7 Best Thunderbolt 3 Raid Storage Systems – Buying Guide

Best Thunderbolt 3 Raid Storage Systems

This post includes affiliate links, for which we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase using our links. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage provides a fast and secure way of storing your data locally. Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) combines multiple disks to create a unified storage solution for your needs. Depending on your needs, you can configure RAID arrays to deliver the fastest read/write speeds or faulty tolerance to protect your critical data.

With Thunderbolt 3, accessing your files and media is now faster than ever. If you work with heavy and demanding workflows, investing in Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage is the best option for you. These RAID systems are also ideal for small businesses looking to create a local data center to store thousands of business files.

These are the best Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage systems you can buy today.

Best Thunderbolt 3 Raid Storage Systems Compared

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
G-Technology G-RAID on Amazon
G-Technology G-RAIDForm Factor: 2-Bay
Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 2
RAID Type: Hardware RAID
RAID Levels: RAID 0, 1
Capacity: 8TB, 12TB, 16TB, 20TB, 24TB, 28TB, 36TB
Check on Amazon
TerraMaster D8 Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage on Amazon
TerraMaster D8 Thunderbolt 3 RAID storageForm Factor: 8-Bay
Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 2
RAID Type: Hardware RAID
RAID Levels: RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
Capacity: Diskless
Check on Amazon
Glyph Atom RAID SSD on Amazon
Glyph Atom RAID SSDForm Factor: 2-bay
Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 1
RAID Type: Hardware RAID
RAID Levels: RAID 0
Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Check on Amazon
LaCie 2big Dock on Amazon
LaCie 2big DockForm Factor: 2-Bay
Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 2
RAID Type: Hardware RAID
RAID Levels: RAID 0, 1
Capacity: 8TB, 12TB, 16TB, 20TB, 28TB, 32TB
Check on Amazon
OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID on Amazon
OWC ThunderBay 4 RAIDForm Factor: 4-Bay
Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 2
RAID Type: Software RAID
RAID Levels: RAID 0, 1, 4, 10
Capacity: 4TB, 16TB, 24TB
Check on Amazon
G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle on Amazon
G-Technology G-Speed ShuttleForm Factor: 4-Bay
Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 2
RAID Type: Hardware RAID
RAID Levels: RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
Capacity: 20TB, 24TB
Check on Amazon
Promise Pegasus3 R6 on Amazon
Promise Pegasus3 R6Form Factor: 6-Bay
Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 2
RAID Type: Hardware RAID
RAID Levels: RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50
Capacity: 24TB
Check on Amazon
OWC ThunderBay 8 on Amazon
OWC ThunderBay 8Form Factor: 8-Bay
Thunderbolt 3 Ports: 2
RAID Type: Software RAID
RAID Levels: RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, 10
Capacity: Diskless, 16TB, 32TB, 48TB, 64TB, 112TB, 128TB
Check on Amazon

Best Thunderbolt 3 Raid Storage Systems – Our Picks

1. G-Technology G-RAID – Our Top Pick

The G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 from G-Technology is our top pick for the best Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage. It’s a 2-bay RAID enclosure with two 7200RPM hard drives onboard, providing excellent transfer rates of up to 500MB/s. You get capacity options from 8TB to a whopping 36TB of storage. The drives are removable, so you can swap them for your own hard drives.

G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 supports RAID 0, 1, and JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) configurations. Choose between performance and redundancy or configure the disks as regular hard drives (no RAID setup). With higher capacities and fast transfer speeds, the G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 offers a good solution for high-performance storage needs and demanding workflows such as video editing.

The enclosure is well built. It has a solid aluminum construction and a stylish silver finish. There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, and an HDMI port that supports 4K at 60FPS with HDR. You can daisy-chain five additional Thunderbolt 3 devices on the second Thunderbolt 3 port. This RAID storage enclosure comes with a 5-year limited warranty for added peace of mind.

Our Take

The G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 is an excellent consumer-level Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage for average to pro users. It has great options in terms of storage capacity, and you get daisy-chaining capabilities to connect more devices to your PC via a single capable. The HDMI and USB-C ports are added bonuses for more flexibility.

PROS
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports with daisy-chaining
  • Included drives with multiple capacity options
  • Supports hardware RAID and two RAID configurations
  • HDMI and USB-C ports
CONS
  • It gets noisy on sustained use

2. TerraMaster D8 Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage – Premium Pick

Unlike the G-RAID, the TerraMaster D8 Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage comes with eight drive bays that can support a total storage capacity of up to 144TB with up to 2112MB/s read/write speeds. It’s an ideal Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage for power users and enterprises. The TerraMaster D8 is sold as diskless RAID storage, so you’ll have to bring your own hard drives. It’s compatible with 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch SATA HDDs and SSDs.

