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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

OWC Express 4M2 Thunderbolt 3 External Flash RAID Enclosure

December 28th, 2018, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Though there are fast, external, bus-powered flash storage devices, sometimes you need more capacity than bus-power can handle. Other World Computing has created a compact RAID solution without compromising on speed.

GRAPH LEGEND
Four 970 Pros - Four striped 1TB 970 Pros in the OWC Express 4M2 enclosure
Four 960 Pros - Four striped 1TB 960 Pros in the OWC Express 4M2 enclosure

LARGE SEQUENTIAL
We used AJA System Test to benchmark file level sequential transfer speed using a 16GB test file.
HIGHER number in megabytes per second = FASTEST

WHAT DID WE LEARN?
First off, note the difference in WRITE speed between the 970 Pro and 960 Pro NVMe flash blades. For some reason, the 960 pro has always had write speed issues with Thunderbolt 3. Thankfully, the 970 Pro overcomes that.

You may wonder why a four flash blades capable of 3500MB/s READ speed each can only achieve 2500MB/s when stripped. Easy answer: Thunderbolt 3 only has so much bandwidth and tops out at around 2600MB/s. If you need more speed, you could get TWO flash storage units and bridge them across multiple Thunderbolt 3 controllers, thereby achieving over 4000+ MB/s. (The 2017 iMac Pro, the 2018 Mac mini, and the 2017/2018 MacBook Pro have four TB3 ports, each pair on separate controllers.)

Of course, the whole point of the Express 4M2 is increased capacity. With four 2TB flash blades (in the four M.2 NVMe SSD slots), you achieve a total of 8TB capacity by striping them (RAID 0) as we did using SoftRAID. (NOTE: We verified that the 4M2 also supports AHCI blades like the Samsung SM951.)

As you can see by the image below, the Express 4M2 includes a pass-through Thunderbolt 3 port and a DisplayPort.

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WHERE TO BUY THE OWC EXPRESS 4M2
Order direct from Other World Computing (MacSales.com) or from B&H Photo Video.

WHERE TO BUY 2TB OWC MERCURY M.2 NVME FLASH BLADES
Order direct from Other World Computing.

WHERE TO BUY 2TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO NVMe FLASH BLADES
Order from B&H Photo Video.

WHERE TO BUY 1TB SAMSUNG 970 PRO NVMe FLASH BLADES
Order from B&H Photo Video.

WHERE TO BUY APPLE products:
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copyright 2018 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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