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OWC, Toshiba Collaborate on Dramatic Improvement to RAID 5 write-speeds

Sometimes, good enough is not enough.  
Last year, through routine support work and testing, we discovered that 20TB Toshiba drives on macOS were showing lower-than-expected write performance with RAID 5 enclosures. While excelling in RAID 0 setups, their performance fell short in the critical RAID 5 configurations, which is particularly important for our customers engaged in video editing for major studios. We proactively reached out to our partners at Toshiba, and so began a sprint to performance improvements. 
The Toshiba QA team promptly invited us to their testing facility to demonstrate the performance issue in person. This kicked off a collaborative process involving swift back-and-forth communications, proposing firmware changes via email, and evolving into daily conference calls. The direct communication between OWC’s Mac software team and Toshiba’s engineers displayed remarkable dedication to finding a prompt solution. 

Within a few weeks, OWC and Toshiba engineers successfully implemented changes, significantly improving RAID 5 performance—a process that can take up to a year was achieved in just six weeks. In contrast, we currently have a vendor still addressing an issue identified two years ago. 
This joint effort led to an impressive 23% improvement in RAID 5 performance. Our ThunderBay 8 RAID solution on Apple silicon Macs demonstrated a maximum write speed of 1965 MB/s while maintaining an average write speed of 1727 MB/s. This substantial speed boost has real-world implications, empowering these solutions to effortlessly manage complex 8K video workflows. 

This rapid resolution, coupled with Toshiba’s exceptional drive reliability and quiet operation, firmly established Toshiba as our preferred drive vendor for all OWC storage products. This collaborative success story underscores the power of partnership and mutual commitment to delivering top-notch solutions for our customers. 

Collaborating with partners like Toshiba exemplifies OWC’s commitment to not only resolving issues but also seizing opportunities for improvement. This dedication underscores the numerous advantages of SoftRAID and is why we encourage our customers to leverage the SoftRAID Upgrade + Support plan. Beyond providing access to new features, updates, and tech support, this plan offers resources for collaborative exploration beyond mere software enhancements, pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation together. 

This comprehensive approach ensures optimal functionality of every component, safeguarding your data and guaranteeing the utmost protection for your valuable information. 

OWC Wayne G
the authorOWC Wayne G
Tech lover, multimedia creator, and marketing manager for OWC's Rocket Yard and Mission Control blogs.
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  • Dear Wayne,
    thanks for the interesting article on Toshiba drives and RAID 5.
    I have a MacPro 7,1 with an OWC enclosure containing 4 Toshiba 3TB drives running SoftRaid RAID 5, for about 3 years now.
    Almost once per day, the machine becomes comatose after having been left idle for a few hours. It does not respond to any keystrokes, or trackpad inputs.
    The machine needs a hard reboot and is back in action.
    On occasions, I have walked away and returned a few hours later to find that the machine is now responsive again.
    I have been trying to trouble shoot this problem for several years – mostly blaming Apple. However, I am now on the third generation of OSX changes (now 14.2.2) and that has not solved the problem.
    For several days now, I have turned off the OWC Raid5 enclosure and voila, the problem has stopped.
    I don’t know if this is a SoftRaid problem or a Toshiba problem, but there is clearly something wrong with this setup. Suggestions please.
    Thanks in advance