TerraMaster makes excellent Network Attached Storage (NAS), Direct Attached Storage (DAS), and accessories. Expect this RAID enclosure to be as good as their other impressive storage accessories. This RAID enclosure is also available as a 2-bay and 5-bay enclosure, but we will focus on the premium 8-bay one.

The TerraMaster D8 comes with an onboard hardware RAID controller, so there’s no additional load on the processor. It allows multiple RAID levels, including RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and 50. You can also configure the disks as JBOD to use them as individual drives. Other great features include hot swapping and hot plugging, automatic RAID rebuild, and Online RAID Level Migration (ORLM).

The build quality is excellent. It has a robust aluminum casing with two 90-mm temperature-controlled fans to ensure excellent heat dissipation. You get two Thunderbolt 3 ports that support daisy-chaining of up to six devices, dual 4K displays, and 15W power delivery to Mac notebooks. There’s an additional DisplayPort 1.2 output that also supports an external 4K monitor.

Our Take

With up to eight drive bays, hardware RAID support, and dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, the TerraMaster D8 RAID storage is a good option for demanding workflows and enterprise storage solutions. Hardware RAID unlocks many RAID functionalities, and it can support a large storage capacity of up to 144TB, even higher with daisy-chaining.

PROS
  • Hardware RAID with multiple RAID arrays supported
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • High maximum storage capacity
  • Supports three external 4K displays
CONS
  • Not compatible with M1-based Macs

3. Glyph Atom RAID SSD – Cheap Thunderbolt 3 RAID Storage for Mac

The Glyph Atom RAID SSD is the cheapest Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage you can find in the market. It is also the most portable, perfect for use when out and about. It comes preformatted HFS+ for plug-and-play compatibility on Mac, and it’s fully compatible with Thunderbolt 3.

The Atom RAID SSD is a self-contained RAID 0 storage solution with excellent transfer rates of up to 950MB/s. It’s configured to deliver top performance through data stripping out of the box. Since it has an onboard hardware RAID controller, it does not offer any additional load on your processor. The only downside with this RAID SSD is that it does not provide any fault tolerance or redundancy.

This portable RAID solution is available in varying capacities, from 500GB to 4TB. It is available in black, gold, grey, and silver. The aluminum enclosure with rugged bumper protection should provide the strength to withstand the bangs and bumps of the road. While the Atom RAID SSD is primarily designed for Mac devices, you can reformat it to work with Windows PCs.

Our Take

If you’re looking for affordable and portable Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage, the Glyph Atom RAID SSD is a perfect choice. It is formatted to work with Mac out of the box and configured RAID 0 to deliver the best performance. It’s ideal for working at home and on the go.

PROS
  • Hardware RAID 0 for fast transfer rates
  • Cheap and affordable
  • Portable RAID storage
CONS
  • No fault tolerance or redundancy

4. LaCie 2big Dock – Thunderbolt 3 RAID Storage with Bundled HDDs

LaCie 2big Dock is another 2-bay Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage with onboard hard drives. It is available in different capacities, from 8TB to 32TB of storage. You also get some perks such as one month Adobe CC subscription and data recovery.

The LaCie 2big Dock supports hardware RAID 0/1 and JBOD if you want to use the disks separately. There are two Seagate IronWolf Pro enterprise-class hard drives included, which provide high reliability and decent speeds of up to 490MB/s in RAID 0. Besides, you get a 5-year limited warranty, including free data recovery services, for added peace of mind.

One of the best features of the 2big Dock is the selection of ports. In addition to the two Thunderbolt 3 ports, you get a DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Type-C port, USB-A 3.0, SD card, and a CF card slot. The SD card slots are great additions for photographers and professional creatives. You can also connect three 4K monitors on this RAID storage for seamless multitasking and productivity.

Our Take

The LaCie 2big Dock features the best combination of ports you’ll find on Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage. If you’re a photographer or creative professional, the included SD card slots let you quickly transfer your day footage and raw photos from your DSLR, drone, or GoPro. The 2big Dock is an ideal solution for professionals in the creative industry.

