OWC's ThunderBay Flex 8 looks like a Mac Pro and adds bays, expansion galore

Thunderbay Flex 8 Video Workstation
Thunderbay Flex 8 Video Workstation (Image credit: OWC)

What you need to know

  • The OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 is now available for order.
  • It adds space for more storage and expansion cards.
  • The tower connects to your Mac via Thunderbolt 3.

If you've somehow managed to fill a Mac Pro or need to expand any other Mac, OWC has the answer in the form of the ThunderBay Flex 8. And it helps that it looks a bit like an old Mac Pro, too.

Connecting to your Mac via Thunderbolt 3, the ThunderBay Flex 8 offers eight SATA drive bays for additional storage as well as a further four spaces for M.2 NVMe sticks as well. But wait, there's more!

Here's everything the ThunderBay Flex 8 has to offer. Take a deep breath if you're reading aloud!

Flexible Storage

  • Eight drive bays: maximize 3.5" SATA/SAS1 bays for up to 128TB of capacity
  • Future ready: top four bays can alternately use U.2 SSDs and you can create a hybrid config with real world speeds up to 2750 MB/s
  • Powerfully easy RAID: Easily design your RAID config to your exact specs with SOFTRAID

Docking Flexibility

  • Connect more: (1) USB-C and (2) USB-A 10Gb/s ports for peripherals and mobile devices
  • See more: DisplayPort 1.4 for connecting up to an 8K display4
  • Fast media ingest: front-side SD 4.0 and CFexpress card readers with up to 985MB/s speed
  • Do more: second Thunderbolt 3 port3 for daisy chaining devices or additional display(s)

Predictably, none of that comes cheap. The ThunderBay Flex 8 can be yours for $1,299 if you just want the enclosure. Start adding things and the price goes even higher – quickly.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.