YBLTV Giveaway: OWC Drive Dock. Review by Aaron Dunn.

The OWC Drive Dock is a Digital Storage Game Changer

YBLTV Review & Giveaway: OWC Drive Dock

YBLTV Review & Back To School Tech Giveaway: OWC Drive Dock

Simplify Your Storage with the OWC Drive Dock

If you make use of bare SATA drives because of the more affordable price point, the OWC Drive Dock simplifies your life by allowing you to access them without the need to switch them out of your desktop drive bays. This is also a major benefit for laptop owners who never really get any value out of internal drives, whether you’re on Mac or PC.

The OWC Drive Dock is spectacularly useful if you fall under the specific category of people who need access to multiple drives at once, or have lots of old ones lying around that you’ve yet to utilize for storage purposes. All you need to do is plug your internal drive into one of the bays, listen for the click, and check to see whether the drive has shown up on your USB or Thunderbolt connected computer. The Drive Dock’s two bays allow for either 2.5 or 3.5 inch SATA drives, two Thunderbolt 2 ports that can read and write at speeds of 522 MB/s and 477 MB/s respectively.

I regularly use a 2.0TB Seagate/Samsung 5400RPM HDD that has often proven a real hassle switching in and out with my desktop’s stock HDD, but the OWC Drive Dock allowed me to quickly and efficiently access the files on it exactly as promised. Also, I’m eager to recover the files off of the old unused hard drives I have laying around from my years of tinkering with desktop computers for gaming.

Let’s talk about the aluminum build of the device itself for a second. This thing is as sturdy as they come – solid enough to take a beating for years to come. The materials that went into making the OWC Drive Dock definitely feel top of the line, and the use I’ve gotten out of it so far indicates an impressively high durability.

During my time so far with the OWC Drive Dock, I’ve had nothing but impressive performance and ease of access. But that’s not to say it’s a perfect product – I did notice some minor things that could use improvement. Let’s get into pros and cons as well as specs below.

Image Courtesy: Other World Computing, Inc. OWC Drive Dock. YBLTV Review by Aaron Dunn.
Image Courtesy: Other World Computing, Inc. OWC Drive Dock. YBLTV Review by Aaron Dunn.

Pros

  • Lightning fast reading and writing
  • Very easy to plug in and use
  • Internal power supply means no clunky power brick
  • Sturdy aluminum build and rubber feet to stop the device from sliding around
  • Individually powered docks
  • Runs very quietly, no need of fans
  • The two Thunderbolt 2 ports allow users to daisy chain their devices

Cons

  • Thunderbolt cable on the short side
  • Users should anticipate speed differences with HDDs and SSDs of different ages and from brand-to-brand
  • Port flaps could be a little sturdier

“The OWC Drive Dock is a digital storage game changer. It will expand your storage capacity and speed up your workflow immensely,” Aaron Dunn, YBLTV Writer / Reviewer

Specifications

  • OWC Drive Dock
  • .6 meter (24″) USB 3.1 Gen 1 cable (Standard-A to Standard-B)
  • 1 meter (39″) Thunderbolt cable
  • Internal power supply and power cable
  • User Guide

Detailed Specs

System Requirements

  • Operating System
    • Thunderbolt 2
      • OS X 10.10 or later
      • Windows 7 SP1 or later
    • USB 3.1 Gen 1
      • OS X 10.6 or later
      • Windows XP or later
      • Linux Kernel v. 2.6.31 or later
      • Boot Camp is only supported using USB. The Thunderbolt certification process does not include Macs running Windows through Boot Camp.
  • Driver
    • Driver not required for OS X.
    • Driver required for Windows when using Thunderbolt. Download here 7.1MB (ZIP)
  • Hardware
    • Minimum
      • Mac or PC featuring Thunderbolt or USB 2.0 interface
    • Recommended (best performance)
      • Mac or PC featuring Thunderbolt 2 or USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface
  • Bootability
    • Thunderbolt – OS X 10.10 or later
    • USB – Any Mac that supports booting via USB

Interface (Chipset)

  • (2) Thunderbolt 20Gbps
  • (1) USB 3.1 Gen 1 (ASMedia ASM1153E)

Drives Supported

  • (2) 3.5” SATA 6Gb/s drives
  • or (2) 2.5” SATA 6Gb/s drives
  • Performance
  • Benchmarks (maximum speed)
    • Thunderbolt: 522 MB/s Read and 477 MB/s Write
    • USB 3.1 Gen 1: 427 MB/s Read and 347 MB/s Write
  • Notes:
    • Speeds will vary based on drives used, RAID configurations, and other factors.

Hot-swapping

  • Thunderbolt only
  • When connected via USB, it is possible to unmount either drive from the OS without impacting the other drive, but you cannot power a bay on or off, or physically connect or disconnect one of the drives, without causing the other drive to temporarily unmount.

Power

  • Power Supply
  • Internal UL-listed universal auto-switching
  • AC input: 100 ~ 240V, 50/60Hz
  • DC output:, 12V 6.25A
  • Adapter plugs for international use sold separately

RAID Modes Supported

  • Software RAID only
  • RAID 0, 1, Span, Independent

Dimensions

  • Height: 3.3 in (8.5 cm)
  • Width: 6.3 in (16.0 cm)
  • Length: 5.8 in (15.0 cm)

Weight

  • Without Drives: 2.15 lb (.975 kg)

Final Thoughts

If you’re heading back to school or if you are a techie who firmly believes in extensive backup or a creative professional who regularly interacts with massive files, this dock will both greatly expand your storage capacity and speed up your workflow immensely. You’ll see a significant boost in productivity and a reduction in frustrating time spent swapping out drives.

So, if you’re in need of high-speed extra storage – or if you need access to multiple drives at once for complicated tasks – the OWC Drive Dock is just what you’re looking for.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: YBLTV Writer / Reviewer, Aaron Dunn received the OWC Drive Dock free from Other World Computing, Inc. in consideration for a Product Review.

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