Media professionals in need of a fast, reliable, and high-capacity external SSD have a new option in OWC's ThunderBlade. This external drive, which has started shipping to customers, is offered in 1TB to 8TB capacities with up to 2,800MB/s read speeds and 2,450MB/s write speeds. According to OWC, these transfer speeds make ThunderBlade its fastest external drive yet.

Inside each ThunderBlade you'll find four M.2 SSDs—up to 2TB per SSD—each of which has its own dedicated piece of the front-facing LED. According to the drive's user guide, "when one or more of the SSDs are accessed for read/write operations, the corresponding segments will blink blue." Of course, that doesn't mean you 'max out' at 8TB.

Every drive features two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which allow you to daisy chain up to six ThunderBlades together and configure them in Software RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, and 1+0. And SoftRAID allows a pair of ThunderBlade drives to hit read speeds of up to 3,800MB/s. The ThunderBlade's read and write speeds enable it to handle uncompressed, high-bandwidth media, making it an ideal choice for photographers, video editors and other professionals dealing with large amounts of data.

In addition to blistering speeds, OWC designed ThunderBlade to be durable and includes a ballistic hard-shell protective case with the drive. ThunderBlade can operate in temperatures ranging from 10°C to 65°C (50°F to 95°F), measures 3cm x 12.3cm x 7.5cm (1.2in x 4.9in x 7.5in), weighs 0.7kg (1.8lbs), and supports both Windows 10 and macOS 10.13 or greater.

The OWC ThunderBlade is available to purchase from several online retailers, at the following prices:

  • 1TB: $1,200 USD
  • 2TB: $1,800 USD
  • 4TB: $2,800 USD
  • 8TB: $5,000 USD

And since you can daisy chain up to six devices together, your total storage tops out at 48TB for $30,000—a good chunk cheaper than the G-Technology G-DRIVE Pro SSD Western Digital announced yesterday.

To learn more about the drive, head over to the OWC website or dive into the user guide here.