PROS
  • Great selection of ports including two SD card slots
  • Hardware RAID
  • Hard drives included
  • 5-year warranty with data recovery
CONS
  • Bad customer support from Lacie

5. OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID – 4-Bay Thunderbolt 3 RAID Storage

OWC, a respectable Mac and PC accessories company, adds another impressive storage solution to its impressive lineup of performance upgrade kits and computer peripherals. The ThunderBay 4 is a 4-bay Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and onboard hard drives that deliver up to 2800MB/s transfer rates and 24TB total storage capacity.

ThunderBay 4 comes with RAID-5 preconfigured, but you can define your own RAID configurations such as RAID 0, 1, 4, and 01 through the SoftRAID XT software. Yes, the OWC ThunderBay 4 only supports software RAID, so it may add some additional load to your processor. Make sure you’re not using this RAID enclosure with a low-end laptop or desktop for the best performance.

You can daisy-chain up to six ThunderBay 4 enclosures or other Thunderbolt 3 devices, thanks to the two rear Thunderbolt 3 ports. There is an additional DisplayPort 1.2 output that can drive a 4K external monitor. The enclosure is solidly built with aluminum construction and includes a fan for excellent heat dissipation.

Our Take

OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID provides the capacity and speed for power and resource-hungry workflows. It is available in lower and high storage capacities, which is excellent for different types of consumers. However, it is a software RAID enclosure, so your PC performance might take a hit on sustained use.

PROS
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports with a DisplayPort
  • RAID software included
  • High maximum storage capacity
  • Supports multiple RAID configurations
CONS
  • Software RAID puts more strain on the CPU

6. G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle – Portable Thunderbolt 3 RAID Storage

The G-Speed Shuttle is optimized for speed and transportability, but ironically, it is not the smallest or lightest Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage available. However, it has a solid carrying handle that lets you quickly move it around when changing workspaces or offices. You can also buy its custom-made pelican case with a foam slot to safely take it just about anywhere.

G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle is a 4-bay RAID enclosure available in different capacities. It comes with four removable enterprise-class 7200RPM hard drives inside with capacities up to 72TB. Our featured model comes with 20TB and up to 1000MB/s sustained performance. It is suitable for enterprise solution solutions and true pros in the field.

The G-Speed Shuttle supports hardware RAID, which is essential considering the premium price you’re paying for this puppy, and it is configured RAID 5 out of the box. You can also configure RAID 0, 1, or 10, depending on your workflow. The enclosure provides two Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect it to your system. you can daisy0chain five additional G-Speed Shuttles for more storage capacity or other Thunderbolt 3 external peripherals.

Our Take

If you’re looking for an enterprise-level Thunderbolt 3 RAID solution that’s also easily transportable, the G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle is the best choice for you. With hardware RAID chip onboard, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, enterprise-level HDDs included, and portable design, this RAID enclosure brings a reliable, fast-access storage solution to whenever you go.

PROS
  • Hardware RAID with multiple RAID configuration
  • Carrying handle for portability
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports for daisy-chaining
  • High storage capacity
CONS
  • No extra video outputs

7. Promise Pegasus3 R6 – Thunderbolt 3 RAID Storage for M1-based Macs

Promise Technology is one of the few Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage solutions recommended by Apple for Mac devices. The Pegasus3 R6 is an upcoming 6-bay hardware RAID enclosure with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports. This model, now available for pre-order, comes with 24TB total storage capacity and out-of-the-box compatibility with macOS Big Sur and the new M1-based Macs.

With a hardware RAID chip onboard, the Pegasus3 R6 delivers excellent performance without affecting your overall PC performance. It supports different RAID arrays, including RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and 50, and JBOD for non-RAID configuration. You also get handy features such as hot-swappable drive bays and a second Thunderbolt 3 port for daisy-chaining up to six additional devices.

If you have the latest M1-based MacBooks or Mac Mini, the upcoming Pegasus3 R6 is the best Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage solution for your demanding workflows and heavy multimedia data storage.

Our Take

Not many Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage in the market support the latest M1-based Macs. It’s a bummer since these new M1 MacBooks are powerful and becoming increasingly popular. With the Pegasus3 R6, you can safely add more storage capacity and performance to any Mac system and Windows PC. It’s the best Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage to future-proof your setup.

PROS
  • Compatible with the latest Macs
  • Hardware RAID with multiple RAID levels
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Hard drives included
CONS
  • No additional ports

8. OWC ThunderBay 8 – Thunderbolt 3 RAID Storage Solution for Enterprises

The OWC ThunderBay 8 delivers an enterprise-level storage solution with a high capacity of up to 128TB and 2586MB/s sustained performance. With Thunderbolt 3 daisy-chaining support, you can hook up to six Thunderbay 8 devices for a whopping storage capacity of up to 768TB. That’s more than enough storage for consumer-level workflows. It’s an ideal product for small enterprises and businesses with lots of data.

