OWC Thunderbolt 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Drive Dock For Mac PC

Monday, March 05, 2018

The OWC TB2 aluminum USB 3.1 drive dock is a nifty fanless drive tool that lets you hot-swap, boot and access 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA hard drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) just like removable memory sticks at the speed of Thunderbolt 2! You can run two SATA 6Gb/s drives simultaneously off the OWC drive dock, either wo 3.5-inch drives or two 2.5-inch  drives.
As well as Thunderbolt 2 (a.k.a. TB2), the OWC drive dock features USB 3.1 Gen 1, making the OWC drive dock a very versatile into plug-and-play storage with raw throughput performance.
With the integration of Thunderbolt 2, the OWC drive dock doesn't suffer from bus saturation that you get with even USB 3.0 enclosures when using multiple drives at the same time to backup a large library.
The ports on the back of the OWC drive dock include two Thunderbolt 2 ports with up to 20Gbps speeds and one USB 3.1 Gen 1 port supported by ASMedia ASM1153E USB-to-SATA bridge chipsets with up to speeds of 5Gbps.
the OWC TB2 drive dock measures 16 cm wide, 8.5 cm high and 15 cm deep
With the OWC drive dock, you can do disk intensive computing with non-linear video editing software programs such as dragging multiple clips from multiple drives into the timeline without freezing the system to a painful standstill.
the OWC TB2 drive dock weighs 1 kg
Better still, you can simultaneously run applications from the drives without worrying about loading the bus or crashing the system thanks to hot swapping software built-in (Thunderbolt connection only) that lets you plug and unplug drives without shutting down the system.
You can also the OWC drive dock as a bootable tool, allowing you to create a system image recovery backup on a SATA drive to clone your computer's hard drive so you can restore your personal data and Windows files.
Each bay on the OWC drive dock has its own power switch and LED activity monitor and you can expand the OWC drive dock in a daisy-chain with up to five additional Thunderbolt devices.
The OWC TB2 drive dock also integrates a universal auto-switching internal power supply, which means you use any 3 prong or 2 prong AC power cable to power the OWC drive dock. This great as it means you can power the OWC drive dock anywhere in the world via a travel adapter without the need of a bulky AC adapter (or as some people call it "wall wart").
You can run the OWC Thunderbolt 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 drive dock via a Mac or PC with a Thunderbolt or USB 2.0 interface but you get the best performance if your Mac or PC has Thunderbolt 2 or USB 3.0 interface.
You won't require a driver for Mac OS X but you will need a driver when connected to a Windows computer via Thunderbolt connection. There are other software and hardware requirements. The operating system requirement for Thunderbolt is Mac OS X 10.10 or later, or Windows 7 SP1 or later. The operating system requirement for USB 3.1 Gen 1 is Mac OS X 10.6 or later, Windows XP or later, and Linux Kernel v. 2.6.31 or later.
Thunderbolt connectivity for OWC Drive Dock is not supported in Boot Camp
The OWC drive dock also supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) which is great as it enhances the overall performance Performance and responsiveness went up significantly when I switched to an enclosure that supports UASP. It’s comparable to when I had the drive connected via Thunderbolt.

The benchmark result for a single drive using Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 is  522 MB/s Read and 477 MB/s Write and 427 MB/s Read and 347 MB/s Write respectively. The benchmark speeds for disk stripping (also known as breaking up a file and spreading the data across all the disk drives in a RAID group) via Thunderbolt is 521 MB/s Read and 482 MB/s Write;and 429 MB/s Read and 352 MB/s Write for USB 3.0
When used with USB 3.1, UASP allows for faster read/write data speeds than eSATA and definitely much faster than USB 3.0 with BOT (Bulk Only Transport). The fast speed is thanks to UASP putting less load on the CPU, and also thanks to the implementation of the SCSI command set which allows data transfer in both directions unlike BOT where data can only be transferred either in an IN or OUT direction.
To take advantage of UASP, your PC hardware, firmware and the software drivers in your operating system must support it. If you are using Windows 8 and Windows 10, UASP support is built-in. Most manufacturers don't support UASP in Windows 7 other than ASUS who is the only manufacturer that supports UASP in Windows 7 on certain Asus motherboards (i.e. Z77-, X79-, Z68-, 990FX/990X/970-) via Asus USB 3.0 Boost application.
AC input: 100 ~ 240V, 50/60Hz
The OWC drive dock features an internal UL-certified transformer with universal auto-switching that can output 6.25 amps at 12 volt. For even better performance, you should consider a Thunderbolt 3 dock

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