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June 2015

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Page 47 of 51 46 POST JUNE 2015 'm a huge fan of storage. When- ever I go into a computer store, I always peruse the hard drives section and convince myself that I need another drive. Needless to say, I have files on multiple drives spread out around my home and office. That's why I started thinking about a more localized central storage unit that could hold a lot and also perform at great speeds. Enter OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition. This little beast packs a powerful punch, with the ability to house up to four SATA hard drives, SSDs or a mixture of both. You can set up a RAID 0, 1, 4 or 5 array using SoftRAID, which also includes drive monitoring and email noti- fication (alerting you of any issues). You can configure the drive anywhere from 4TBs to 24TBs and it's one of the few drives out there to take advantage of the speed of Thunderbolt 2. THE BODY The casing is black metal with a grill on the front much like the old Mac Pros (or the G-Raid hard drives, if we want to compare apples to apples). On the back you'll find two Thunderbolt 2 ports for daisy chaining, a Kensington lock slot, a power switch, a large fan and a power plug. The power supply is internal, which means no power brick! The front panel has status lights at the top to indicate the status of each drive, labeled A, B, C and D, and one to indicate if it's turned on. Additionally, there's a lock on the front panel that comes with two identical keys. THE BRAINS I had my OWC ThunderBay 4 set up as a RAID 0 with 20TBs, which automatically eliminates 5TBs worth of storage. As most know, the more secure your RAID setup is, the less usable storage you have. I prefer security to size. Currently, I have the ThunderBay storing 7TBs of 4K footage, and it's showing no real delay when playing back the footage through AMA link in the Avid Media Composer 8.0 Symphony Edition. I also have a plethora of files, such as a 24- hour Web stream, Time Machine backups and software instrument libraries. I initially had my instrument libraries on my main hard drive, as it's an SSD and my machine is super fast (newest Mac Pro maxed out). That allowed for my in- struments to load almost instantaneous- ly. However, the number of libraries I own has reached such a massive level that it just took up too much space, so I had to sacrifice speed for space. Additionally, I did the "dangerous test" of pulling out a drive while it was being read — and luckily everything continued as it should have. THE SPEED As for the nitty gritty, instead of telling you how many MBs per second this thing can read and write (visit the company's Website), I'm going to give you some real world numbers. My first big test was my music libraries. The first batch was about 215GBs. I transferred these from my Mac Pro's SSD directly to the ThunderBay. I started the transfer and it said it would take "about an hour" to copy. It was about a 54-minute transfer for 215GBs. That's pretty slow, considering it should have taken about seven minutes if the drive ac- tually had a write speed anywhere around 500MB/s. My second test was the 7TBs of footage mentioned earlier. This was transferred from a G-Raid (which has Thunderbolt 1 capabilities). When I started the transfer, it told me it would take about 12 hours, and it did take that long. It also started making some weird clicking sounds a few hours in. I was per- plexed, as this was nowhere near what was promised for speed. Then I realized I forgot to install the $170 SoftRAID soft- ware that essentially enables the RAID to its fullest potential. Once I installed it, I was able to transfer 123.47GBs of music libraries in three minutes from my Mac SSD to the ThunderBay. Now that's speed I can brag about! THE CONS The first downside is the price. It's a bit steep for my taste. Plus you have to pay $170 for software to make it work cor- rectly — now you've got quite the hefty bill. Also, there's the noise, and this thing makes a lot of it. IN THE END I love having 20TBs (well, 15TBs) of storage. I love not having to delete something or move things around. I can edit directly off of it, which is great considering my Mac Pro only has the one SSD and forces you to work off external drives. There's the 3rd party software, and the sound is obnoxious, but I have found it incredibly useful. OWC THUNDERBAY 4 RAID 5 EDITION A LITTLE BEAST THAT PACKS A POWERFUL PUNCH VITAL STATS MANUFACTURER: Other World Computing (OWC) PRODUCT: Thunderbay 4 RAID 5 Edition PRICE: $479.00 WEBSITE: • Houses up to four SATA hard drives, SSDs or a mixture of both • Can set up a RAID 0, 1, 4 or 5 array using SoftRAID • Can configure the drive anywhere from 4TBs to 24TBs I REVIEW BY TREVOR M. CARLEE POST PRODUCER BUNIM/MURRAY PRODUCTIONS VAN NUYS, CA TMCARLEE@GMAIL.COM Thunderbolt 2 connectivity allows for fast transfers between workstations or drives.

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