OWC’s new ThunderBlade X8 is a new SSD RAID array that promises up to 2,949 MB/s real-world speeds with up to 16% performance in RAID 4/5 redundant configurations when used in tandem with Apple Silicon machines.
Unlike the more common HDD RAID arrays which can be huge and ungainly, OWC’s ThunderBlade is downright small but still able to accommodate up to eight drives for configuration into RAID. Also unlike traditional RAID arrays, OWC positions the ThunderBlade X8 as a mobile and portable unit thanks to its compact footprint and what it describes as a “custom-fit ballistic hard-shell case.”
The ThunderBlade X8 is “incomparable” according to OWC as it supports RAID 4 or 5 configurations with up to eight NVMe M.2 SSDs for up to 32TB of total storage that operates at up to 2,949 MB/s. The external array operates using Thunderbolt, meaning it can be daisy-chained with up to five additional devices or connected to a USB-C device or display via the second Thunderbolt port instead.
The base of the ThunderBlade X8 features rubber feet to keep it secure on a desktop and the fanless aluminum chassis features a heat-dissipating finned design that keeps the array cool but also silent.
OWC touts its ThunderBlade line as the best production drive available for editing professionals and the new X8 model supports higher capacity, better performance, and design touches that improve the system further. Specifically, the X8 supports up to 4TB (16.7%) higher capacity in RAID 4 or 5, higher performance in those RAID configurations when combined with Apple Silicon machines (all M1 devices and later, including Pro, Max, and Ultra lines), an improved power connector, and the LED angle has been revised to reduce and eliminate the possibility of on-set light distractions.
“Constructed for fast-paced environments where time is money, ThunderBlade ensures your projects outpace your deadlines. ThunderBlade effortlessly navigates through uncompressed, high-bandwidth content streams, delivering unmatched speed and reliability. Designed for mobility and featuring an integrated fin-designed cooling system, ThunderBlade is at home on set, in the edit suite, or traveling comfortably between shoots in its ballistic hard-shell case,” OWC claims.
“The unmatched quality and performance do not end with cutting-edge hardware. Before a ThunderBlade is delivered, it undergoes rigorous multi-hour “burn-in” performance certification to ensure it arrives in pristine condition and is ready to begin work immediately.”
The OWC ThunderBlade X8 is available in 8TB, 16TB, or 32TB capacities and is available to pre-order today starting at $1,749.99.