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OWC ThunderBay 4 mini

1.0TB Portable 4-Bay External Drive

Dual Thunderbolt 2 | RAID Ready | 4 Drive Bays | Mac
The Speed You Need.
  • Four 2.5" drive bays, perfect for SSDs
  • Breathtaking Thunderbolt 2 performance
  • RAID-ready
  • Up to 1317MB/s read / 1320MB/s write RAID 0 performance.
Empower your production workflow on-the-go with this super-fast, 4-Bay, RAID-ready drive. Optimized for 2.5" drives and perfect for SSDs, ThunderBay 4 mini takes your creativity to the next level by supporting the most demanding applications, including workflows involving 4K, 2K, uncompressed HD, and multi-stream SD video. Easily transport your data between production environments with this portable, professional-grade Thunderbolt 2 powerhouse.
Do more with a ThunderBay enhanced workflow.
Expand production capabilities for industry-leading creative platforms like Final Cut X, Avid Pro Tools, and Adobe Lightroom with this incredibly fast and portable 4-bay drive. With ThunderBay 4 mini, you can add up to four 2.5" hard drives, SSDs, or a mix of both to suit your performance needs. Utilize the drives independently, or use the software RAID configuration of your choice to achieve an optimal balance of storage, performance, and data-redundancy.
Certified and Tested
Each ThunderBay undergoes OWC's multi-hour drive "burn-in" performance certification procedure prior to shipping. This ensures your ThunderBay arrives operating properly and ready for demanding use.

4 drive bays plus so much more.
Time-tested Cooling Cool + Whisper Quiet
A durable, heat-dissipating, aluminum unibody shell features a "flow-thru" vented design coupled with a 60 mm whisper-quiet fan.
DisplayPort 1.2 4K Display Support
Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports let you connect any display that your computer can support, including 4K displays.
Vibration Dampened Vibration Dampened
ThunderBay's drive isolating design reduces sonic resonance, and is aided by rugged, vibration-absorbing, non-skid feet.
Multi-Drive Flexible Expansion
Daisy-chain up to six ThunderBays on a single Thunderbolt port for expansive storage, RAID, and performance options.
Thunderbolt Cable OWC Thunderbolt Cable
ThunderBay comes with an OWC one-meter certified Thunderbolt cable, with other lengths from 0.5 meter to 30 meters available separately.

Includes

  • OWC ThunderBay 4 mini High-performance 4-bay Thunderbolt 2 interface drive
  • High-Quality, Certified, Double-Shielded 1-Meter Thunderbolt cable
  • External UL listed 3-prong power cable
  • 2 keys for front panel lock
  • ThunderBay 4 mini Quick Start Guide
  • OWC ThunderBay 4 mini Assembly Manual & User Guide (Download Only)
  • Utility software bundle for Mac and PC
  • OWC 3-Year Solution Limited Warranty with 48-Hour Turnaround Time
  • Complimentary 1-Year, Level-1 Data Recovery

Gallery

Product Specifications

Chipset

  • Thunderbolt 2

Interfaces Supported

  • Thunderbolt 2

JBOD / RAID Support

  • JBOD: Utilize each of the four drives independently
  • RAID: Use any Software RAID of your choice to setup the ThunderBay 4 for multi-drive performance or data redundancy.

Standard Mechanism

Release Candidate (RC) firmware set

There are two kinds of firmware for SSDs Mass Production (MP) and Release Candidate (RC). Prior to an MP firmware release, there are beta firmware releases and an RC firmware release. Often, the RC is the same as the MP release, however there can be small changes and bug fixes made between the two. OWC has evaluated the RC for the 6Gb/s SandForce 2281 Processor and found it to be stable with no issues reported during our testing. However, as with any evolutionary product, issues may surface as different usages and configurations are employed and it is important to understand that there will be further updates and revisions.

Since no firmware update is currently offered for the OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD, no update page exists. To see the typical steps involved with a self performed field firmware update, please visit our 3Gb/s product update page at: http://eshop.macsales.com/Customized_Pages/Framework.cfm?page=sf_firmware.html

It is important to note that the current firmware update tool requires the use of Windows XP/Vista/7. OWC is currently working on a Mac OS based update tool, but we do not have an exact availability date.

