ThunderBay 4 Mini delivers big performance in a small size

Today's data storage needs are getting bigger and bigger, but that doesn't mean that our hard drives, especially external ones, need to grow as big. The ThunderBay 4 Mini, the latest storage solution from Other World Computing, can cram as much as 8 TB in a single box, but at a size that snuggly fits 2.5-inch drives. But do not underestimate this little box, as the lethal combination of Thunderbolt 2's super fast data transfers plus RAID-ready capabilities makes this ThunderBay 4 Mini an enticing option for multimedia workers short on space and budget.

The box has provisions for four 2.5-inch drive bays and you can slot either SSDs or HDDs inside. For the venerable HDD, you can combine up to 8 TB in total, while the faster SSDs can only reach half that at 4 TB max. The drive is also RAID-ready and is powered by the SoftRAID engine, delivering the first ever software RAID 5 solution for Mac, though that capability comes with the special ThunderBay 4 Mini RAID 5 Edition. This edition also supports RAID 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 1+0.

That amount of storage would be practically useless if reading from and writing data to it takes forever. Using Thunderbolt 2, however, you can achieve speeds of around 1,284 MB/s. This makes the drive ideal for multimedia work involving large files and large resolutions, like 4K, 2K, uncompressed HD, and multi-stream SD. And if 4 or 8 TB just doesn't cut it, since we're talking about Thunderbolt technology, you can daisy chain up to 6 ThunderBay 4 Minis for a whopping total of 24 or 48 TB, depending on your storage technology of choice.

Of course, there's a price to pay for all those features. If you opt to bring your own SSDs or HDDs, the ThunderBay 4 Mini will cost you $379 while the RAID 5 Edition adds a hundred more at $479. You can, of course, also buy everything from them, with HDD storage sizes starting at 2 TB and SSDs starting at 0.5 TB.

SOURCE: Other World Computing