OWC Unveils ThunderBlade X8: A Faster and Bigger SSD RAID System

OWC, a leading provider of storage solutions for Mac and Windows users, has announced the launch of its new ThunderBlade X8, a RAID SSD enclosure that offers up to 32TB of storage and up to 2949MB/s of transfer speed. The ThunderBlade X8 is an upgrade from the previous ThunderBlade model, which had a maximum capacity of 16TB and a speed of 2500MB/s.

The ThunderBlade X8 is a hardware storage device that contains four NVMe SSDs, also known as blades. These blades can be configured in different RAID levels, such as RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, or 1+0, depending on the user’s preference for performance and redundancy. RAID 0 provides the fastest speed and maximum capacity, but no data protection in case of a drive failure. RAID 1 offers mirroring of data across two blades, but reduces the capacity by half. RAID 4 and 5 use parity to ensure data integrity, but sacrifice some speed and capacity. RAID 1+0 combines mirroring and striping for a balance of speed and reliability.

OWC Unveils ThunderBlade X8: A Faster and Bigger SSD RAID System
OWC Unveils ThunderBlade X8: A Faster and Bigger SSD RAID System

The ThunderBlade X8 can be formatted using Apple Disk Utility or OWC SoftRAID, a software that provides more features and options for creating and managing RAID sets. The ThunderBlade X8 connects to a Mac or Windows system via a Thunderbolt 3/4 cable, which also provides power to the device. The ThunderBlade X8 has two Thunderbolt 3/4 ports, allowing users to daisy-chain up to five additional Thunderbolt devices or connect a USB-C device or display.

What are the benefits of the ThunderBlade X8?

The ThunderBlade X8 is designed for professionals who need high-speed and high-capacity storage for their creative projects, such as video editing, audio production, photography, and graphic design. The ThunderBlade X8 can handle 4K, 8K, and even 12K video workflows, as well as large RAW files and complex layered images. The ThunderBlade X8 can also be used as a shuttle drive, thanks to its compact size, durable aluminum chassis, and custom-fit ballistic hard-shell case. The ThunderBlade X8 is silent and cool, as it has no fan and uses a heat-dissipating design. The ThunderBlade X8 also has an integrated LED that indicates the status and activity of the device.

How does the ThunderBlade X8 compare to the previous ThunderBlade?

The ThunderBlade X8 is an improvement over the previous ThunderBlade in several aspects. The ThunderBlade X8 offers 17% more capacity in RAID 4 or RAID 5 than its predecessor, and transfers data 17% faster when connected to Macs using Apple’s M-series processors. The ThunderBlade X8 also features a redesigned lighting system that is less distracting and more informative. The ThunderBlade X8 has a starting price of $1,750 for an 8TB model, which is lower than the previous ThunderBlade’s price of $1,999 for the same capacity.

The ThunderBlade X8 is available for pre-order now from OWC’s website, and will start shipping in February 2024. The ThunderBlade X8 comes with a 3-year limited warranty and a lifetime of technical support from OWC.

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