OWC Thunderbay Flex 8
Whether you call it a workflow workhorse, a productivity platform, or a configurable command centre, one description of the ThunderBay Flex 8 says it best. It is a groundbreaking workflow solution for digital imaging, VFX, video production, and video editing professionals from the world’s leading Thunderbolt accessory manufacturer.
Flex Your Way Through Every Workflow
ThunderBay Flex 8 offers eight drive bays that support a mix of SATA/SAS and U.2/M.2 NVMe drives for virtually limitless storage capacity. Next, there’s a plethora of ports including 2 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB-C, and 2 x USB-A for device docking and charging.
See your work in greater detail by adding up to an 8K display via a built-in DisplayPort 1.4 connection. Ingest hi-res images and video via front-side SD 4.0 and CFexpress card readers. And when you want to expand your desktop capabilities, there’s a PCIe slot waiting for your specific project needs.
ThunderBay Flex 8 is the one Thunderbolt 3 desktop device that rules them all. With an irresistible economy of scale, this consolidated solution is ideal for anyone waiting for the right moment to invest in Thunderbolt technology.
NVMe. PCIe. What’s It Mean to Me?
At the heart of the ThunderBay Flex 8 capabilities are two cutting-edge technology standards: NVMe and PCIe. Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) optimises the performance of modern flash technology over the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) standard. It enables significantly faster SSD performance with a more direct and optimised path to a computer’s processor.
Muscle-FLEXing Data Performance
Right out of the packaging, all eight bays are configured with SATA 6Gb/s 3.5-inch HDDs. With real-world read/write speeds of 2750MB/s that saturates the Thunderbolt 3 speed threshold, you’re ready to handle 4K/8K and even Phantom high-speed files.
A virtual buffet of productivity-enhancing possibilities awaits you with the docking connections built into ThunderBay Flex 8. Power your notebook with up to 85W power delivery while capturing multi-stream hi-res footage at full frame rate. Connect audio and video mixers, digital camera, keyboards, and other peripherals and charge mobile devices via one USB-C and two USB-A 10Gb/s ports. Ingest and work with 4/8K RAW video and RAW photo files immediately at speeds up to 985MB/s with frontside SD 4.0 and CFexpress card readers. Add more viewing space with up to an 8K monitor via the DisplayPort 1.4 interface. And if all that’s not enough to satisfy your project needs, daisy-chain up to five additional Thunderbolt 3 devices!
FLEXpandable for Unique Needs
By removing the enclosure’s side panel, you can expand your capabilities by installing a half-length, full-height, single-width expansion card in the PCIe x16 connector/x4 lanes slot. Add a 4K video capture card for direct ingest of multi-stream high-res footage. Record high-quality tracks with an audio card and then edit and archive tracks.
Includes SoftRAID XT: Easy and Complete Drive Management
SoftRAID XT is the most powerful, intuitive software RAID utility on the market. Multiple RAID options let you select the RAID level that fits you or your project’s needs best. If you need maximum volume capacity, optimum drive performance, data protection, or a combination of attributes, SoftRAID has you covered.
Packed with features like drive validation, verification and failure prediction—SoftRAID includes features you simply don’t get with hardware RAID. It’s like having a datacenter on your desktop! From home users looking to protect photos and documents to professionals needing to protect and quickly access projects, SoftRAID is the perfect solution.
A Protective, Economical Post-Production Solution
Sending a drive from set to post-production typically entails tedious and time-consuming drive enclosure disassembly to access the storage drive or costly shipping of the entire enclosure to the post lab. But ThunderBay Flex 8 offers yet another option.
By installing an OWC U.2 NVMe Interchange System carrier tray (sold separately) with a built-in U.2 connector into a ThunderBay Flex 8 drive tray, you can protect the U.2 SSD drive’s connector from repeated install/removal wear for improved drive longevity and investment. When done with your shoot, just ship the lightweight protective carrier and drive to the lab where the carrier can be installed into an OWC Helios 3S equipped with the OWC Interchange System. It’s a complete solution to safeguard your data while lowering shipping costs.
