in addition to a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, a DisplayPort connection, and an influence port.

You get the enclosure, energy wire, AC adapter, a Thunderbolt 3 cable, screws for attaching drives to sleds, and typical set up and guarantee paperwork within the field.

The power brick is hefty for both units, but separating it keeps the size of the enclosures down.
The ability brick is hefty for each items, however separating it retains the scale of the enclosures down.

The use plastic sleds with a pop-out cowl to unseat the sled and drive that clicks again all the way down to safe it in place. The sleds are constituted of pretty flimsy plastic, which is satisfactory for the duty. We would have most well-liked a steel tray.

The plastic drive sleds aren't great, but they work.
The plastic drive sleds aren’t nice, however they work.

Total, moreover the trays, the enclosures are sturdy and dependable. Fan noise is lower than the drives themselves chattering away below load.

TerraMaster TD2 and D5 Thunderbolt 3 enclosures — Capability and RAID

The capability of the TD2 enclosure is not mind-blowing, however it does have the flexibility to just accept two 16TB drives, giving it an unformatted capability of 32TB. The five-bay D5 affords a far larger capability, utilizing as much as 5 16TB drives for a complete of 80TB of storage.

The TD2 makes use of an onboard {hardware} raid system, so there are alternatives out there for utilizing RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, and Single Disk. Relying on the setting, there are advantages out there, together with striping for pace, mirroring for redundancy of information, and even easy uncooked storage capability — however when you’re studying this, odds are, you already know the advantages of every.

A rotary swap on the again permits for collection of the RAID degree on the TD2. There is no such thing as a choice to make use of a software program configuration instrument to handle the enclosure, however you’ll be able to all the time arrange RAID 0, or RAID 1 with Apple’s Disk Utility.

You get one fan to cool drives on the TerraMaster TD2, two on the D5.
You get one fan to chill drives on the TerraMaster TD2, two on the D5.

There are 5 bays within the D5 and no RAID swap on the again. The corporate gives downloadable RAID administration software program — which is horrible. Together with RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, and Single Disk, there are additionally choices for RAID 5 and RAID 10.

Do not set up the TerraMaster software program when you purchase the D5. We’re skilled with set up of low-level software program like this RAID driver, besides, macOS choked on the set up 4 instances earlier than lastly putting in it correctly the fifth time. We in the end needed to take away the driving force and utility with the Terminal after it did not initialize the RAID with known-good drives.

We contacted TerraMaster about it, and help representatives instructed us that it is simply the best way it’s. They put the blame on macOS, which is odd, contemplating OWC’s SoftRAID works superb, the primary time.

The RAID software program works superb on Home windows. However, the RAID is software program, and minus the RAID 5 driver, this does not carry over to macOS, even when configured on Home windows.

We’re not hopeful of any massive adjustments on this regard, however we’ll see — and can replace this publish if it occurs.

TerraMaster TD2 and D5 Thunderbolt 3 enclosures – Connectivity

Thunderbolt 3 connectivity theoretically permits enclosures to make the most of as much as 40Gbps of bandwidth. As there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, it might probably additionally type a part of a daisy-chaining setup of as much as six gadgets, sharing the bandwidth with different {hardware}.

There’s additionally a DisplayPort on each gadgets, although the TD2 has DisplayPort 1.4 whereas the D5 has a DisplayPort 1.2. Each can show a 4K picture on a monitor, although the DisplayPort 1.4 is able to 8K in some conditions. Each functioned superb, and we had no points connecting to an LG 32-inch 4K show. This can even depend upon the capabilities of your Mac, so the M1 fashions will solely be capable to deal with a complete of two shows, together with any built-in screens.

The port situation is almost identical across the TD2 and D5, though you do have an extra switch on the TD2 for selecting RAID configurations.
The port scenario is nearly an identical throughout the TD2 and D5, although you do have an additional swap on the TD2 for choosing RAID configurations.

