OWC / Other World Computing ThunderBay 4 Four-Bay Thunderbolt 2 RAID Array

OWC / Other World Computing ThunderBay 4 Four-Bay Thunderbolt 2 RAID Array

OWC / Other World Computing ThunderBay 4 Four-Bay Thunderbolt 2 RAID Array

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Product Highlights

  • 4 x 3.5" SATA III 6 Gb/s Drive Bays
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 2 Ports
  • RAID 0: Up to 859 MB/s Read Speed
  • RAID 0: Up to 838 MB/s Write Speed
  • JBOD Also Supported
  • DisplayPort 1.2 Support
  • Daisy-Chain Capable
  • Aluminum Enclosure with Fan
  • Drive Isolating Design
  • Windows & Mac Compatible
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RAID Software Included: No

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Price:  $379.75

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OWC / Other World Computing ThunderBay IV overview

  • 1Description

Add the capabilities of Thunderbolt 2 speed and storage to your Windows or Mac system with the ThunderBay 4 Hard Drive Enclosure from OWC / Other World Computing. This is a four bay, SATA III 6 Gb/s enclosure and each bay will support a 3.5" hard drive or a 2.5" hard drive or SSD. Each 2.5" drive requires an optional NewerTech AdaptaDrive adapter. Once drives are installed, you can RAID them using the software RAID of your choice to setup the ThunderBay 4 for multi-drive performance or data redundancy.

The ThunderBay 4 will provide you with plenty of space to store files such as music, photos, movies, and documents. It also allows you to operate a production workflow with 2K and 4K video in Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, and Avid Media Composer, audio in Avid Pro Tools and Logic Pro X, and photos in Adobe Photoshop, Apple Aperture and Adobe Lightroom. When configured as a RAID 0, this array features read speeds up to 859 MB/s and write speeds up to 838 MB/s.

The ThunderBay 4 comes with two Thunderbolt 2 ports that provide bi-directional data transfer rates of 20 Gb/s. Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports allow you to daisy-chain up to six devices such as additional ThunderBays, 4K displays, and more. To help ensure a smooth operating environment, the array uses a 92mm nosie-quieting fan. The ThunderBay 4 is compatible with Windows 7 SP1 and later and Mac OS 10.9 and later. It may be used as a boot drive On Mac systems, but does not support Boot Camp. It operates using a 100-240 VAC power supply that runs at 50/60 Hz. Included with this ThunderBay 4 array is a 3.3' / 1.0m Thunderbolt cable, an 3-prong power cable, 2 keys for the front panel lock, and a PC & Mac compatible software bundle. Please bear in mind that while users are free to select drives of their choice for this RAID, variable spin drives, such as WD Red and WD Green, are not recommended. The issue with variable spin drives is that because the drives could potentially be spinning at different speeds, this could lead to constant rebuilds within the RAID, as it could think that one or more drives are not in operation. While WD Red and WD Green drives are specifically being mentioned, please bear in mind that variable speed drives also manufactured by other companies, such as Seagate, are also not recommended.

ThunderBay utilizes an open "flow-thru" vented design with a 92mm, low-turbulence, noise-quieting fan to keep the drives running cool and reliably
Daisy-chain up to six ThunderBays for massive storage capabilities and increased performance, or connect multiple ThunderBays to multiple Thunderbolt 2 ports to achieve exponential speed capabilities
Vibration Dampened
ThunderBay's drive isolating design reduces sonic resonance and is aided by over-sized, rugged, vibration-absorbing, non-skid feet
DisplayPort 1.2 Support
The Thunderbolt ports also support DisplayPort 1.2 that allows daisy-chaining displays through the drive
UPC: 812437020410
In the Box
OWC / Other World Computing ThunderBay 4 Four-Bay Thunderbolt 2 RAID Array
  • 3.3' / 1.0m Thunderbolt Cable
  • External UL listed 3-Prong Power Cable
  • 2 x Keys for Front Panel Lock
  • Utility Software Bundle for Mac and PC
  • Limited 1-Year Manufacturer Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    OWC / Other World Computing ThunderBay IV specs

    Number of Bays 4 x 2.5"/3.5"
    Connections 2 x Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2)
    Compatible Drive Interface SATA
    Operating System Support Windows, macOS/OS X
    AC Input Power 100 to 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz at 16.66 A
    Operating Temperature 41 to 107°F / 5 to 42°C
    Operating Humidity 8 to 90%
    Storage Temperature -40 to 149°F / -40 to 65°C
    Storage Humidity 5 to 95%
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 9.7 x 5.3 x 7.0" / 245.1 x 134.9 x 176.8 mm
    Weight 8.6 lb / 3.9 kg
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 10.55 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 13.1 x 10.2 x 8.6"

