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OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID

OWC 4-Bay Storage Enclosure with Dual Thunderbolt 3 Ports

Written by Mark Slocombe

29 January, 2023

Back in 2021, after a couple of HDD failures in my Pegasus R4 RAID within a month of each other, I still had two good Toshiba drives, so decided that a new 4-Bay RAID enclosure with dual Thunderbolt 3 would be the way to go – a fresh start for my RAID 5 solution.

And this is what I came up with… (fanfare…) the OWC 4-Bay Storage Enclosure with Dual Thunderbolt 3 Ports – it’s also known as the OWC ThunderBay 4.

OWC raid

The OWC is sitting under my desk right now, with the two good Toshiba 4Tb HDDs from the Pegasus R4 plus two new ones sitting in it. It’s pretty quiet and performance over Thunderbolt 3 is great (Up to 1527MB/s sustained) – I am very happy!

The enclosure can be purchased with drives or empty – and the latter option that I chose comes at a reasonable price and includes OWC’s RAID software, SoftRAID XT, RAID-5 Pre-configured if you choose included drives.

A word about the software – you receive a serial number on the enclosure, and for mine, that was for software v5. But… v5 didn’t run on Mac OS Big Sur, the OS my Mac was on at the time – for that I needed v6. However, the Thunderbay software comes with a 14 day free trial period, so there was time to contact OWC and receive a free upgrade serial number, no problem (Thanks OWC EU!)

The box includes a short Thunderbolt 3 cable – if yours will be under the desk you’ll need a longer cable; I discovered my 2m Apple USB-C charging cable from a MacBook Pro didn’t work, although the Thunderbolt 2 cable I was using with the Pegasus is fine (with an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter)

So, I’m happy to recommend the OWC as the best solution I’ve found, for replacing an ageing Promise Pegasus R4I also recommend these Toshiba hard drives, to use in a RAID-5 configuration in the Thunderbay 4.

More options for replacing your Raid 5 solution 
There are several other providers of professional-grade 2+ Bay external hard drive enclosures with or without Raid 5 capability…


1. Synology DS220+ is a 2-bay desktop NAS designed for fast data sharing and management – it’s not able to be configured as a RAID but is inexpensive and offers users a range of backup solutions for cloud and physical, onpremises environments.



Synology DS220+ 2 Bay NAS Enclosure

2. One of the lower-cost ones is the TerraMaster D5 Thunderbolt 3 Professional-Grade 5-Bay External Hard Drive Enclosure RAID 0/RAID1/RAID5/RAID10 Hard Disk RAID Storage (Diskless). It’s an aluminium case with a handle for easy portablility and 2x Thunderbolt3 / USB-C ports.


Synology DS920+ 4 Bay Desktop NAS Enclosure

3. G-Technology have been around for a long while, and their G-Technology 24 TB G-SPEED Shuttle is expensive, but probably one of the most robust solutions available. The installed drives are SSD, while HDD are supported, and data transfer rate is 2.8 Gbit/s.


G-Technology 24 TB G-SPEED Shuttle SSD 8-Bay Transportable RAID Storage with Thunderbolt 3

4. If you’re happy to forsake the security of Raid 5, you could use an SSD solution from LaCie, and rely on their 5 Year Rescue Data Recovery Services – if your drive fails, send it to them and they’ll fix it. You could combine the use of this SS on a per-project basis, while backing up the media and projects on a daily basis to another usb storage drive.


LaCie 1big Dock 2TB External Solid State Drive NVMe SSD Docking Station – Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.0 7200 RPM

5. If it’s available in your country – the LaCie 84TB 6big Professional RAID Storage for PC and Mac could be the perfect 84TB capacity Raid 5 solution:
– Delivers Thunderbolt 3 speeds for 4K video editing
– Hardware RAID 5/6 for no-compromise data security
– Combines a RAID controller and 7200 RPM HDDs for sustained speeds of up to 1400MB/s turbocharging 4K workflows and file transfers
– Enables videographers to work directly from RAW files and see full-resolution edits in real time
– Daisy-chain up to five Thunderbolt 3. one USB 3.1 or one high-resolution display via a single USB-C cable
– Supports RAID modes 0. 5 and 6

Promise Pegasus 3 R6

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