240GB Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD Specifications:

Specifications

Controller
Phison PS3112-S12 with 7% over-provisioning
NAND
Synchronous Triple-Level Cell (TLC) 3D NAND Flash
Form Factor
2.5-inch 7mm
Interface
SATA 6.0 Gb/s
Capacity
240GB useable capacity
Total Flash Memory Components – 256GB
16GB allocated to real-time data redundancy & error correction
Formatted Capacity
224GiB
RAID Support
Yes
SMART Attributes
Standard attributes supported
Native Command Queuing
up to 32 commands
Manufacturer Model Number
S3D7P6G240
RoHS Compliant
Yes
Format

Physical

Height (max)
0.7 cm (0.3 in)
OWC 7mm – 9.5mm Adapter
1 included (buy additional)
Width (max)
7.0 cm (2.8 in)
Length (max)
10.0 cm (3.9 in)
Weight
77.0 g (0.17 lbs)

Reliability

Data Reliability
Built-in BCH ECC: Up to 66 bits correctable per 1024 bytes
Nonrecoverable Read Errors
Less than 1 sector per 1016 bits read

Performance

Sequential Reads (Max)
Up to 550 MB/s
Sequential Writes (Max)
Up to 530 MB/s
Sequential 4K Read
Up to 100,000 IOPS
Sequential 4K Write
Up to 90,000 IOPS

Power

Active
Write: 2000mW (2.0W) Maximum draw

Environmental (Operating)

Altitude
-304.8 m to 3,048.0 m (-1,000 ft to 10,000 ft)
Temperature (°F)
32°F to 158°F
Temperature (°C)
0°C to 70°C

Environmental (Non-Operating)

Altitude
304.8 m to 12,192.0 m (-1,000 ft to 40,000 ft)
Temperature (°F)
-40°F to 185°F
Temperature (°C)
-40°C to 85°C

Acoustics

Idle (Typical)
0.0 bels
Seek (Typical)
0.0 bels
  • 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending upon operating environment (typically 5-10% less). The actual total capacity will depend on your own defined file settings/preferences. 
  • In terms of standard gigabytes, 1GiB ≈ 1.074GB and refers to the actual formatted capacity of shown under Mac OS 10.5 or earlier and Microsoft Windows OS.
  • 4 x 240GB* OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G Solid State Drives**

  • *1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending upon operating environment (typically 5-10% less). The actual total capacity will depend on your own defined file settings/preferences.

    **OWC reserves the right to replace or upgrade to equivalent or better components.

Port Configuration

  • Thunderbolt – (2) Thunderbolt 2 ports

Max Data Transfer Rate

  • Thunderbolt 2 – 20Gb/sec

Port/Interface Bootability

  • It can be used as a Thunderbolt startup drive on Macs running Mac OS X.

System Requirements

  • Any Mac with a Thunderbolt port running OS X 10.9 or later.
  • Any PC running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or later with a Thunderbolt port. Driver required for proper installation. (3.3 MB ZIP)
  • Boot Camp is not supported. The Thunderbolt certification process does not include Macs running Windows through Boot Camp.

Software Included

Power Supply

  • UL Listed U.S./International Auto Switching 100 ~ 240v, 50/60Hz input, 12 Volt 6.0 Amp output Power Supply (power cords for International use sold separately).

External Case Dimensions

  • 7.6"(D) x 3.8"(W) x 4.6"(H)
  • 19.3cm x 9.6cm x 11.6cm

Enclosure Weight (no accessories)

  • Approximately 2.4 pounds (1.1kg)

Operating Environment:

Temperature

  • (operating) 5°C – 42°C (41°F – 107°F)
  • (non-operating) -40°C – 65°C (-40°F – 149°F)

Relative Humidity

  • (operating) 8% – 90% RH (Non-condensing)
  • (non-operating) 5% – 95% RH (Non-condensing)

Shock

  • 65G 2mS; (non-operating) 175G 2mS

Vibration

  • (operating) 1.0G (5 – 300Hz)
  • (non-operating) 5.0G (5 – 500Hz)

Warranty

3 Year OWC Solution Limited Warranty

The best warranty is one you never have to use, but should the need occur – OWC is proud to provide a superior level of support and warranty coverage to our customers. Even when not used, we understand the peace of mind afforded by a longer warranty period. OWC's industry leading coverage is a testament to our confidence in the reliability of the solutions that we offer. OWC solutions are engineered to demanding quality standards in order to deliver the most reliable, highest performance available on the market in each storage category.

