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OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD

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Are Thunderbolt Product Choices Poised to Balloon in Variety, Availability, Scope?

Will we in fact see an explosion in the availability of many new Thunderbolt products soon? Which taken together will solve many of the expansion issues of the 2013 Mac Pro. And make your wallet fit more easily into your pocket. Products include SSD and hard drive enclosures including single drive, plus dual drive and many-drive RAID, PCIe expansion card docks, 10GbE, SATA/eSATA and Fibre Channel, USB3 expansion, and more.

See the Thunderbolt peripherals pages, some reviewed and some that I hope to review. Not much of real interest has emerged for some time now, but hopefully many more options will emerge soon.

As Martin D aptly put it back in June:

Other than Intel's seemingly slow-moving Xeon roadmap, Thunderbolt seems to be the critical and chronic sore point in the last two years of pro Mac discussion. Apple seems to really REALLY believe that the future of system expansion is modular and external.

That idea might be more defensible if there was a vibrant market of attractive external solutions to meet a wide variety of needs, but there isn't.

Meanwhile, they're doubling down on Thunderbolt and marketing Thunderbolt v2 when almost none of their customers has ever bought or used (or even laid eyes upon) a Thunderbolt v1 peripheral. Thunderbolt is tantamount to vaporware: while it exists, it's promise remains fundamentally unrealized. The risk seems very real that it will never take off and wind up another bad bet on Apple's part.

MPG: The risks of high prices and modest selection resulting from poor industry adoption of Thunderbolt have not abated. PC users continue to snicker at the new trashcan Mac Pro, and the whole idea of being forced into expensive external everything is no more palatable than it was back in June.

OS X is still my choice of operating system for reasons beyond hardware, even if Mavericks has the dubious honor of the worst-ever OS X release with the greatest number of bugs; every single day all day long I work around time-wasting stupidly obvious OS X bugs. Not usually crash bugs (though there are some), just irritating time-wasting glitches, like having to reboot my laptop every time it wakes from sleep (internet connection lost). Every day, all the time. Quality control is slipping badly at Apple.

CalDigit Thunderbolt Station
OWC Envoy Express

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See also OWC Express 4M2
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OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD
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USB-C model also available


Great for travel or for desktop!
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