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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.

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  • What HDs are you using? 12x3TB drives in RAID0 means each drive has an STR of 333MB/s… are there HDs that fast?

    • I see you’ve benchmarked them while allowing cache effects. That would explain the inflated results with the HDs. You should disable cache effecs and rerun the tests as it can be misleading to include cache effects.