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OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD: Conclusions and Recommendations
Related: Other World Computing, OWC Envoy Pro, OWC Envoy Pro EX, SSD, storage, Thunderbolt, USB, USB-C
For my photography needs, both of these SSDs are awesome—the 4TB capacity is a problem-solver for me on extended trips when the skimpy internal 2TB SSD in the 2019 iMac 5K overflows. And the performance is ample for even my most demanding work, particularly with the Thunderbolt 3 model.
The silent and bus-powered operation make both of these units the ultimate in convenience, especially for laptop users. And if you bought a Mac or PC with too-small an SSD, both of these units preserve that investment with no fuss.
Testing as detailed shows that with performance the priority, the OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 should be favored over the OWC Envoy Pro EX USB-C. Since the cost difference is quite modest, go with the Thunderbolt 3 model unless other considerations apply.
When to go with Envoy Pro EX USB-C
For many uses and users, the performance difference will have little practical significance. Thus if the unit is being carried for travel in a small pack or bag, the smaller form factor of the USB-C model may be preferred.
Other reasons why the USB-C model may be preferred for some users:
- Computers having only USB-C ports which do not support Thunderbolt 3 (certain Mac models, like MacBook Air, and some PCs).
- Plug-compatibility across computers, e.g. computers having only USB-A ports; the USB-C model can use a USB-C to USB-A cable.
- Direct-connect to devices like the latest USB-C cameras from Blackmagic Design.
If none of these reasons apply, the smart move is to stick with the Thunderbolt 3 model, for its higher performance.