OWC Announces First Thunderbolt 3 Certified Bus-Powered Storage Enclosure

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OWC today introduced the Envoy Express, which it describes as the first Thunderbolt 3 certified bus-powered storage enclosure for Macs and PCs.


Designed to support any 2280 M.2 NVMe SSD, the key benefit of the Envoy Express is that users can install their own drive in it, including OWC's Aura SSDs with up to 4TB of storage or larger-capacity options in the future.

The Envoy Express supports sustained data transfer rates of up to 1553 MB/s and has an integrated 10.2-inch Thunderbolt 3 cable.

The Envoy Express can be pre-ordered on OWC's website now for $68.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with OWC. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Article Link: OWC Announces First Thunderbolt 3 Certified Bus-Powered Storage Enclosure
 

D.T.

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Sep 15, 2011
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I like how the cable is connected internally. Easy to swap if needed later on.

Yeah, that's very slick, when I first saw it I was worried it was a fixed/attached cable (like some other products). $68 is stellar, I'm using a TekQ but I would've opted for this over it (saved money, better cable solution).

I'm using a 1TB Sabrent Rocket Nvme stick, very fast, near the internal storage speed on my '18 Mini (i7/32/512). Very recommended, and if you register the product it goes from a 1 year to a 5 year warranty.


This is not the "first" BYOD 40Gbps TB3 NVMe M.2 enclosure on the market.

I think the emphasis is on "certified". :) There's enclosures like the really terrific JEYI TB3 you can source through AliExpress, but it's not indicated as certified (I'd opt for this OWC over the JEYI just for the likely better service channel).
 
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Michael Scrip

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Mar 4, 2011
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The Envoy Express supports sustained data transfer rates of up to 1553 MB/s and has an integrated 10.2-inch Thunderbolt 3 cable.
M.2 NVMe SSDs are usually around 3,400MB/s for reads and 3,000MB/s for writes.

Shouldn't Thunderbolt 3 be able to reach those speeds?

Hell... you can now get USB 3.2 drives that are at least 1,000MB/s... so this Thunderbolt drive doesn't seem too impressive.

EDIT: And the user above me agrees! :p
 

Reason077

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2007
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For being TB3 it doesn't seem that fast. 1500MB/s is barely more than USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds. Im wondering if this is only using 2 lanes or something like that. still the $68 price isn't horrible for a TB3 device.
Can you point me at a USB 3.1 (or 3.2, for that matter) drive/enclosure that actually gets anything close to this speed in real-world usage?
 
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Woodcrest64

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Aug 14, 2006
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I don't think that ARM (Apple Silicon) Macs support TB3. I still want one though - for now - it'd be an awesome external Bootcamp drive.
Intel has apparently made Thunderbolt royalty free now. The question is whether ARM will implement it. The nice thing is having everything like USB and Thunderbolt on the same port now. USB 4 which I believe is scheduled for late 2020 or early 2021? will support speeds up to 40GBPS like thunderbolt 3 and Display Port 2.0 should be out then supporting displays up to 16K. Late 2021 should offer some really nice upgrades for MacBook Pros :)
 
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lunarworks

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Jun 17, 2003
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A perfect time for Mac users to be buying Intel Thunderbolt accessories!
I don't think that ARM (Apple Silicon) Macs support TB3. I still want one though - for now - it'd be an awesome external Bootcamp drive.
Not the current gen of Ax chips. iPhone/iPad have never had any actual need for Thunderbolt. Whatever they produce for the desktop will likely support TB3.
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
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Several other NVMe TB3 40Gbps enclosures have speeds in the 2000+ MB/s range. Getting that fully sustained over an extended period of time is not realistic, however.

If you don't need/want TB3 and just USB-C and are fine with around 900 MB/s range, look at the Pluggable adapter.
 

Botts85

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Feb 9, 2007
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Oooh, the pricing is actually pretty awesome too. Prior to this, I'd been buying Samsung X5s, shucking and selling the included SSD, and installing a bigger one.

The cable connection is ingenious -- especially given the portable use case for this.

Both Intel's CEO and Tim Cook said they expect to continue their relationship. I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple include Intel radios in new phones, and an Intel Thunderbolt controller designed to work with Apple Silicon.
 

bsbeamer

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Most "cheap" adapters like this will use cheaper controllers that are typically an older generation, which have reduced speeds and result in reduced heat generation. NVMe runs hot and needs a heatsink, something more substantial than what this provides if you want native speeds.
 
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cupcakes2000

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Apr 13, 2010
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Intel has apparently made Thunderbolt royalty free now. The question is whether ARM will implement it. The nice thing is having everything like USB and Thunderbolt on the same port now. USB 4 which I believe is scheduled for late 2020 or early 2021? will support speeds up to 40GBPS like thunderbolt 3 and Display Port 2.0 should be out then supporting displays up to 16K. Late 2021 should offer some really nice upgrades for MacBook Pros :)
As I understand it, it’s up to Apple to implement these standards (such as USB4) on their own chips rather than Arm? They aren’t using Arm’s chips, just licensing the specifications. Or am I wrong about this?
 
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typecase

macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2005
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So great that the laptops aren't SSD upgradeable! Adding this and the dongles needed to plug in a USB-A drive, the sacrifice of function for form has definitely been worth it.
 
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mike...

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Oct 9, 2008
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As I understand it, it’s up to Apple to implement these standards (such as USB4) on their own chips rather than Arm? They aren’t using Arm’s chips, just licensing the specifications. Or am I wrong about this?
You are correct
 

Woodcrest64

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Aug 14, 2006
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As I understand it, it’s up to Apple to implement these standards (such as USB4) on their own chips rather than Arm? They aren’t using Arm’s chips, just licensing the specifications. Or am I wrong about this?
You are correct, its not really ARM processors designed by TSMC... Apple is the one designing the chips. TSMC will be just manufacturing the processors. So yes, they would need to implement it. Though if they don't have to pay royalties to Intel I don't see why they wouldn't do it assuming the cost isn't the much.
 
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