View more information about the 3 Year OWC Solution Limited Warranty

Note: Do not disassemble or otherwise open your OWC solution prior to the conclusion of the 3 Year OWC Solution Limited Warranty period. Doing so will void the remainder of the OWC warranty.

Manufacturer provided specifications for Other World Computing p/n TB4MJBSSD01T UPC#: 812437020977

Software

Prosoft Macworld 4.5 miceProsoft
Prosoft Engineering® Data Backup 3 for OS X v10.2.8 or later
Backup Made Easy. Data Backup makes it easy to backup to FireWire and USB drives, network drives, CDs and even DVDs. Make schedules so you don't need to 'think' about backing up... It does it for you.
A $59.00 Value! View detailed software info, or click here to purchase softwareseparately from solution
Novastor
NovaStor NovaBACKUP® Solution for Windows®
NovaBACKUP has been helping millions of users recover from data loss and disasters for over 18 years. Feature rich, NovaBACKUP provides a powerful backup solution. Built-in support for hundreds of the most popular storage devices and a step-by-step backup and restore wizard makes NovaBACKUP extremely easy to use. Requires Windows 2000 or later.
A $49.95 Value! View detailed software info
Intech SpeedTools Utilities
Intech® SpeedTools Utilities™
Intech SpeedTools consists of a suite of utilities managed by an application which controls the launching, documentation and version control of each individual component utility, such as Disk Defrag and QuickBack. An easy-to-use installation and removal application is provided to make installation a snap, yet powerful enough to allow you to customize which utility component set you would like to create.
An $89.95 Value! View detailed software info, or click here to purchase software separately from solution

Reviews

Customer Ratings

Write a Review 4.7 / 5 14 out of 17 (82%) reviewers would recommend this product
Verified Buyer
Reviewer: PickyRicky Location: Naples, FL Age: 55-65 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: over 6 months
Rating: 5/5 Solid - Pro Quality April 1, 2018 I like the small footprint of the 2.5" disks. I use mine in a configuration of 2 - 1TB WD Blue SSD in a Raid 0 (Striped) for my photo processing (scratch) then move the finished photos to my OWC Mercury Pro Qx2 with 4 - 4TB Seagate NAS in a Raid5 configuration for picture storage. In the remaining two bays I have 2 - 2TB Seagate gaming disks in a Raid 1 (mirror) configuration for my iMac Photos and iTunes files. It performs without fail for the last 1 year. It fits anywhere on my desk or cabinet.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure. Customer Videos:

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: pre3 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: over 6 months
Rating: 4/5 Great product, but now dated. February 7, 2018 This is a fantastic enclosure, and is only slightly dated by the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 on new Mac models. I've achieved over 1GB/s with this enclosure, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it if you have Thunderbolt 2 connectors.

It is not whisper quiet, however, and for some media rooms will not be acceptable. I'd be 5 stars if it weren't for the fan noise.

This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure. Customer Videos:

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Loby1
Rating: 5/5 Great Product - Very Quiet! October 17, 2017 Very quiet which was the main reason I selected this unit over other manufacturers. I was using another thunderbolt unit from another company...but the fan and airflow through the other company's unit made too much noise for my taste. I use SSDs that do not require much cooling as does HDDs, so this unit is perfect for me (though HDDs would work well also with the unit), I work with Video and Audio recording using a Mac Pro 2013, so the ThunderBay 4 mini is perfect for the cost and my usage! Highly recommend it!

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure. Customer Videos:

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Farrow Location: Eastern Time Zone Age: 45-54 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: over 6 months
Rating: 5/5 Excellent product - love it. September 18, 2017 I have been using this product for 2 years now and I love it. I have four 500gb Samsung ssd's in it and it works very well. It is fast enough to run lots of different vm's off it at the same time.

