Storage company uses Apple's extraordinary CPU firepower to boost SSD speeds — OWC ThunderBlade X8 is one of the fastest external SSDs money can buy, shame about the 32TB limit

OWC ThunderBlade X8
(Image credit: OWC)

Other World Computing (OWC) has launched a new version of its blisteringly fast Thunderbolt shuttle and edit RAID SSD, offering an even faster experience. 

The new ThunderBlade X8 is designed to meet the needs of professionals who require high-speed data transfer, such as video editors and photographers. Its predecessor, which is still available to buy, is regarded as one of the fastest external SSDs on the market, but the ThunderBlade X8 comfortably outpaces it, boasting impressive real-world read speeds of up to 2949MB/s, and write speeds of up to 2826 MB/s. 

It offers an increase in capacity and efficiency of over 16% higher performance in RAID 4 and 5 redundant configurations with all Apple Silicon computers (M1 and later).

Up to 32TB storage

The ThunderBlade X8 comes equipped with dual Thunderbolt 3 (40Gb/s) ports, which allows for easy daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt devices. 

Despite its sleek, rugged design, featuring a high-quality aluminum enclosure for added durability, the Thunderblade X8 is surprisingly quiet due to its fanless, heat-dissipating design. The integrated fin-designed cooling system makes it suitable for use on the go and it even comes with a ballistic hard-shell case for transportation. 

Thunderblade X8 is available in a choice of three capacities – 8TB, 16TB, and 32TB. The top model has space for up to eight 4TB 2242 NVMe M.2 drives. While the maximum 32TB capacity will be sufficient for most users, professionals dealing with massive amounts of data might find it limiting. 

"OWC set a new standard for external drive capabilities with the original ThunderBlade, with groundbreaking speeds, reliability, and rugged transportability," said OWC Founder and CEO Larry O’Connor. 

"The latest ThunderBlade builds upon this legacy, enhancing performance, total usable storage, and even ruggedness further empowering creative professionals to accomplish more with rock solid data protection." 

In terms of pricing, the Thunderblade X8 is inevitably at the higher end. The 8TB model is priced at $1,749.99, while the 16TB model will set you back $2,749.99. Pricing for the 32TB model has not been announced yet, but we’d expect it to be a little north of $6,000. The ETA for it is currently listed as "spring 2024". 

Pre-orders are now open at The product comes with a 3-year OWC limited warranty.

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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.