In the event you do not need a Thunderbolt 3 connection out there, you’ll be able to nonetheless use the TerraMaster TD2 Thunderbolt 3 or D5 with a USB-C or USB port, albeit with out the niceties of Thunderbolt 3. This boils all the way down to a decrease pace of 10Gbps or 5Gbps, relying on the USB connection used.

Likewise, they’re additionally appropriate with Thunderbolt 2, utilizing the requisite adapter. Unsurprisingly, when you do that, you lose the pass-through monitor connection port.

The 90W energy provide within the TD2 and 120W model within the D5 are greater than sufficient to deal with a pair of mechanical drives and energy supply concurrently. There’s energy supply out there, albeit at 15W. This isn’t helpful for recharging a MacBook Air or MacBook Professional at any notable pace, and will not preserve a cost when the pc is below any load in any respect.

TerraMaster TD2 and D5 Thunderbolt 3 enclosures – Efficiency

In accordance with TerraMaster, the TD2 is able to learn and write speeds of 810MB/s and 806MB/s. For the D5, the learn speeds are marketed as 830MB/s below RAID 5 and 1,035MB/s below RAID 0, whereas the write speeds are 850MB/s and 917MB/s, respectively.

With SATA SSDs, our testing bore out the claims that the corporate made for each drives. We have been anticipating higher speeds on learn and write for the D5 with 5 SSDs able to 500 megabytes per second learn and write, although.

With onerous drives, nonetheless, we noticed about 305 megabytes per second learn and 315 megabytes per second write on the TD2. The TD5 delivered a learn pace of 602 megabytes per second learn pace below RAID 5, and a write pace of 556 megabytes per second. It is a limitation of the drives themselves and the overhead for RAID 5, greater than a limitation of the enclosure — and it isn’t that a lot quicker than the USB 3.1 D3-500.

First rate {hardware}, let down by pricing and software program

We like Thunderbolt, and all the time have. Enclosures with Thunderbolt are speedy and versatile, and daily-chained Thunderbolt peripherals are far more dependable than SCSI ever was — and no goofy termination guidelines to stick to.

The design of those enclosures is fairly good, however not implausible. We have seen far worse, and we have seen some higher. They preserve the drives cool, however that deal with is annoying in a setup that depends on a couple of drive array, or in a decent area.

One factor retains each the TD2 and D5 enclosures from greatness — value. TerraMaster lists the two-bay TD2 at $259.99, whereas the five-bay D5 prices $699. The TD2 is on the high-end of moderately priced, however the D5, particularly given the state of the software program at current, is not good and even when that software program labored completely on macOS Massive Sur, it is not definitely worth the value premium for Thunderbolt. The DisplayPort is sweet, positive, however that is offset by the utter lack of charging energy for a transportable Mac.

And, we won’t categorical strongly sufficient that the TerraMaster D5 RAID software program is a depressing expertise. A few of that is due to the OS, but when you have to undergo an arduous expertise to put in the RAID driver, it wants to put in correctly the primary time — and it must work proper after you lastly get it to take. However, when you’re simply feeding the drives as-is to macOS, this is not a show-stopper.

The TerraMaster TD2 is slimline and could be enough of a storage upgrade for many Mac users.
The TerraMaster TD2 is slimline and may very well be sufficient of a storage improve for a lot of Mac customers – if it was cheaper.

In the event you want a five-bay enclosure, get the D5-300 that we reviewed earlier than — except you could find the TD5 on steep sale. USB 3.1 Kind C on the $159 two-bay D2-310, or the five-bay D5-300 for $229 will not vastly sluggish you down with the identical high quality {hardware} enclosure. Plus, when you do this, you’ll be able to decide up OWC’s SoftRaid Professional for the worth distinction and have some money left over.


  • Cool and quiet
  • Compact dimension
  • Show help


  • Mounted deal with
  • Totally horrible RAID configuration software program for the five-bay D5
  • Low cost plastic drive sleds
  • Dangerous steadiness of pricing to options

TerraMaster TD2 rating: 3 out of 5

TerraMaster D5 rating: 2 out of 5


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