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Tandem OWC ThunderBay IV Enclosures Achieve 1,786MB/s!

owc_thunderbay_lrWhile one OWC ThunderBay IV enclosure will give you tremendous storage capacity while packing in some serious performance, pairing two of the enclosures via two dedicated Thunderbolt ports can make for even more incredible performance gains and up to 40TB of total storage!

We ran some quick benchmarks with a Performance RAID 0 setup across two OWC ThunderBay IV enclosures connected to two Thunderbolt ports and got up to 1,786MB/s read speeds!

Check out our benchmarks below:


A standalone OWC ThunderBay IV is perfect for editing 2K and 4K video, audio, and graphics, and if you need even more power, you can simply add an additional ThunderBay IV to a computer with multiple Thunderbolt ports for exponential performance gains for your workflow!

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  • 1)
    The OWC ThunderBay IV is a Thunderbolt 1 device. Thunderbolt 1 has 2 channels, so couldn’t you get similar performance chaining two ThunderBay IVs on a single port (as long as there’s no display connected to the port)?

    Here’s some other Thunderbolt questions:
    Does a display get a dedicated channel or can some of the channel’s bandwidth be used for storage?

    If a display is using a lower resolution like 1280 x 800 @ 60 Hz, then would that allow more bandwidth to a storage device?

  • An amazing result, but man, I’d be scared to have that many disks in a RAID 0, never mind the backup implications. What are the applications for such speed in a DAS setup?

  • Does around 1,700 seem to be the peak, or is it just the peak using (empty) new spinning drives? What speeds do you see with the same setup but using SSD’s instead?

    • I believe 1700 is the peak given that Thunderbolt is limited to 10 Gb/s. Two ports would have a limit of 20 Gb/s. 20 Gb/s with some overhead would give about 1,786MB/s. Benchmarks can be found at:
      but that example is using only 3G SSDs. I guess two 6G SSDs would max the throughput so the other two bays could be used for RAID 1.

      The documentation says the ThunderBay IV accepts 6G drives, but it doesn’t explicitly state that the SATA controller works at 6G speed.