OWC Thunderbay 4 mini Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure Review – 2TB SSD Storage at 1340 MB/s


External storage speeds have always been at the mercy of the connector.  It wasn’t so long ago that Windows couldn’t even be considered as a bootable OS from an external medium, whereas today, anything is possible.  Media is the perfect example where the newest 4K video requires data transfer speeds in the area of 1.4K to be editing efficiently.  Storage space then becomes paramount where 4K movies can run 30-100GB, in comparison to a typical HD movie that might be 1-2GB.  USB3 won’t suffice with 4K media workflows.  A solution was needed to tackle data transfer speeds, storage capacity, and at the same time, value and device size also needed to be considered.

OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini On Desk

OWC kept this in mind when they envisioned the Thunderbay4 mini, creating a device that has the performance, can hold up to an amazing 8TB capacity, is extremely compact, and can be purchased solo or with a large number of pre-configured options.  It is a solution similar to that of the LaCie Little Big Disk ThunderBolt 2, yet taking a more common approach and enabling more diverse storage options.  It would be hard to find many that might argue that an 8TB solution such as this could be found at $895 anywhere, as hard as it might be to find a 500GB ThunderBolt 2 solution using SSDs.  And then there are considerations for those that might be able to use four separate logical drives, all through use of a single TBolt 2 cable.

OWC ThunderBay 4 Mini Complete

From a personal perspective, I have been more than happy with the OWC Helios PCIe ThunderBolt chassis with the Intel 910 800GB PCIe SSD since we reviewed it way back in 2012.  It has been a loyal companion and works flawlessly.  It is going to be pretty hard to get this ThunderBay 4 mini out of my hands any time soon.  Time to move up in my external storage medium, especially since I have become much more in tune with the Mac side of things as well.  Great build OWC and I think it is about time an external storage medium garnished our Editor’s Choice Award!  Now about that product return courier authorization…

Check Out the ThunderBay 4 mini at OWC!

Editors Choice-SSD copy Opt


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    Why did you show not even a single picture of its interior? You call that a review? Stop kidding! Chips matter. You photograph SSD chipsets, so please reveal what is inside ThunderBay 4 Mini.

    (Need I remind you: ThunderBay 4 notmini contains four count ASM1061.)

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    On the 4th sentence of the first paragraph (page1) it said “yet capable of speeds up to 1.4MB/s”, that doesnt sound right or did you mean 1.4GB/s ?

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    I am trying to find out whether this unit honors write barriers, which are critical to data security ( see this thread: https://markmail.org/thread/shrs46f6lixkqllw ). Without them, a sudden power outage or an unexpectedly pulled cable can easily make a RAID completely unrecoverable by mere mortals. Have you tested that?

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    Planning on upgrading from old MacPro running Crucial SSDs to Retina iMac. Will this TB Mini accept non-OWC drives in non-RAID config.

    What happens when the TB cable is not attached. Will the drives power up and idle?

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