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CalDigit T3 Overview

Last updated 2014-01-10 - Send Feedback
Related: Storage, Thunderbolt

Check for stock availability at OWC.

CalDigit T3 volume icon

The CalDigit T3 is a triple-drive Thunderbolt enclosure supporting either 3.5" hard drives or 2.5" solid state drives (SSDs).

The CalDigit T3 can be used in three modes using software RAID, either Apple’s Disk Utility or SoftRAID.

Two T3 enclosures would make possible a striped pair of mirrors RAID 1+0 for even higher performance with triple fault tolerance.

CalDigit T3 Thunderbolt enclosure for three hard drives or three SSDs

High-grade construction

Opening the box, it’s apparent that the construction is high grade; the unit is robust aluminum (very sold feel) reminiscent of the 2010 Mac Pro tower. The fit and finish is excellent, and the power brick and power cord are beefy also.

  • The oversized rear fan promises lower noise and indeed the noise level is very reasonable for a 3-drive enclosure.
  • In addition to the rear fan, the exterior finned sides act as very large heat sinks. Even after hours of continuous use at ~500MB/sec on a triple-drive stripe, the unit was only slightly warm to the touch.
  • LEDs on the front give drive status.
CalDigit T3 Thunderbolt enclosure construction

CalDigit’s descrption

See the CalDigit page for more.

When we designed the T3 we wanted to bring a product to market that no one else is making. The T3′s three bay design gives the device not only extra storage space, but also increased performance. Traditional 2-bay RAID storage cannot compete with the T3′s transfer speeds and extra 4TB of storage capacity. If the T3′s size is compared with 4 and 6-bay Thunderbolt RAID storage, it has a significantly smaller form factor whilst at the same time maintaining incredible performance.

One of the standout features of the T3 is its unrivaled versatility. The T3 accepts both 2.5” SSDs (Solid State Drives) and 3.5″ HDDs. SSDs give faster performance, whereas 3.5″ HDDs allow for higher storage capacities. With three 3.5″ HDDs installed, the T3 reaches storage capacities up to 12TB. Traditional 2-bay RAID devices max out at 8TB. The T3′s extra drive bay allows users 4TBs of added storage space.

With three 2.5″ SSDs installed, the T3 will be available in storage capacities up to 2.88TB. That is outstanding storage space for solid state drives. This means that the T3 combines great performance with almost 3TB of SSD storage space for your files.

Many 2-bay RAID devices on the market are either a RAID 0 or a RAID 1 device. The T3 gives users the ability to set the device to RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD mode. RAID 0 is used for performance. RAID 1 is used for protection. If the T3 is set to RAID 1 it gives users three automatic back-ups of their data. 2-bay RAID 1 devices only give users two back-ups.

Building on the concept of the T3′s versatility, the device can actually be set to a RAID and JBOD mode in the same unit. Having the extra drive bay allows users to set two drive bays to either a RAID 0 or RAID 1, and then have the extra drive bay as a spare JBOD drive. This is something no other professional RAID 0/1 & JBOD device offers.

These days people are working with high-res 4K footage and need an external storage device to match the performance demands of 4K workflows. The T3′s incredible performance can more than match the steep demands of 4K video. The 12TB version of the T3 can store up to 20 hours of 4K ProRes (2160) 4444 footage!

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