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OWC Envoy Pro EX 8TB USB-C SSD: 8TB of Maxed-Out Speed


MPG tested the 8TB OWC Envoy Pro EX USB-C SSD. Capacities available from 240GB to 8TB for both models.

The 8TB capacity debuted in May of 2022, and may be supply constrained until September 2022.

MPG tested the OWC Envoy Pro EX 4TB model back in 2020 as seen in the other pages of this review. Since then, capacity has doubled to an astounding 8TB in the same pocket-sized form factor, and delivering the same outstanding performance as the 4TB model.

This page evaluates performance for the 8TB OWC Envoy Pro EX USB-C external SSD in two ways.

Test results: speed across 8TB capacity

Test mule was the 2019 Mac Pro. The fill-volume command of diglloydTools Disktester was used. Ambient temperature 68°F.

disktester fill-volume

The fill-volume command writes the entsire capacity of the volume, then reads it back. The resulting graph is excellent for seeing the true sustained performance as well as showing any variation or glitches, for either SSD or hard drives.

The OWC Envoy Pro EX 8TB SSD maxes-out the USB-C bus limits, pegging out both writes and reads at 1049 MB/sec and 1032 MB/sec respectively. This is as good as it gets for USB-C.

Average write speed: 1049 MB/sec
Average read speed: 1032 MB/sec

Vertical axis MB/sec. Horizontal axis shows % of volume capacity, e.g., 50% of 8TB volume is 4TB into capacity.

OWC Envoy Pro EX 8TB SSD: speed across volume capacity

About two months after the test above, MPG tested a 2nd sample. The results are nearly identical on the Mac Pro, but the Apple Mac Studio M1 Max seems to have USB-C speed issues. This does not seem to be related to the drive, but to some foible of M1 Macs.

OWC Envoy Pro EX 8TB SSD: speed across volume capacity


Test results: speed vs transfer size

Test mule was the 2019 Mac Pro. The run-sequential-suite command of diglloydTools Disktester was used.

disktester run-sequential-suite -i 5 --test-size 4GB

Speed always varies with transfer size, whether on hard drives or SSDs. There is always overhead e.g., writing 1MB as thirty-two 32K transfers is far less efficient than writing 1MB as a single transfer). With RAID-0 and RAID-5, the striping aspect means that the transfer is split into blocks across drives, the “stripe size” being the determinant of how the transfer is split up.

The OWC Envoy Pro EX 8TB SSD delivers outstanding performance. Very small transfers (32/64K) are of course slower as with every SSD.

Starting at 128K transfers, speed picks up to high levels and keeps rising from there. With 1MB transfers, speed is now at 80% of peak speed. Well-written applications will use 4MB or large transfers to extract full speed.

Speeds here more than ample for 99% of computing purposes, and you can carry this 8TB wonder around in your pocket!

Vertical scale is MB/sec. Horizontal scale shows I/O transfer size.

OWC Envoy Pro EX 8TB SSD: speed vs transfer size
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