REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
The OWC ThunderBay 4 Dual ThunderBolt 2 storage device enters the market as a very attractive add-on to any media professional’s environment. Not only is it capable of single capacities up to 20TB in a very compact single package, but also, its dual ThunderBolt 2 ports allow so much more. One can daisy chain several ThunderBay’s for enormous end capacity, add-on 4K displays for the ultimate in media work, or use SSDs and connect this to the MacBook Pro for just under 1.4GB/s transfer speed performance, this being key to 4K media editing.
Top performance of the ThunderBay 4 with four SSDs is listed at 1342MB/s, but this is only possible with a device capable of data transfer through a ThunderBolt 2 cable that only the MacBook Pro has in the Mac environment at present. Our efforts to match that with our test system saw highs of a questionable 1.2GB/s, but definitely above the 1GB/s mark; we could not reach 1342MB/s. We spoke with OWC at length with respect to this and asked them to run a test and send us the result:
Although this is not our independent test result, it merits posting as we are not in possession of the newest MacBook Pro that would provide for this result. It definitely validates claims of just under 1.4GB/s transfer speeds.
OWC’s option to include SoftRAID RAID 5 is definitely a very attractive option to the media professional. RAID 5 is a striped RAID and provides optimum RAID speeds for 3 of the 4 drives in use, or 75% of the space. The remainder is utilized to provide redundancy that is critical should a hard drive fail. If one were to fail while in the ThunderBay 4 RAID5 Edition, it could simply be hot swapped and absolutely no information is lost. Speed, capacity and data security; how much better does it get?
For us…. Performance above and beyond SATA 3 with 11TB of additional storage and the ability to attach a 4K monitor, all the while in such a small footprint, means this baby is going to be hard as heck to get back to OWC!