The OWC ThunderBay 8 comes with eight drives onboard and supports software RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, and 10. You can also buy it as a diskless RAID enclosure if you have (or plan to buy) your own storage drives. It is compatible with 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch SATA HDDs and SSDs. You’ll get better transfer rates if you opt for solid-state drives instead of mechanical hard drives.

While it uses software RAID, the ThunderBay 8 supports disk hot-swapping and RAID monitoring and management through the included SoftRAID application. You get two Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect your PC and daisy-chaining capabilities. The enclosure supports up to three 4K external monitors with the additional DisplayPort.

Our Take

If you’re looking for the best Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage for small businesses and enterprises, the ThunderBay 8 with up to 128TB capacity is the best for you. This 8-bay RAID enclosure has it all: high capacity, outstanding performance, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, and multiple RAID levels. The lack of hardware is the only downside, but it won’t be a problem if you have a powerful PC.

PROS
  • High storage capacity with outstanding performance
  • Thunderbolt 3 daisy chaining
  • Multiple RAID configurations
  • Great build quality
CONS
  • No hardware RAID

Choosing the Best Thunderbolt 3 Raid Storage System

The following are the six top factors to consider when buying a Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage system.

Hardware RAID Vs. Software RAID

Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage comes in two types hardware RAID or software RAID. Hardware RAID uses an onboard hardware RAID controller to manage RAID arrays, configurations, and multiple RAID levels. The RAID controller is embedded in the RAID enclosure and works independently from the operating system. Thus there is no additional load on your PC or server processor.

While it can be a tad more expensive, hardware RAID is the best choice if you want excellent sustained performance and retain the computing power of your PC. It also provides extra capabilities such as hot-swapping, allowing you to replace disks faster.

Fortunately, most of the RAID storage enclosures featured in this guide come with hardware RAID controllers. The TerraMaster D8 Thunderbolt 3 RAID is the best for high storage capacity, while the Glyph Atom RAID SSD is the best cheap and portable option.

Software RAID, on the other hand, depends on the computing power of your PC or server processor to manage the RAID configuration. It’s cheap because it only requires a driver instead of dedicated hardware, but it adds more processing load on your laptop or desktop, which might lead to slow RAID calculations and slow read/write speeds.

Software RAID is excellent if you’re on a tight budget. Software RAID enclosures are more affordable than hardware RAID enclosures. And if you have a powerful PC or server processor, you might not even feel the impact of the additional load.

OWC ThunderBay 8 is the best software RAID storage with Thunderbolt 3 for demanding workflows and slow business, while the OWC ThunderBay 4 is ideal for average to pro consumers. Both come with the SoftRAID software to manage the RAID configuration, level, and calculations.

RAID Levels

You can set up different RAID levels/arrays depending on your needs and the number of drives available. Primarily, it all comes down to whether you’re looking for performance or redundancy and fault tolerance.

The common RAID levels are RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 1+0 (10).

RAID 0, also known as disk striping, splits data into blocks and spreads them across different drives in the RAID storage enclosure. Using multiple disks to access the same file leads to faster read/write speeds. RAID 0 is ideal for storing non-critical data that have to be accessed at high speed.

All the Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage enclosures in this guide support the RAID 0 array. In fact, the Glyph Atom RAID SSD comes as a self-contained RAID 0 solution. However, RAID 0 does not offer any redundancy or fault tolerance capabilities. If one disk fails, all the data in the RAID group is lost.

RAID 1 offers data redundancy and fault tolerance by duplicating data from one disk to another. When one drive fails, the RAID controller or driver recovers data from the second drive for continuous operation. You need at least two storage drives (or pairs) for RAID 1.

RAID 1 is ideal for storing critical personal and business data such as accounting systems. The only downside with RAID 1 is that your total storage capacity is halved. So, if you have two 1TB storage drives, your PC will detect them as one 1TB drive.

All the Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage enclosures with at least two drive bays support RAID 1.

RAID 5 remediates the weaknesses of RAID 0 by introducing disk striping with parity. This configuration requires at least three drives. Unlike RAID 0, RAID 5 can withstand a single drive failure. Data is striped across multiple disks while distributing parity.

If you have three disks, two disks will store striped data while the third drive stores the parity checksum. The parity data is written to a different disk in each writing operation. When a single drive fails, the RAID controller uses the parity checksum to rebuild the data block of the faulty drive. RAID 5 can work with up to 16 storage drives.

