Thunderbolt connection makes docking a much more efficient method of transferring data.
Not too long ago, I worked for a video production company. Creating backups was part of our daily workflow and unfortunately, video files, especially HD video files, aren’t small. It wasn’t unusual for us to collect Gigabytes of data for one project. Suffice it to say, we had a lot of spare hard drives laying around for when we needed to create backups. We originally started our backup archive with bare, uncased 3.5-inch hard drives. NOTE: Having naked hard drives laying around is not the way to store data. Even though we knew this fact, it was a necessity at the time due to the cost of the more elite hard drives like Western Digital MyBook series.
It was during this time period that I was introduced to the hard drive dock for the first time. We evolved to the docking method of retrieving data, but our journey actually started with an archaic device that was the dock’s predecessor. The cable-driven device was clumsy and it wasn’t unusual to lose a connection. So, when hard drive docks first became available, it revolutionized the way we treated our backups.
Even though I have been well aware of the existence of the hard drive dock, I’ve never had the chance to really test one out for myself. It just so happens that I’ve had the call for one lately as I’ve amassed a collection of hard drives myself. They may be properly stored inside hard drive enclosures, but they have older connections (USB 2 and even USB 1 in some cases) and transferring my data in order to consolidate it onto one storage device was a cumbersome task until the OWC Drive Dock Dual Drive Bay Solution came into my life.
The OWC Drive Dock Dual Drive Bay Solution is a powerhouse solution to any Mac user’s storage problems. It’s a high-performance bare drive access tool that makes it possible for you to transfer data from multiple drives to new locations with the highest possible data transfer speeds. For starters, the OWC Drive Dock Dual Drive Bay Solution utilizes USB 3.0 AND Thunderbolt for its transfer options. The benchmark tests from the manufacturer state:
- Single Drive
- Thunderbolt: 522 MB/s Read and 477 MB/s Write2
- USB 3.0: 427 MB/s Read and 347 MB/s Write3
- RAID 0
- Thunderbolt: 521 MB/s Read and 482 MB/s Write4
- USB 3.0: 429 MB/s Read and 352 MB/s Write5
You will see how my testing went when you read on below. You have the ability to ‘hot swap’ and read/write to multiple drives with super fast speeds. It will work with both 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA drives and each drive bay has its own power switch and LED status indicator.
Even though I feel that the OWC Drive Dock Dual Drive Bay Solution was made as a companion to Apple computers, it will also work with PCs, too. The dock comes packaged in a box that is well cushioned with interior shaped foam for the dock itself. The unit is made out of the classic silver aluminum finish that you find with Apple computers with some black plastic fixtures. It’s made to last and can easily move with you for remote working situations.
Before I really dig into my testing, I want to stress that if you work with video, you need this device. It will upgrade your efficiency levels to the Nth degree.
As I mentioned, I had quite a bit of data to transfer from an older drive to my newer, cloud-based storage system. For my main testing, I pulled a 500GB Western Digital 3.5″ SATA drive out of an enclosure that only ran a USB 1.0 connection. When I first plugged it into my MacBook Pro inside its current enclosure and tried to pull over all the folders at one time (260GB of data), my copy status alerted me to a 13 hour transfer time. This was a transfer from my hard drive to my cloud device over a wireless connection.
As I was just testing the speed of the original connection, I quickly canceled that transfer and removed my hard drive from its cage. I connected the OWC Drive Dock to my computer using the provided Thunderbolt cable and then plugged in my hard drive. I powered on the drive bay it was sitting in and the drive immediately appeared on my desktop. I decided to transfer a relatively small file to start the testing process and selected a file that was around 2GB in size. This time, I passed the file to my Desktop.
The transfer completed in less than a minute. The next test I did was to move a large folder (over 47GB of data) to the cloud storage. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the transfer was only estimated at one hour. That is roughly a rate of 1.27GB per minute. This was roughly 18% of the original transfer file size that was scheduled to take 13 hours.
If you work in a profession that requires you to transfer loads of files, the OWC Drive Dock is a great investment for you. It will upgrade your ability to backup data and will make your life a lot easier. This dock was very easy to use – not special software needed (unless you are using a PC Thunderbolt connection) – and it came equipped with specialized cables, which was a huge relief to me. It’s a great companion for any video, photo, or audio professional.