OWC has introduced a new small form factor high performance, high redundancy DAS for the professional market. The ThunderBay 4 Mini incorporates 4 2.5-inch storage bays, allowing it to store up to 16 TB of data, and with OWC touting transfer speeds of up to 1.5 GB/s. The device is aimed at various creative professionals who need an ample amount of reliable storage space, but in a relatively small package.

The OWC ThunderBay 4 Mini DAS can accommodate four 2.5-inch/15.5 mm storage devices and is based on Intel’s JHL6540 (dual-port TB3) and ASMedia’s ASM1062 (PCIe 2.0 x2 => two SATA 6 Gbps bridge) controllers. Given constraints imposed by a SATA 6 Gbps interface and the ASM1062 chip, the ThunderBay 4 Mini can offer up to 1556 MB/s read/write performance when equipped with four SATA SSDs, or around 560 MB/s when populated with four Seagate’s 2.5-inch 4 TB hard drives. To ensure stable operation and consistent performance, the DAS comes equipped with a fan.

  SoftRAID XT SoftRAID XT Lite
RAID Levels RAID 0
RAID 0+1
Disk Certification + +
Disk Monitoring + +
Email Alerts + -
Command Line Interface + -
Tech Support Free Online Forum

Layered on top of the hardware to provide both multi-disk performance and redundancy is OWC's SoftRAID software. OWC will offer the ThunderBay 4 Mini with either its SoftRAID XT or SoftRAID XT Lite software, depending on the model and required RAID level. The applications support both Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems, so the DAS is compatible with a wide variety of computers available today.

OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini
  HDD Models
HDD Models
SoftRAID XT Lite
4 TB $669.99 $599.99
8 TB $719.99 $649.99
16 TB $1,019.99 $949.99
  SSD Models
SSD Models
SoftRAID XT Lite
2 TB $819.99 $749.99
4 TB $1,149.99 $1,079.99
8 TB $2,069.99 $1,999.99
  Enclosure Only
Enclosure Only
SoftRAID XT Lite
0 TB $379.99 $299.99

The barebones OWC ThunderBay 4 Mini with SoftRAID Lite XT costs $299.99, whereas a version with SoftRAID XT is priced at $379.99. Enclosures populated with SSDs or HDDs are priced depending on capacity and type of software that comes with them.

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Source: OWC

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  • Dug - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    This is about speed. And they do make an m.2 TB3 array too if you just use a search engine.
  • crimsonson - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Are you sure Windows version of SoftRAID exist? Can you post a link?
  • sandtitz - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    No, there is no Windows version.

    Now, what's up with OWC recycling product names? They already have a Thunderbay 4 Mini product, the TB4MJB0GB which was released some 4 years ago. Have they taken cue from Apple and should this "new" product be called "Thunderbay 4 Mini Late 2019"
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    Pretty obvious, if you use your eyes and brain, that the Thunderbolt 4 mini used thunderbolt 2, a connector not used on any windows PC to my knowledge. This new Thunderbay 4 mini uses type C thunderbolt 3, which is now common on high end desktops and DIY PCs.
  • sandtitz - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    Temper, temper.
    The old product was named Thunderbay 4 Mini, exactly like the new one. Not ThunderBOLT 4 Mini.

    I've had the unfortunate chance to use TB2 on a Windows PC. TB2 cards were used to route the DP output to Apple Thunderbolt displays. The client wanted the Apple displays prominently on the desk and the PC's were tucked underneath it. I can't fathom why that was...
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    I have a Synology NAS with 32TB for those prices, nearly 2 years ago. I know I'm comparing apples o oranges, but it seems quite expensive (at least 2~3x too expensive). I don't know much about DAS ... am I completely off?
  • Dug - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    Yes, by about 1GB/s transfer speed. Your NAS has an OS and doesn't connect by TB3.
  • Operandi - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    Noctua fan....? Fancy.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    $300 for a 4 bay thundrbolt enclosure isnt actually all that bad. Too bad the barebones unit on OWCs website is running $394 instead. Oops.

    Still, comparable options for NAS or DAS solutions typically run $300-400, and only use usb 3.0 or ethernet connections.

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