I would buy again in a heart beat. I am hoping owc upgrades it to Thunderbolt 3.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure. Customer Videos:

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: JohnnyW Location: New Orleans, LA Age: 45-54 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: less than a month
Rating: 5/5 Perfect July 25, 2017 I have been re-configuring my home network and going through the hardware I had laying around and found a bunch of 2.5" drives. So to re-purpose them, I ordered the OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini. I knew it was going to be the perfect piece of hardware I needed for these drives as I have been a loooong time & satisfied OWC customer and have been ordering all my MAC upgrades from them.

I was quite surprised at the small form factor, sleek looks, and very fast performance. The Thunderbay was easy to load the drives into and it was plug & play to connect to my Mac Mini.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure. Customer Videos:

Verified Buyer Top 250 Contributor
Reviewer: HenryInFlorida Location: Florida, USA Age: Over 65 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 4/5 Thunderbay 4 + SoftRAID hits the spot for MacBook Pro External Media March 12, 2017 I got this product from OWC (Thunderbay 4 mini drive enclosure 0 drive) as a solution to accommodate a number of (new) SSD's into my external drive plan with a single cable as a DAS for fast external access to my photography raw files. I wanted a device that would be capable of very fast throughput for fast read/write performance supporting the fastest transfer rates but also compatible with both what I have now (MBP 2014) and the future machine I hope to get in the next year (2016+ MBP). A singe drive measures over 300Mbps read/write speed, while the RAID 4 array measures 730 Mbps Read and 1,004 Mbps read using AJA System Test Lite and Blackmagic DiskSpeed benchmarks. That is fast enough for most formats of video on my MBP. Your speeds will definitely vary with source machines, drives, and connection methods.

Works on all counts. I can't say enough about the support I got from SoftRAID pre and post sale. I had lot of configuration questions and expectations on configuring the internal four drives and using it as a RAID array with additional partitioning of a drive larger than others.

First, about the OWC Thunderbay's mechanical assembly. It is a very sturdy black painted aluminum case. It stand on four rubber feet and is very quiet when the fan runs, it is practically inaudible in a quiet room. On the front you have a keyed lock, LED's on the front for power, drive access (4) and ventilation holes for the fan powered assembly.

The front panel completely removes with the key. It removes exposing four drive trays that simply plug in to the rear frame. The front panel secures the drives from becoming disconnected with an integral bumper strip.The drives can "hot-swap", however in the case of a RAID array, that will be rather ineffective to yiour operation if a drive is removed for any other reason than replacing it with the same size and rebuilding an array. If you will use the enclosure to house media as formatted as JBOD then hot swap will work for you, just be sure to dismount the drive before removing. The system will need to be reattached to T2 port to mount on your host computer or re-powered. I usually disconnect the power plug after ejecting the drives. Therefore, this hot-swap feature isn't needed and no power switch is provided.

At the rear, you'll find a 72W DC power connection jack requiring the supplied external power pack, two Thunderbolt 2 jacks used to loop between other devices (multiple drives, monitors, etc. Note that this enclosure is Thunderbolt 2 (20Gbps) and is only downward compatible with Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps).

The drive trays are metal and well grounded to the case for static control. Your drives screw to the tray with four screws each and are supplied. Spares are available but only as a set.

The overall documentation and product quality is very good. This is a good value for the product provided.

I give it a 4 star rating based on my list of pros and cons below. This is a user's review not paid or in any way compensated by the distributor. Would recommend!

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure. Customer Videos:

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Gamma Location: Washington State Age: Over 65 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: less than a month
Rating: 5/5 No more beachballs December 16, 2016 With 2.5 million MRI files on a conventional disk using Firewire 800, the repeated seek delays were beyond annoying, despite using a 2013 MacPro and the latest OsirixMD. This hardware has fixed the issue nicely and reduces any worry about data reliability. No beachballs.

