OWC offers one of the largest portfolios of storage solutions, ranging from the drives themselves with 2.5" and m.2 SSDs to Thunderbolt 3 solutions such as the Thunderblade, Thunderbay and Mercury lineups. Recently, OWC outed their latest solution, the Drive Dock, offered in three SKUs.
We have had our fair share of dual drive docking stations in the past. Typically, these are modest solutions low-cost solutions, plastic chassis, and entry-level hardware. OWC on the other hands has went the opposite offering their solution with aluminum trim over a plastic top, dual power switches, and activity LEDs.
On the hardware side, we have a two-bay design. VLI VL820 USB 3.1 Gen 2 hub paired with two ASMedia 1351 USB to SATA 3 bridge IC, one for each bay.
Compatibility includes macOS 10.6.8 and Windows. Additionally, OWC includes support for ChromeOS. MSRP for the Drive Dock USB-C comes in at $119.99 with a two-year warranty.
Packaging follows the white and blue colorway we have seen from OWC in the past. We have an image of the drive dock centered with drive and OS compatibility along the bottom.
The back goes into more detail with a full specification list along with the warranty.
The scope of delivery includes the Drive Dock, power cable and USB-C cable.
The top of the Drive Dock offers two-bays compatible with both 2.5" and 3.5" drives. To the right, we have power buttons for each bay activity LEDs below.
The back side includes the power input to the left, power switch in the middle and USB-C to the right.
For testing, I used a Toshiba 7200RPM HDD along with a 256GB SSD; testing was performed in macOS along with Windows 10.
Starting with macOS, the HDD reached 182 MB/s read, and 157 MB/s write.
Moving over to Windows 10, again with the HDD we see 195 MB/s read, and 196 MB/s write.
Switching to the SSD, we see 457 MB/s read and 410 MB/s write-in macOS.
Windows 10 showed slightly lower performance, 413 MB/s read, and 384 MB/s write.
At the heart of it, Drive Docks are extremely basic devices. Build quality isn't going to vary much as most vendors are using the same OEM. That said, the OWC does offer a more durable design with the aluminum chassis, and it does pair well with a Mac Mini, MacBook or iMac.
Internally, the power design seems robust enough to handle two drives booting at the same time, and in testing, I had no issues. Adding to this both slots can be powered and accessed simultaneously although when trying a Windows softRAID it did fail.
Marketing performance mentions this enclosure is capable of 700 MB/s read and 980 MB/s write, that said we were able to reach near 500 MB/s with our SSD while HDD performance touched near 200 MB/s.
Overall, the Drive Dock is an extremely well-built dock that blends perfectly with Apple, XPS and Surface platforms. On the flip side, pricing is slightly above average for a USB-C solution so be on the lookout for sales if you are in the market for a solution such as this.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: Likely the most overbuilt dual drive dock in existence, the Drive Dock from OWC is a stable no hassle solution to quick drive access.
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