CES 2021: OWC Envoy Pro FX - A Dual Mode (Thunderbolt / USB) IP67 External SSDby Ganesh T S on January 13, 2021 5:00 PM EST
As part of its CES 2021 announcements, OWC provided details of the Envoy Pro FX - an IP67-rated dual-mode SSD capable of operating optimally with both Thunderbolt 3 / 4 and USB hosts. We have generally been impressed with the industrial design of OWC's external SSD offerings - in fact, the OWC Envoy Pro EX USB-C was one of the top performers when we compared the latest USB 3.2 Gen 2 SSDs last year. The Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 was based on a standard Phison reference design (also shared with the Plugable TBT3-NVME drives) with a rugged industrial design.
The new Envoy Pro FX combines the best of both SSDs - enabling 2GBps+ performance with Thunderbolt 3 hosts and 1GBps-class performance with USB 3.2 Gen 2 hosts. OWC carries forward its sleek premium aluminum housing from the Envoy Pro EX line. The FX is IP67-rated for usage in dirty and wet environments - even allowing for submersion in water at depths of 1m for up to 30 minutes, and also carries MIL-STD810G certification for ruggedness. The SSD is bus-powered, and also has non-skid rubber feet.
The OWC Envoy Pro FX is available in four capacities - 240GB ($169), 480GB ($199), 1TB ($299), and 2TB ($479). Given the capacity points, these drives are unlikely to be using QLC NAND. The IP67 rating and likely usage of 3D TLC are potential justification points for the ~$130 premium over other dual-mode SSDs like the Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q we reviewed recently.
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crazy_vag - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - linkI love the TB 3 / 4 + USB connectivity, but wonder if there's a version with RAID 1 on the market. Kinda like a NAS reliability with Thunderbolt speeds.
notb - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - linkYes, there are many RAID1 enclosures on the market - coming with or without disks.
Seriously, google it. :)
NASes are not about "reliability" (protection against disk failure). This comes from the redundant data storage, which NASes often use. That's it. You buy a NAS specifically because you want to access it over a network.
crazy_vag - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - linkI've googled, but don't see Thunderbolt 4 + Raid 1 combos. Most NAS style enclosures use legacy USB-A port + Ethernet, while most Thunderbolt 4 devices have the speed, but lack RAID 1.
bobbypanda - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - linkYou can try this: https://oyendigital.com/mobius-pro-2c-2-bay-usb-c-... or another one of this company’s offerings.
It’s a DAS over USB 3.1 G2/TB3 though.
I have this one and really like it: https://oyendigital.com/minipro-raid-v3-561.html
crazy_vag - Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - linkWould be great if these didn't require an external AC adapter and just used the 15 W from TB ports. Is 15 W enough for two NVME drives + controllers?
notb - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - linkThere's no reason to wait for TB4 iteration if you're after an external drive (without a hub, monitor output etc).
TB3 and TB4 have the same speed and same power delivery. Nothing important for an external drive changes and there's no reason for companies to update these products (other than just bragging).
Billy Tallis - Thursday, January 14, 2021 - linkThe only way to get hardware RAID 1 for TB-attached NVMe drives is using the Marvell 88NR2241 NVMe switch. Products based around that chip only just started to ship in the past few months. Putting it in a TB product for RAID1 isn't exactly the top priority for the companies that have been clamoring for that chip, and I'm not sure how well it would work for a bus-powered drive anyways.
watersb - Thursday, January 14, 2021 - linkAfter some reports of dual-mode external drives requiring third-party device drivers, I gave up on the idea of commodity Thunderbolt stuff.
I am back in the Mac zone after using Linux and Windows for 8+ years. I coughed up the price premium and purchased one these drives. They are shipping as soon as CES winds up; should get here some time next week.
I've been buying stuff from OWC for decades. Pricey but excellent support and QA.
KimGitz - Thursday, January 14, 2021 - linkI wish this used the Goshen Ridge Thunderbolt 4 device controller. It would mean u could use it as a Thunderbolt 3 device or USB4 device with the full 40G bandwidth available.