    OWC / Other World Computing ThunderBay IV reviews

    ThunderBay 4 Four-Bay Thunderbolt 2 RAID Array is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 26.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I own two now. If you owned the previous generation Mac Pro 5.1 Cheese Grater and filled all four regular drive bays and the spare optical drive bay with hard drives (I did), you had it as good as it ever got for user friendliness on the Mac as far as drive configurability goes. Then comes the Mac Pro 6.1 Trashcan, a triumph of form over function, drive-wise. You get one hard-wired SSD on the motherboard, and that's all. Fortunately, there's the ThunderBay 4. It makes drive-swapping even easier than it was with the Mac Pro 5.1. Just turn the (supplied) key to open the front cover, use the thumbscrew to unfasten and remove any of the drive brackets, load/remove/swap your full-size HD (or 2.5 HD or SSD, mounted in a NewerTech AdaptaDrive 2.5 to 3.5 Drive Converter Bracket), pop the bracket back into the ThunderBay 4, and let 'er rip. ThunderBay 4 has five colored LED indicators on the front panel: Power (blue = power on; orange = sleep), and one for each of the four drive bays (solid green = drive on; flashing green = drive activity; off = drive inactive). The enclosure has an audible but reasonably quiet cooling fan (a necessity, in my view, for decent HD operating life), and comes with a grounded AC power cord (no annoying power bricks or wall warts), a rear-mounted power switch, and a 1 meter Thunderbolt cable. Two rear-mounted Thunderbolt jacks allow daisy-chaining. I use one bay for my SSD backup of the internal 1TB SSD, another two bays for my 4TB audio instrument libraries (and the backup drive), and another two bays for various other storage volumes (photos, audio recording) software installers, data archives - and the backup drive for that). For my two ThunderBay 4 units, that leaves three bays open for dedicated drives for various audio and video projects...more flexibility than I had with the Mac Pro 5.1. If you have a Mac Pro 6.1 Trashcan and you need anything more than a single external backup drive, you need a ThunderBay 4. It's a well-engineered unit.
    Date published: 2016-07-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEST EXTERNAL STORAGE I'VE USED, AND I'VE USED ALOT. I'm a wedding photographer who captures over 80GB of RAW images in one event, need something FAST, and durable. I use a Canon 5D MKII. I've always had external hard drives, hard to count how many I do have at this point. I was looking at DROBO, and other external storage devices and this one came by in an ad from B&H on another site I was visiting for external storage, and glad it did. I was close to buying a DROBO, but I read the reviews for this one, and glad I bought it. Durable all around metal, keys to prevent access to hard drives, thunderbolt 2 speed. Fantastic. To transfer a 60gb file, took me about 2 mins, I was amazed. 500mb write, 600mb read in RAID 5 using softraid software, simply fantastic. Don't let the software raid discourage you in buying this. I use softraid software and it was amazing.
    Date published: 2015-12-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fast, Reliable, Quiet Very nice raid array. Can daisy chain these and have a thunderbolt or thunderbolt to DVI/VGA etc monitor cable to use as a display port. Quiet to use. I tape over the LEDs because they are a little bright for me - I recommend the SoftRaid software because it can test the drives while they are in the array (live) and inexpensively supports Raid 5 in a Mac environment. Can do multiple installs of SoftRaid to connect your mac mini or macbook to the same array without issues.
    Date published: 2015-04-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fast, reliable, easy to use I have had this product for a year or so, with 4 x 4 TB Western Digital Red drives in it, formatted using SoftRAID as a RAID 5 (ie, 12 TB of storage). It has been reliable. Even when the power goes out, I haven't had any disk errors. I get copy speeds of 340 - 480 Gb/s, which is really quite fast (much faster than any SSD that I have owned). I love it, and I love the fact that I can add larger drives and easily increase its capacity (to 24 TB, if I am willing to live with RAID 0).
    Date published: 2015-06-20
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fast, works well When I got my iMac with Thunderbolt connection, I wandered what to do with all my hard drives. This is the solution I found: put them in this case. Easy to set up, runs really fast, quiet and doesn't run hot. So far, very satisfied. One important piece of info that is hard to get: each disk can be a separate icon on your desktop. In other words, this is the equivalent of 4 hard drives. There might be other ways to configure it , but that's what I wanted.
    Date published: 2016-01-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Works great with iMac Retina 5K This setup replaced my wife's old Mac Pro. Since she is a creative professional she works on 2T SATA disks. Since these disks will not fit into an iMac (nor a current generation Mac Pro) I move the drives into the Thunderbay IV enclosure. It could not have been easier. Unfortunately the 1 meter thunderbolt cable is too short and I had to purchased a separate 3 meter cable. These cables are expensive. I like the front indicators. There is a power Led which is amber when the iMac is not on. It turns blue when the iMac sees the enclosure through the thunderbolt cable. One thing to be aware of is that the RAID drivers that are standard in OSX are terrible. If you are considering using RAID then look at the RAID version that has soft RAID. I use superduper! to sync up the data drive to a backup every night. Normally I would use RAID 1 but the NATIVE OSX RAID driver makes it easy to destroy the entire volume if you have a disk failure.
    Date published: 2015-04-02
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A mush have with my new Mac Pro Great value for a thunderbolt drive. I needed one when I got my new Mac Pro which is all thunderbolt and USB. It was a pretty good price and operates quiet. It would have been nice to get a raid version but I did not need that out of this one. There is a way to set it up as a raid if needed but its not able to right out of the box. The key lock door is not really an added value to me. Its more of a hassle getting drives in and out but just a small personal thing. Great drive bay.
    Date published: 2015-02-09
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better with Round 2... After using my first unit for approximately a week and half, and moving almost 10TB of data to it, I had rebooted my machine and came up with an error that Mac OSX was unable to repair the ThunderBay. After the message I started digging a little deeper and realized that the ThunderBay was corrupting all the data I had transferred to it. PDF's had huge chunks of white or pink block data in them. Virtually every video file was corrupt with huge bands and blocks of green data striped through it. I contacted OWC, because I had bought from B&H, they wanted me to pay shipping on the RMA - I refused, so I contacted B&H - I was still within 30 days, so they would accept it regardless. The B&H Customer Service Team made it a dream to handle!! They sent me the RMA label right away to return the bad Bay, and they over-nighted me a return unit the next morning. As always, the B&H Customer Service team was outstanding!! Until I finish the data pull off an old Drobo, I have not put the replacement unit into full use yet, but the bit I have used it, it appears to be working seamlessly like my other ThunderBay and offers amazing speed for video work!! I can't wait to get this bay in use along with my other. One will serve as a PhotoBank, then other as VideoBank. Again - many thanks to the outstanding service at B&H!!
    Date published: 2016-04-21
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