This review is from 4.0TB OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 4 Four-Drive SSD External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solution. Customer Videos:

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: ColoradoBound Location: Colorado Age: 45-54 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: over 6 months
Rating: 4/5 Good Unit November 7, 2016 I have been happy with my drive enclosure. It is small and nice and quiet. The only negative I have is that it uses too much power. I was building a low power server based on a Mac Mini and this enclosure and even without any SSD drives installed it uses more power than the Mac Mini.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure. Customer Videos:

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: EnforcerViper Location: Winnipeg Age: 35-44 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: over 6 months
Rating: 5/5 Very reliable! August 30, 2016 I have two of these, both filled with SSD drives and they have both been flawless and rock solid. The thunderbolt connection is wicked fast.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure. Customer Videos:

Reviewer: Anurag Location: New York Age: 35-44 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: over 6 months
Rating: 3/5 Good but quite noisy August 29, 2016 The whole idea of getting an SSD storage array was to get something I can keep on my desk. However, with the Thunderbay 4 mini I cannot do that. The drives are quite but the fan is way too noisy. They rally need a spend a couple more bucks on a quality fan to make this a quality product. What compounds this is that the drives don't sleep when not used but only when the entire computer goes to sleep - which for me only happens at night.

I read others having replaced the fan with a much quieter noctua fan - but unfortunately I could not figure out how to do that.

Highly recommend OWC make a truly quiet device the next time.

This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure. Customer Videos:

Response from MacSales.com, Product Development August 30, 2016 In May we moved to a brand new fan solution and reduced/eliminated the noise level from the fan noted. We are always listening to all customer feedback and further working to improve products on an ongoing basis and fan noise was high on the list from the beginning and something that was successfully mitigated with product currently shipping.
Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Foxy Location: Springfield, MO Age: 55-65 Experience Level: Home User Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Small sized equals big storage July 23, 2016 This review is from (*) OWC ThunderBay 4 mini, four-bay drive enclosure with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports, RAID 5 *R*.
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Central Texas Age: 25-34 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Excellent! June 12, 2016 This awesome little device works exactly as it is supposed to! I took several old hard drives from previous laptops, reformatted them, and put them into this enclosure. They worked immediately! Two of them or solid-state drive, and they read and write almost as fast as if the hard drives when the laptop itself. I recommend this product to anyone! You definitely get what you pay for!

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Fort Worth, Texas Age: Over 65 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Exceeds all expectations May 26, 2016 For years I have dreamed of having a RAID 5 array for speed and reliability. This fills the bill nicely and its performance exceeds all my expectations. With 7200 RPM HDs the performance easily exceeds the other external drives I have and although I have not had the "opportunity" to test the RAID 5 data recovery capability, I am confident it will perform as advertised.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Los Angeles Age: 55-65 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Fast! May 11, 2016 This thing is beastly fast! Throws 4K files around like they're nothing! Very Quiet too! Two thumbs up!

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from 4.0TB OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 4 Four-Drive SSD External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solution.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Seattle, WA Age: 35-44 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: less than a month
Rating: 5/5 Blazing fast March 17, 2016 I purchased this primarily to speed up my Lightroom collection, but it's turning out to be the defacto place to host VMs also. Windows 10 in Parallels doesn't feel virtualized at all. Five stars and well worth the hefty price if you need speed.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from 2.0TB OWC ThunderBay 4 mini Four-Drive SSD External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solution.

Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Vallejo, CA Age: 55-65 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: less than a month
Rating: 5/5 Goodbye internal drive bays, Hello Thunderbay Mini! February 29, 2016 I put off moving to a new computer for a long time because I didn't want to lose the 4 drive bays on my trusty Mac Pro 1.1. Finally bit the bullet, if getting a gorgeous 27inch iMac can be called "biting the bullet". Thunderbay Mini to the rescue for my data storage.

I've been putting it, (and SoftRaid) through their paces and so far the performance is admirable. I love the small form factor. I am using 2 units with OBR10 (one big RAID 10) across 8 2TB drives, giving 8TB of highly redundant data storage. A 3rd set of disks will serve as offsite storage, to be swapped with one set of mirrors on a periodic basis. Should keep me for awhile, at least until the next bump in drive sizes.

Only 2 nits to pick. One is the markings for the drive lights are practically invisible. Not that big a deal for such a compact device; you can identify the lights positionally. But still, someone did go to the trouble of specifying and implementing markings. I'm at a loss as to why making them actually be visible did not seem to be a concern.

