OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID5 Edition Review – Speed, Capacity and Data Security


We thought we might start with the meat and gravy of the ThunderBay 4, which is RAID testing with 11TB of Toshiba DT01ACA300 capacity.  Our tests will be laid out by way of our PC Windows 7 OS first, followed by Mac OSX tests.


Toshiba 3TB RAIDx4 ATTO

We can see the effects of RAID 0 as higher transfer speeds are evident in smaller file transfers.  Speeds just below 700MB/s are healthy but we might have hoped for a bit better.

Toshiba 3TB HDD RAIDx4 CDM

This performance is much better and is unusual considering ATTO typically displays higher performance than Crystal DiskMark.  Similar to ATTO, however, we are seeing much better 4K write performance (for a hard drive).


Toshiba 3TB HDD RAIDx4 QuickBench OSX

With performance highs of 849MB/s read and 819MB/s write transfer speeds, we get a very clear picture of just how well OSX works its RAID environments.  This performance is much better than one would ever expect, considering the performance of below 200MB/s we saw in ATTO and Crystal DiskMark single drive testing.

Toshiba 3TB HDD RAIDx4 ZoneBench OSX

We see the same initially with ZoneBench 2.0, followed by significant drops in write performance.  This is a great opportunity to explain how RAID configurations don’t play nicely with all software benchmarks.  IN our testing we found that both AS SSD and Anvil provided readings that could not be relied upon.

ThunderBay 4 At Work


  1. blank

    nice, isnt there still a little risk of loosing all data of the discs, when the controller of the thunderbay is dying?

  2. blank

    Wow. 500 dollars for a jbod device.

    • blank

      It comes with Softraid full software worth 180$ usd. So this unit is fair priced.

    • blank

      Not sure about the older units but the one I just bought came with the limited SoftRAID for ThunderBay version which only lets you manipulate drives that are contained within the ThunderBay. It’s plenty powerful for managing those volumes and it seems like a fair deal considering how overbuilt the enclosure is but I would liked to have seen it come with the full software. Upgrading from SRFTB is $99.00.

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