OWC Envoy Pro FX SSD review: Speedy cross-platform T3/USB external storage

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Ultimately, USB 4 ought to render the excellence between Thunderbolt and USB largely moot. That’s the hope at any price. For now, in order for you the scintillating efficiency of Thunderbolt 3 when it’s accessible, and the compatibility of USB when it’s not, you want a drive corresponding to OWC’s Envoy Professional FX. 

Design and specs

The all-metal Envoy Professional FX  is a good-looking, all-metal, slate grey enclosure that fairly properly matches late-gen Macs style-wise. At roughly 4.5-inches lengthy, 2.75-inches vast, 0.6-inches thick, and eight.6 ounces it’s a bit on the big and heavy facet, with extra the looks of an exterior 2.5-inch laborious drive than SSD.

I take into account the heft clean metallic floor tactilely pleasing. Non-skid runners on the underside maintain it secure on the desk, and the mass of metallic distributes warmth properly—the Envoy Professional FX was barely heat to the contact below heavy use. 

One finish of the drive is residence to a clearly labeled Kind-C port (sporting the Thunderbolt brand and “USB 3.2 10Gbps”). That assures that in the event you hand the drive to somebody, there might be little doubt that they are going to know that it really works with both bus. The opposite finish options the standing LED within the type of a small skinny bar.

The drive, in case the Kind-C port isn’t a clue sufficient, is Thunderbolt 3. There’s no AC jack so you may’t apply it to older Macs by way of Thunderbolt with out an AC-powered dock.

envoy pro fx front back OWC

OWC labels for each the supported switch protocols. The corporate contains teh crucial cables as effectively. 

The Envoy Professional FX makes use of an NVMe OWC Aura Professional internally and is accessible in 240GB, 480GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities for $179, $229, $319, and $499 respectively. (Word that sustained write efficiency with bigger information typically drops considerably with decrease capability drives.) OWC contains each a Thunderbolt 3 cable and USB Kind-C to Kind-C cable with a captive Kind-C to Kind-A adapter.

The drive ships with helper software program put in on an 8GB partition. The software program will provide help to format the primary partition to the file system of your selection, or you are able to do that your self utilizing Apple’s Disk Utility. You may need to copy the software program to your essential drive so you may delete the helper partition and use the complete capability. That’s what I do. Your name. 

Efficiency

Although OWC doesn’t go into it on the Envoy Professional FX’s internet web page, USB Gen 2 10Gbps efficiency is about half the marketed 2GBps you’ll see over Thunderbolt 3. These are the numbers you’ll see from artificial benchmarks corresponding to Blackmagicdesign’s Disk Pace Check and  CrystalDiskMark 6 which we ran on sister publication PCWorld’s check mattress to corroborate outcomes.

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