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Connect and charge all of your devices through a single Thunderbolt or USB-C port.

OWC Thunderblade X8: NVMe RAID SSD with 8 blades

Aimed at professionals such as high-end video usage, the OWC Thunderblade 8 has eight blades and up to 32TB* capacity:

  • Up to 2840MB/s Read & 2821MB/s Write [MPG: actual figures likely slightly higher than claimed]
  • Daisy chain up to 6 Thunderbolt devices
  • Rugged portability in a sleek design
  • Includes a custom-fit ballistic hard-shell case
  • Includes SoftRAID XT: robust software for creating, monitoring, and managing advanced RAID sets
  • 3 Year OWC Limited Warranty

I own two 8TB OWC Thunderblade with 4 blades. What this new 8-blade model does is not only keep the performance, but raise it to the very limits of the Thunderbolt/USB4 bus.

It can also be run in RAID-5 or RAID-4 mode for fault tolerance if desired. Or any other RAID mode. However, I don’t see much value in RAID 1+0; anyone needing that capability is IMO better off with dual 4-blade Thunderblades (two independent units rather than one unit). RAID is not a backup!

* OWC does not mention a 64TB model, presumably because 8TB M.2 2242 blades do not yet exist, and 4TB ones are still pretty rare.The M.2 2242 blade size (22 X 42mm) is about half the form factor of the M.2 2280 blades (22 X 80mm), which is apparently how OWC packed 8 blades into an enclosure of similar area.

Introducing the New Owc Thunderblade x8: More Speed, More Raid Capacity, Improved Design

2023-01-08

More speed — ...on Windows, ThunderBlade offers data transfer speed improvements of up to 21% over the original ThunderBlade. On Intel-based Macs, ThunderBlade brings speed improvements up to 15%, while on M-Series Macs, testing has shown speed improvements of up to 10%. An important note: Though M-Series Macs see the smallest improvement percentage, they also account for the highest possible data transfer speeds.

Improved RAID 4/5 performance —  With double the NVMe SSD Blades as the original Thunderblade, the Thunderblade X8 really gets a boost here... On Thunderbolt SSDs like the original ThunderBlade, using RAID 5 in particular meant giving up precious capacity and taking a big hit on performance. This is because RAID 4 and RAID 5 provide redundancy at the expense of a single drive’s capacity from the drive array set. This also means a division of the available bandwidth as well. In a four-drive array, that means RAID 4 or 5 utilizes 25% of capacity and data bandwidth for that redundancy.

Design improvements — still features a solid aluminum, fanless case... replaced the solid LED light bar that adorned the front face of the original ThunderBlade, with a series of individual LEDs that now point downward, toward the surface the drive is sitting on... plus a ruggedized power connector...

MPG: I was already seeing superb performance on the OWC Thunderblade 4-blade design but I think what is going on here is a bump up to the limits of the Thunderbolt bus.

The biggest leap is definitely when it is used as a RAID-4/RAID-5 fault tolerant mode, both for performance and maximizing space utilization.

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