Second nit is with the associated Soft Raid product. The software has been working quite well, and does its job very efficiently. However there does seem to be a lot of promotion of RAID 5 as a storage strategy. In part due to that, my initial direction was with RAID 5. Upon further research I have run across many warnings that RAID 5 is definitely not recommended for modern drive sizes, and considered a bad option. Research RAID 5 and "URE" (unrecoverable read error). Once you get past a certain disk size it is quite likely that the storage array will ruin itself when attempting to recover after loss of any disk. RAID 10 is considered far safer for your data.

In short, a very valuable product for me, 5 stars but make sure to do your research and carefully consider your RAID storage options before finalizing your decision.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Dubai Age: 25-34 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 extremely useful for my work February 29, 2016 the drive is excellent durable fast light and easy to carry around

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from 4.0TB OWC ThunderBay 4 mini Four-Drive SSD External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solution.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Bowling Green, OH
Rating: 5/5 Very quiet and unobtrusive January 16, 2016 My new OWC ThunderBay 4 mini has been working perfectly. I've filled it with 4 400GB SSDs. It is absolutely quiet.

This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: West Haven, CT Age: 45-54 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Great enclosure November 16, 2015 As a working photographer, I'm always on the lookout for faster, quieter storage for terrabytes of data. An all-SSD 4TB RAID 5 setup is still beyond my ability to rationalize, but I recently got the crazy idea to go the Fusion Drive route instead, and it's working beautifully thus far.

I picked up the Thunderbay 4 mini, popped in two 2TB Seagate 2.5" drives and a 480GB SSD and, bar a small setup issue (hint to others: there's no need to buy the RAID5 version of the enclosure if you're going the Fusion Drive route, as SoftRAID won't work with that setup), it has performed exactly as expected. Performance with newly-downloaded photos is lightning-fast, since they get copied to the SSD portion of the Fusion Drive, and if I have to go back to some older data for a job, it usually gets moved to the SSD after a few accesses. My Lightroom catalogs also reside on the SSD pretty much permanently, given how ofter they're accessed. The access lights on the Thunderbay are very helpful in determining which drives are being accessed at any given time.

I'm sure that most will be purchasing this enclosure to create a more standard RAID volume, but I wanted to let prospective purchasers know that it works quite well in a non-standard setup. It was an idea I'd had in my head for a while, and I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger - it has lived up to my expectations, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend something similar to anyone looking for a brilliant combination of fast access and copious storage in a small, quiet (though not silient) package.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous
Rating: 5/5 Great value enclosure. October 12, 2015 Fully loaded with Samsung Pro SSDs, I can verify read speed over 1GB/s using the included SoftRAID driver over a Thunderbolt 2 connection to a Mac Mini.

The enclosure itself is fantastic. I'll ding SoftRAID slightly for not having a driver for El Capitan ready at launch, but the current beta driver has been working fine. This isn't a fault of the enclosure itself, though, and the enclosure works fine with SoftRAID if you want to stick with the standard Apple drivers.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Tokyo, JP Age: 35-44 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: less than a month
Rating: 4/5 Good performance for the price. October 10, 2015 I like the ThunderBay 4 Mini SSD RAID box. It is a lot of storage in a small package. The software made it really easy to setup everything. I was able to easily chain in a monitor in TDM. The major benefit with the mini is the power unit is external and that heat is not in the enclosure and it is all very small. The fan is not as "whisper-quiet" as advertised, but it is fairly quiet. If one of your reasons for using SSDs is to avoid noise, the fan might bother you. The overall benefit of the RAID enclosure far outweighs the small noise issues.

Write speeds for four drives in RAID 10 (1+0) were slightly faster than two original Mac SM256E SSDs in RAID 1. Read speeds were about the same with double the drives, but it is still fast enough for my needs so no real complaint about it.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from 2.0TB OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 4 Four-Drive SSD External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solution.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Switzerland Age: 35-44 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 4/5 Fast and sturdy, but not silent September 11, 2015 I'm running four SSDs (Samsung SSD 840 EVO Basic 1 TB) inside my ThunderBay mini, which is connected to a 5K iMac, with an OpenZFS RAID-Z over all drives.

