Faster Interface, More Functionality

Review by Erik Vlietinck

The T4 Thunderbolt 3 is CalDigit’s newest RAID storage solution. In addition to the Thunderbolt 3 interface, the new T4 comes with a DisplayPort that allows you to connect to any monitor with a resolution of up to 4K@60Hz. It also has the ability to charge an attached laptop through the Thunderbolt 3 port with up to 85W of power.

The new T4 is an SSD- or HDD-based hybrid RAID solution, factory configured for macOS. If you opt for hard disks inside, you can have up to 32 GB of storage space. My test unit was an 8-TB model that was factory set to RAID 5. I decided to change the RAID mode to RAID 0.

To configure RAID modes, CalDigit has a menu extension that had to be updated for the new features of the T4, and it appears that the April 19, 2018, version wasn’t entirely bug free: It formatted another one of my mounted volumes instead of the T4! Luckily, CalDigit was quick enough to release an update. Still, backing up before installing software that tampers with hardware is always best.

As for the new T4’s performance, not too much has changed. That’s partly due to the fact that you can’t get more out of a SATA hard disk than the upper speed of the disk and the interface itself—700-MB/sec in RAID 0 is quite good. If you install SSDs instead of the hard disk drives my test unit came with, performance may improve somewhat, but it will, of course, never achieve the speed you’d get from an M.2-connected SSD RAID.

The DisplayPort on the back of the device drove a 5K monitor without problems, and the MacBook that was hooked up to it also charged fine with the unit in standby mode. ■