Get Nearly 4,000MB/s and 36TB of Storage for under $3K with Three ThunderBay 4 Drives and a Mac Pro!

tbay_3990The OWC ThunderBay 4 enclosure with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports packs a punch when it comes to performance. But with three ThunderBay 4 drives and a Mac Pro, you can get out-of-this-world performance that was previously only available with rack-based storage.

OWC announced today that by connecting three ThunderBay 4 four-bay enclosures to a 2013 Mac Pro, it was able to break 3,900MB/s! This incredible performance was achieved with both a 3 x 12TB HDD and a 3 x 1.0TB SSD setup.

This combination of performance and storage is immediately available to put right on your desktop at a fraction of the price of rack-based storage, with three 12TB HDD ThunderBay 4 enclosures (for a total of 36TB of storage) coming in at less than $3,000 total.

The ThunderBay 4 Workstation
The Mac Pro has a total of six Thunderbolt 2 ports connecting to three separate Thunderbolt 2 busses, with two ports to each bus. We connected one ThunderBay 4 to one of the two ports available for each bus to get the maximum performance. Those three ThunderBay 4 enclosures were made into a single RAID-0 array using the built-in software RAID-0 in OS X. We then fired up the benchmarking tools and watched in awe at the performance the ThunderBay 4 enclosures achieved.

Achieve speeds of nearly 4,000MB/s
OWC’s benchmark testing shows incredible speeds of up to 3,990MB/s read and 3,802MB/s write, running the HDD array. The testing also showed impressive 3,909MB/s read and 3,825MB/s write speeds with the SSD array.

See OWC’s benchmarks below for a more complete look at the numbers. The top image is a RAID-0 set-up with 3 x 12TB HDD ThunderBay 4 solutions. The bottom image is a RAID-0 set-up with 3 x 1.0TB SSD ThunderBay 4 solutions. The benchmarks were run in OWC’s in-house Testing Lab.

3 x 12TB HDD:


3 x 1.0TB SSD:


Remember to backup
As you can see, the possibilities when combining a software RAID and ThunderBay 4 are inspiring and can take your workflow to new heights. For all data, it’s also important to remember that you should always have a data backup plan.

UPDATE: We’ve posted more benchmark results here on the OWC Blog.