While the enclosure is sturdy and transfers are fast, I'm a bit disappointed about the fan noise. Its fan is rather small, and as such has to spin fast to generate a respectable air flow.

I could disconnect the fan, but I'd most likely lose warranty and would worry about temperatures (though I suspect that in my environment and with SSDs rather than HDDs it might be OK).

Because of the noise there are times I want to switch the unit off, and because it has no power switch one has to disconnect the Thunderbolt cable to do so.

For comparison: I used to have one of OWCs bigger enclosures (for four 3.5" drives; with eSATA, Firewire 800 and USB 2 connectors), which also had some fan noise, however its larger fan would spin slower, generating less noise that could more easily be ignored.

So if you care about noise a lot I'd suggest thinking about this enclosure's bigger sibling, even though it "wastes" a lot of space if you use 2.5" drives with it.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

Verified Buyer
Reviewer: Anonymous
Rating: 5/5 Does what it says on the tin August 3, 2015 The most efficient way for me to carry 4 2.5" drives. Thank you OWC

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

Verified Buyer Top 100 Contributor
Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Rockville, MD Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Superior to other enclosures I've tried July 31, 2015 Replaced a Promise RAID enclosure that never worked properly. This one is high quality construction. Has been problem free since I installed my 4 SSDs as RAID 10. And of course with thunderbolt 2 it is extra fast. Nice product. Highly recommended.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

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Reviewer: Anonymous Age: 45-54 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 4/5 Works perfectly with OS X RAID July 10, 2015 I bought the 4 TB ThunderBay to work with my Mac Pro (2013) and Thunderbolt 2. I set it up as a striped and mirrored using the standard OS X Disk Utility RAID settings. This ends up with a 2 TB mirrored drive. With Black Magic Disk Speed Test I get about 155 MB/s write and 185 MB/s read. Not too bad for spinning rust on 2.5" drives. For reference I have an older 480 GB OWC Mercury Electra SSD in a USB 3 external case that only gets a little better than that (180 MB/s write & 230 MB/s read).

The 4 1 TB 2.5" drives are temporary until the price of 1 TB SSD comes down in a year or so. The ThunderBay enclosure should be useful long after the drives are obsolete.

If anyone has the same bay with SoftRAID and a similar setup, I would be curious to know what your performance numbers are (Black Magic Disk Speed Test is free on the Mac App store.)

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from 4.0TB OWC ThunderBay 4 mini Four-Drive 7200RPM HDD External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solution.

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Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Ardmore pa Age: 35-44 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Great storage solution May 14, 2015 I'm an it guy. This was an inexpensive enterprise grade raid solution for a consumer price. I went with Speed and storage and used 7200 rpm laptop drives. This replaced my LaCie jbod storage. My storage performance went from 70mb per second to about 400mb not as fast as my 900mb raid0 ssd os solution but getting 3tb with the read rate it's worth it. SoftRaid 5 works great. And was worth the extra cost. Looking forward to grabbing an additional one of these storage arrays soon.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

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Reviewer: Anonymous
Rating: 3/5 Great size efficiency and overall solution mitigated by little annoyances May 3, 2015 My desk doesn't have a lot of available space, so the ThunderBay 4 mini seemed like a good fit (literally). It's small, fast, accommodates 4 drives and it is optimized for SSDs -- doesn't waste precious volume on accommodating 3.5" form factors. It's metal and feels rock-solid. Comes with a Thunderbolt cable. Works great, and the version with SoftRAID rounds it out for a great RAID 4/5 solution. I liked it a lot, at least until I powered it up.

The downsides are that you end up with an power brick -- I hate external transformers -- and that small fan that all the reviews and product information say is "quiet" really isn't if you have silent SSDs (like the Mercury Electra 6Gs that I also purchased) in it. You have audible low frequencies of air passing through the enclosure. Those don't bother me. However, the MB60201V3-0000-A99 fan (in theory, 23 dBA from OEM spec sheet) used in the enclosure has this soft, high-pitched whine that was distracting to both me and the other occupant of the room it lived in. As much as I'd like to keep it, that's a dealbreaker for it to be used where I need to.