TerraMaster D8, OWC ThunderBay 4, G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle, Promise Pegasus3 R6, and OWC ThunderBay 8 support RAID 5.

Compared to RAID 0, RAID 5 gives you excellent performance with an added layer of security. Admittedly, it is slower than RAID 0, but it the best configuration if you want both performance and fault tolerance with a limited number of drives.

RAID 6 is similar to RAID 5, but the parity checksum is stored on two drives at a time. It has better fault tolerance since it can withstand two drive failures, but it requires at least four drives. However, rebuilding data in case of failure takes a long time.

The other common RAID level is RAID 10, which combines RAID 1 (redundancy) and RAID 0 (disk stripping). This configuration delivers faster I/O performance with redundancy. Recovering data from a faulty drive is faster since the RAID controller has to copy all the data from the mirror drive to the new one. However, it might be expensive for high-capacity storage workflows since half of the total storage is used for mirroring. Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage enclosures with four or more drive enclosures support RAID 6 and RAID 10.

In summary, RAID 0 provides the best performance with no fault tolerance. RAID 1 provides data redundancy, but you can only use half the total storage capacity. RAID 5 offers decent performance through stripping and can withstand one disk failure. RAID 6 can withstand the failure of two drives, but it takes so much longer to reconstruct the data. RAID 10 delivers outstanding performance and redundancy, but your total storage capacity is halved.

Form Factor – Number of Drive Bays

The number of drive bays determines the level of RAID you can implement in your enclosure. Entry-level 2-bay RAID enclosures, such as the G-Technology G-RAID and LaCie 2big Dock, support RAID 0 and RAID 1. To that end, you can only choose between performance or redundancy, but not both.

Next is 4-bay Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage which supports four drives. These enclosures can support a higher storage capacity than 2-bay RAID enclosures and also allows many RAID arrays. With four drives, you can set up RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10.

The best 4-bay Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage in the market is the OWC ThunderBay 8 (software RAID) and G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle (hardware RAID).

Other RAID enclosures can house six storage drives, such as the Promise Pegasus3 R6. It supports all the standard RAID arrays while providing more room for more storage capacity, great for professionals and small businesses.

For enterprises and professionals working with power-hungry and demanding workflows, investing in an 8-bay RAID enclosure is the best. These enclosures provide a high storage capacity allowing you to create a local data center for your business and personal use. They support most RAID arrays, allowing you to implement both performance and faulty tolerance.

TerraMaster D8 is the best 8-bay Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage you can buy in the market. If you’re on a budget, the OWC ThunderBay 8 with software RAID is a great alternative.

Number of Thunderbolt 3 Ports

You only need one Thunderbolt 3 port to connect a Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage to your laptop or desktop. But having two or more Thunderbolt 3 port unlock daisy-chaining capacities, allowing you to connect up to six additional devices to your PC through a single cable. You can use the second Thunderbolt 3 port to daisy-chain dual 4K monitors or other Thunderbolt 3 devices.

Luckily, all the Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage enclosures in this guide, except the Glyph Atom RAID SSD, come with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports. The G-Technology G-RAID and LaCie 2big Dock include an extra USB-C port for more flexibility.

Other Ports and Connectivity

A Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage enclosure with additional ports besides Thunderbolt 3 comes in handy if you’re using the latest notebooks with limited ports. It is becoming harder to find legacy video outputs and USB-A ports on the latest lightweight laptops such as the 13-inch MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 13.

Most Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage enclosures come with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and either HDMI or DisplayPort output to connect an external monitor. While there is so much hype about Thunderbolt 3, many monitors in the market still use HDMI and DisplayPort. It’s good to have one of the legacy video ports.

The LaCie 2big Dock has the best combination of ports with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-C, USB 3.0 Type-A for legacy devices, and two SD card slots. It is the best Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage enclosure if you have a bunch of legacy USB devices and new USB-C devices.

Warranty

Most RAID enclosures aren’t easily repairable. We recommend buying a Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage with a great warranty, at least three years. The G-Technology G-RAID and LaCie 2big Dock come with an excellent warranty of five years. Some brands, such as OWC, provide different warranty periods for the enclosure and included drives. That’s something to look out for before investing your money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post
App-based AI Smartly Navigates Away from Failed Deliveries

App-based AI Smartly Navigates Away from Failed Deliveries

Next Post
Reserve A Scheduled Visit to an EV Charger in Japan

You Can Now Reserve A Scheduled Visit to an EV Charger in Japan

Related Posts