Best 4-bay SSD thunderbolt dock to get with iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by twilexia, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    I'm considering getting a 4-bay SSD Thunderbolt dock for my imac (late 2015) and am wondering which is the best choice, if anyone has experience with using these, would love to hear your thoughts.
  2. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    For SSDs, you can probably go with the ThunderBay 4 mini. There's not a lot of selection when it comes to 4-bay enclosures for 2.5" drives. Drobo has one, but the ThunderBay 4 is a bit more flexible (since you can buy it with a SoftRAID license to get RAID5, or use it as a JBOD array).

    I've been using the bigger version of it for my 4TB HDDs in a RAID 5 and have no complaints.
  3. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I have used both the ThunderBay 4 Mini and the full size ThunderBay 4 with my 2015 5K iMac (and 2014 5K as well) and am happy with their convenience and performance. My iMacs have internal max 1TB SSD flash drives, and I used a mix of 2.5" HDD and SSDs in the ThunderBay Mini. I currently have a mix of 2.5" SSD and 3.5" HDD in use and am using the larger ThunderBay 4 for that. I did replace the quiet cooling fans with even quieter ones so I don't notice any extra noise unless I am actively accessing the larger 3.5" hard disks, which are only used for TimeMachine backups.
  4. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    I have an 8TB SSD Thunderbay 4 Mini in RAID-0 using SoftRAID. I installed 4 x 2TB Samsung EVO 850 cards. It is connected via Thunderbolt 2 to my 2015 iMac. The Blackmagic numbers are 1171 MB/sec write and 1243 MB/sec read. More importantly it has very good random I/O performance which is important for the database operations FCPX does. It is also extremely quiet.
  5. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Remember, the late 2015 iMac has Thunderbolt 2, not Thunderbolt 3, ports.

    You should seriously consider the Akitio Thunder2 Quad Mini:

    That model does not have hardware RAID, but you can use Apple RAID (software RAID) if you need it.

    I don't have that exact device, but I do have the Akitio Thunder2 Duo Pro, which I think is fantastic, and an Akitio Neutrino Thunder D3, which is great _except_ for the tiny fan's annoying noise. (But I got that one very cheap on eBay!)

    I consider my units to be very well designed and very well manufactured. I read a lot of reviews and the impression I got of reliability (most important to me!) and performance (nice to have) has not been broken by 6 and 9 months of daily use.

    (No, don't work there, just really happy with these, especially the Thunder2 Duo Pro.)

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