Return RMA is underway, and I'm looking at the full-size ThunderBay 4 RAID edition as a replacement with its lower-RPM fan (20-23 dBA) and internal power supply, as well as its unfortunately much larger size and need to use 3.5"-to-2.5" step-down carriers for my SSDs.

This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

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Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Los Angeles, CA Age: 45-54 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Works great April 28, 2015 Easy to assemble, ordered SSD drives and popped them in, works flawlessly and is silent.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

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Reviewer: Anonymous
Rating: 3/5 Super fast but noisy April 17, 2015 It's a super fast SSD RAID. The only drawback is the noises of fans (it's small fan so it has high-freq noises). Luckily you can use a long Thunderbolt cable to put the RAID far away from you. It would be nice if OWC can reduce the fan speed for SSD version. (HDD version is hotter)

I would recommend this item to a friend!

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Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Hangzhou, China Age: 45-54 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Very satisfied April 16, 2015 After comparing everything I could find in a reasonably compact Thunderbolt 2 drive array to connect to my Mac Pro I finally decided upon the ThunderBay 4 mini in a 4TB configuration. The unit is compact and well built. The fan is audible in a low noise environment, but not at all noticeable in an office.

I've currently opted for using Apple's built-in RAID facility and the drive is performing exactly as expected. Lightning fast and stable. I'm very satisfied with this purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fast and compact DAS solution.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from 4.0TB OWC ThunderBay 4 mini Four-Drive 7200RPM HDD External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solution.

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Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Cincinnati Age: 45-54 Experience Level: IT Professional Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Does what they say March 15, 2015 It's not a complex product. You stick in SSD drives and it works. I was interested because it had a Thunderbolt 2 connection. I've had it for a month or so and had no issues with it. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an external RAID array on a Mac.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

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Reviewer: Anonymous Location: SLC,UT Age: 55-65 Experience Level: Hobbiest Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Great Product March 11, 2015 This case is well made. I have four SSD,s in raid 0 with OS X installed and no problems. Black Magic test Read 1184 MB/s Write 1085 MB/s

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

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Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Napa Age: 45-54 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 4/5 The enclosure is awesome January 12, 2015 but hard drives stink. I've been wanting an enclosure like this for years, so I jumped on it as soon as it was announced. I wanted a fast, quiet, RAID hard drive, and this is all three. I was expecting faster performance than I got, but that's the fault of the four 2TB drives inside. I'm getting about 500MB/s in RAID 0. Once the cost of SSDs decline, then I'll make the switch.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

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Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Tampa, FL Age: 45-54 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: 3-4 months
Rating: 5/5 Thunder bay Mini 4 - Outstanding Product January 3, 2015 Moved from a 2010 Mac Pro to a 2014 MacBook Pro. I delayed the moved because my Mac Pro was maxed out with 4 Disk Drives and I wasn't sure what to do migrating to the MBPro. I knew I could count on OWC and just about the time I was ready to move on the "Thunder Bay 4" the "Thunder Bay 4 mini" was introduced. I called tech support with questions on the mini and it seemed like what I was waiting for. I migrated two existing SSD's (One OWC) for the Mac Pro and bought two more SSD's from OWC to fill up the Thunder Bay mini 4. Mission accomplished!! As a bonus I have the option to boot from the Thunder Bay Mini vis a vie Thunderbolt2 should I choose(Contrary to what Mac Support said and it works, I tried it). The Thunder Bay Mini 4 is Fast, Quiet and Runs Cool.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

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Reviewer: Anonymous Location: Gold Coast, Australia Age: 45-54 Experience Level: Power User Owned Product: 1-3 months
Rating: 5/5 Excellent drive enclosure December 21, 2014 I have been using the Thunderbay 4 mini for just under a month now and it works exactly as advertised.

One of the best features is the cooling fan which maintains my SSDs at a comfortable 29° C vs 45° C in Akitio Neutrino Thunder Duo which I previously used.

I would recommend this item to a friend! This review is from OWC ThunderBay 4 mini RAID Ready Four-Bay External Thunderbolt 2 Storage Enclosure.

OWC 1.0TB ThunderBay 4 mini Mfr P/N: TB4MJBSSD01T OWC SKU: OWCTB4MJBSSD01T High-Performance 4-bay External Drive 3 Year OWC Limited Warranty
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