- Storage solution #1: 8TB hyper-fast U.2 SSD
- Storage solution #2: 126TB HDD RAID (7 x 18TB)
- Eight drive bays: pre-configured with a U.2 NVMe SSD in the first bay and seven enterprise class SATA hard drives in the remaining bays
- Reconfigurable: use a mix of SATA / SAS and U.2 / M.2 NVMe drives for virtually limitless capacity and real-world speeds up to 2750MB/s
- Future ready: top four bays can use U.2 SSDs…the emerging M&E industry storage standard
- Powerfully easy RAID: create, manage, and monitor advanced RAID sets with SoftRAID
- Do more: second Thunderbolt 3 port for daisy chaining devices or additional display(s)
- See more: DisplayPort 1.4 for connecting up to an 8K display
- Fast media ingest: front-side SD 4.0 and CFexpress card readers with up to 985MB/s speed
- Play your card: 1 x PCIe slot for audio/video capture, networking, SSD storage, hardware RAID card, or I/O card
Introducing the OWC ThunderBay Flex 8. Tame your workflow with this highly configurable productivity platform for digital imaging, VFX, video production, and video editing professionals.
- Mechanisms Supported
- 3.5 or 2.5 inch SATA drives
- 2.5 inch U.2 drives (top 4 bays only)
- NVMe M.2 drives (via U.2 adapter)
- 3.5 or 2.5 inch SAS drives (requires SAS card, not included)
- Total Capacity
- Standard Mechanism
- 7 x 18.0TB Western Digital Ultrastar DC HC550 7,200RPM hard disk drive with 512 MB cache
- 1 x 7.68TB Western Digital Ultrastar DC SN640 U.2 NVMe solid-state drive
- Thunderbolt: intel JHL7440
- PCIe switch: ASMedia ASM-2824
- USB controller: Genesys Logic GL-3590
- BSMI, CE, FCC, RCM, VCCI
- Data Transfer Rate (Max)
- Thunderbolt 3: up to 40 Gb/s (or 5000 MB/s)
- RAID Levels Supported
- RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, RAID 4, RAID 5, JBOD
- RAID Features
- Software RAID
- MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures)
- Varies depending on drive mechanism installed
- Contact Start Stops
- Varies depending on drive mechanism installed
- Mac OS Compatibility
- macOS 10.15 Catalina
- macOS 11.x Big Sur
- macOS 12.x Monterey
- PC OS Compatibility
- Not compatible with Windows PCs
- Other Requirements
- macOS 10.15.1 or later required
- Host Port Requirements
- Thunderbolt 3
- Supported PCIe Cards
- Supports one full-height, half-length, single-width card (driverless or with Thunderbolt-aware driver). GPUs not supported
- Power Supply
- Internal UL-listed universal auto-switching power supply
- AC Input
- 100-240V, 47-63Hz, 4.0A-8.0A
- DC Output
- +12V, 42A
- Power Delivery
- 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports (15W, 85W)
- Number of Bays
- Expansion Slots
- 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 physical, x4 electrical, full-height, half-length, single-width
- Device Ports
- 2 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
- 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 type-C port up to 10Gb/s (1250MB/s) - USB 2.0/3.0 backwards compatible
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 type-A ports up to 10Gb/s (1250MB/s) - USB 2.0/3.0 backwards compatible
- 1 x DisplayPort port
- Memory Card Slots
- 1 x CFexpress
- 1 x Secure digital (SD)
- 1 x 120 mm, 1,600RPM cooling fan
- Security Slot
- Power Button
- H: 349 x L: 390 x W: 149 mm
- 9200 g
What's in the box?
- 1 x OWC ThunderBay Flex 8
- 1 x Thunderbolt Cable
- 1 x External Power Cable
- 2 x Keys for Front Panel Lock
- 1 x Hex Key
- 1 x Assembly Manual and User Guide
- 1 x SoftRAID Software Bundle
- 1 x Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office (1 Year Subscription)
- 5 Year Limited Warranty