OWC is well-known for its high-end storage solutions. Announced back at CES 2020, the ThunderBay Flex 8 is a powerful storage solution that offers Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage, docking, and PCIe expansion in one slim package. That’s right, it can hold up to eight drives, acts as an I/O dock, and even sports a PCIe x16 expansion slot, plus it can charge at up to 85W, all through a single cable.

Up to 128TB of storage at your fingertips

The OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 can hold up to 128TB of RAID storage connected over Thunderbolt 3, depending on how you end up configuring the drives. With support for 2.5- or 3.5-inch HDDs or U.2/M.2 SSDs, this RAID array functions with both SATA and SAS with up to 2,750MBps read and write speeds in “real-world” usage, according to OWC. This future-ready storage container is designed to handle even the heaviest workloads — whether it’s real-time video editing off the M.2 drives or mass storage of older projects with a bulk 128TB capacity, this enclosure does it all.

SoftRAID is the “world’s most advanced RAID management solution” and is included here. You’ll be able to configure what RAID system you’ll run, be it 0, 1, 5, or something else entirely. The ThunderBay Flex 8 comes preconfigured with RAID5, given that it’s the best balance between storage and reliability.

thunderbay flex 8 Thunderbolt 3 raid storage

Enough ports to handle anything you can throw at it

Once you have your drives installed into the OWC ThunderBay Flex 8, it’s time to hook it up. Just a single Thunderbolt 3 cable plugs into your laptop or desktop, and you’ll be ready to access the RAID storage instantly. But, that’s not where it ends.

On your ThunderBay Flex 8, there are a few plugs to hook up to. You’ll find two USB-A 10Gbps ports, a USB-C option with the same speed, and support for DisplayPort 1.4 with up to 8K resolution. Both SD 4.0 and CFexpress slots are built-in as well, which deliver speeds of up to 985MB/s. There’s also a second Thunderbolt 3 port so you can daisy-chain devices or displays, keeping just a single port taken up on your computer while delivering insane features.

The best part is that the ThunderBay Flex 8 provides 85W USB-C charging through the Thunderbolt 3 cable, which will keep your MacBook powered even under demanding workflows.

PCIe expansion for further customizability

Do you need a PCIe capture card? Maybe an extra SSD or hardware RAID controller? Well, the OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 has a single-height PCIe x16/x4 lane that you can drop anything that you need in it. This is great if you are wanting to upgrade to 10Gb/s networking and handle your data over a single cable.

Pricing and availability

You can order the OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 starting today from MacSales and the price starts at $1,299 and goes up from there, depending on what configuration you choose.

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