Introduction & Drive Details
OWC, always known for the pinnacle of quality, is doing some premium bus-powered Thunderbolt 3 /USB 4 storage for discerning PC and MAC prosumers who demand the very best portable storage. The Envoy SX Pro is fast, very fast, as we saw when we reviewed its smaller 1TB (960GB) sibling in October. The 1TB model wowed us with some of the best performance ever seen from a portable storage device. Additionally, we were thoroughly impressed with the quality of the build. Premium portable storage through and through. Fit for a king.
The Envoy Pro SX is bus-powered, so no power brick to tote around, and with speeds exceeding 2,800 MB/s, the Envoy Pro is as fast as they come, fully capable of the demanding duties of on-set project editing. Now, speeds like that are bound to generate some heat, but not to worry. This device is premium in every way. The case is beautifully machined from a half-pound of solid aluminum. It is crushproof, run it over with your car if you want, and with all that thermal mass, it keeps the internal SDD running throttle-free. Additionally, the Envoy Pro SX is dustproof and waterproof for 30 minutes at 1-meter depth.
We didn't want to take this masterpiece apart, but we can tell you about the SSD inside. The OWC Aura P12 Pro that drives the Envoy SX to record-level performance is the result of a collaborative effort between Phison Electronics and Other World Computing (OWC). The Aura P12 Pro is Phison E12S controlled, arrayed with 96L BiCS 4 flash, and onboard DRAM for fast performance.
Jon's Test System Specifications - Intel NUC 11 Pro
Note: For USB 3.2 Gen2 x2 SSDs, we test on our Z590 system set to match our Intel NUC 11 specs (4.8GHz, 8-threads, DDR4 3200, balanced power plan).
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, ATTO & Blackmagic
Well, we have a new lab champion for a non-RAIDed portable SSD. Incredible throughput. Low QD random performance is nearing internal SSD speeds. Impressive. With low QD random performance like that, this drive can deftly tackle any task that may come its way.
100% full speed at QD4 128K transfers and a beautifully consistent pattern that doesn't show any signs of throttling as transfer sizes climb higher. Everything we want to see, including more than 50MB/s at 512B transfers.
4K 60 FPS duties? Not a problem, as demonstrated by these Blackmagic results. Again, the Envoy Pro SX demonstrates that it is the fastest non-RAIDed portable we've had come through the lab.
Real-World Testing: PCMark 10 & Transfer Rates
PCMark 10 Data Drive Benchmark
The 2TB Envoy Pro displaces its 1TB sibling for the portable data drive crown. This can be attributed to its class-leading low queue depth random performance as expressed by our CDM testing.
We brutalize our test subjects with our extremely hard-to-swallow 100GB data block. This data block is the same one we use for our internal SSD testing and is composed of more than 62K files. Incredible transfer rates, nearly as good as equivalent internal desktop SSDs can deliver. Wow.
Having already had the pleasure of reviewing the 1TB (960GB) OWC Envoy Pro SX, we can't say we are surprised by the class-leading speed the 2TB model delivers. Naturally, we like this one more, because there is more of it.
As fast as you can get, the best quality available, and its indestructible nature have earned OWC's 2TB thunderbolt masterpiece our highest award.
- Bus Powered
- Professional Grade
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for portable Thunderbolt perfection, the Envoy Pro SX 2TB stands ready to deliver.