REAL WORLD FILE TRANSFER COMPARISON
For our Real World File Transfer Comparison, we have included the Mercury Helios 3 PCIe TB3 Chassis, TekQ Rapide TB3 Portable SSD, Glyph USB 3.1 2TB Atom RAID external SSD, ADATA SE730, Samsung T3, Intel Optane 900P in our testing with the OWC ThunderBlade. Our test structure is actually quite simple and consists of physically copying data files from one location on a disk to another.
To be sure of what we were seeing, we repeated these tests several times, many including a system reboot. The ThunderBlade V4 was just that fast! After this, we went ahead and retested the Optane on the Z370 Test System just to confirm what we were seeing. This test truly is the bread and butter of the OWC ThunderBlade and was totally unexpected. Wow.
UNDERSTANDING PCIE 3.0 X4 AND X2 DIFFERENCES
We wanted to include one last test result as this may alleviate some of the difficulties experienced by those trying to set up, or buy a system that has Thunderbolt 3. In our case, we already had a system that contained Thunderbolt 3, this being our HP Spectre laptop with a 7th Gen Intel CPU and literature all over the internet stating that Thunderbolt would be PCIe 3.0 x4…vice X2. This was our test result:
Now, as much as we are just a bit more comfortable with the low 4K read result, this is nowhere near what we need to see from the ThunderBlade V4. Granted, this is still the best performance (up until today) that we have seen from an external storage medium. It resulted in our purchase of the ASRock Thunderbolt 3 AIC and desktop testing.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
The OWC ThunderBlade V4 was created for the media professional working in very large files, and needing to manipulate save and transfer them quickly. Efficiency is the key here. The OWC ThunderBlade is the fastest external storage device we have ever tested, and the fastest available to the best of our knowledge. When we can observe speeds up to 2.9GB/s in any data transfer to an external medium, that says all that needs to be said.
The OWC ThunderBlade V4 is available to purchase directly from OWC and it is expensive. It is a niche item that is priced out of the range of most consumers and small businesses, quite frankly reserved for those that need to transfer and store data this fast…media professionals. As fast as it is, we did realize concerning performance restrictions in data transfer of low 4K reads initially, however, this was not evident whatsoever in our real life testing, transferring video files faster than we have seen before. Similarly, the low 4k read performance above is up to par.
Last but not least, the ThunderBlade v4 comes with a 3-year limited warranty, 24/7 support and the OWC reputation, this company quite frankly being one of the best in the business for taking care of its customers. As much as we would like to see pricing a bit lower, everything we have seen here speaks to Editor’s Choice. Great product OWC!