Hello, Western Digital Data Center HC550 18TB Disk Drives.

Many months ago, GoPro videos finally plugged up my 5TB “Photos” drive. I started saving lacrosse photos on my desktop, till my M1 Mac mini’s 2TB SSD filled up. Not good.

What to do? Delete GoPro videos? Meh.

Get a RAID array? Nah. I don’t need the speed nor the failure tolerance (high availability).

Get a NAS? They all have bad reviews. I only need access to the files from my Mac mini, not from a bunch of computers. And if I needed access from my MacBook Pro (which hasn’t happened yet, ever), I could share the drive via my Mac mini. Would a NAS really add value for my use?

Get a big hard drive. This is the one. So I did.

My understanding is these are basically Hitachi drives. I hope these drives have the legendary reliability Hitachi earned a reputation for.

I put these in an OWC Drive Dock, a two-disk USB 3.1 thingy. On Amazon, it is called OWC Drive Dock USB-C Dual Drive Bay Solution (OWCTCDRVDCK). Manufacturer’s page: https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TCDRVDCK/ 

Copying 5TB of photos and videos to the drive from my (slow, 2.5” external) Seagate drive to one of these new drives takes about 16 hours (Finder estimate).

Copying that 5TB of data from the drive to itself (just to see how long it takes) takes about six minutes.

Copying that 5TB of data from the drive to the same model drive in the OWC thingy takes about 16 hours (Finder estimate). That’s disappointing.

Is this OWC thing saturating the SATA 3 bus when copying from one drive in it to another drive in it? Not. Even. Close. Disappointing.

Manufacturer OWC’s Support has told me twice that this thing supports S.M.A.R.T. disk health information on the drives in it. But my experience is that it does not.