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Thunder3 RAID Station

akitio-thunder3-raid-station-angle-thumb Thunder3 RAID Station back Thunder3 RAID Station size Thunder3 RAID Station open

Thunderbolt 3
power delivery 27w
Thunderbolt 3 cable included
DisplayPort Output
Hardware RAID controller

Thunder3 RAID Station

akitio thunder3 raid station features

All-In-One Thunderbolt™ 3 Dock with RAID Storage

Expand the capabilities of your laptop and declutter your workspace with the Thunder3 RAID Station. This solution combines four essential functions every laptop user needs into one product, giving you additional storage space, providing you with important interfaces such as Gigabit Ethernet, USB and DisplayPort, recharging your battery and reading your SD cards. All this is built into a single product that connects to your laptop with a single Thunderbolt 3 cable.

  • Thunderbolt 3 for lightning fast transfer speeds up to 40 Gbps
  • Second Thunderbolt 3 port supports Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps), USB 3.1 (10 Gbps), and DisplayPort devices
  • Power delivery provides up to 27W of power to recharge compatible laptops
  • Two USB 3.1 Gen 1 host ports with Type-A connectors for older USB devices
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port supporting auto-negotiation for 1G, 100M, 10M
  • Hardware RAID controller (RAID 0, RAID 1, SPAN, Non-RAID)
  • Tool-less drive installation for 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives
  • Cooling fan with power switch for noiseless operation
  • Dedicated DisplayPort for additional 4K monitor
  • Built-in SD card reader

Thunderbolt Connectivity

akitio thunder3 raid station connectivity

Thunderbolt™ 3

Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at speeds up to 40 Gbps, creating one compact port that does it all – delivering the fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display, or data device. For the first time, one computer port connects to Thunderbolt devices, every display, and billions of USB devices. A single cable now provides four times the data and twice the video bandwidth of any other cable, while also supplying power to bus-powered devices.

The second Thunderbolt 3 port on the Thunder3 RAID Station operates the same as a Thunderbolt 3 computer port by supporting Thunderbolt 3 (up to 5 daisy chained), USB 3.1 (10 Gbps), and DisplayPort devices.

Thunderbolt 3 Dock

akitio thunder3 raid station dock

USB 3.1 Gen 1 Host Ports

The two USB 3.1 Gen 1 host ports make it easy to connect your USB devices that come with a Type-A connector to your laptop. Instead of buying an adapter or new cables, simply plug your existing USB devices into the Thunder3 RAID Station and you are all set.

Gigabit Ethernet Port

The Gigabit Ethernet interface is ideal for notebooks that require reliable, accelerated access to external storage and networks for I/O demanding applications but typically lack 1GbE connectivity or the capability to deploy an internal PCIe network card (NIC).


The dedicated DisplayPort connector makes it easy to connect an additional monitor to extend your workspace. This video output capability requires a Thunderbolt 3 connection to the computer and will free up the second Thunderbolt 3 port for Thunderbolt 3 (up to 5 daisy chained), USB 3.1 (10 Gbps), and DisplayPort devices.

SD Card Reader

A card reader for your SD cards exactly where you need it. Plug in your card and backup your media files straight to the external drive.

Hardware RAID Controller

akitio thunder3 raid station raid controller

Optimized for every environment

With the built-in hardware RAID controller, the choice is all yours! You can mirror the drives with RAID 1 as a reliable backup for your important data, you can stripe the drives with RAID 0 for optimal performance and maximum speed or you can select SPAN to combine the drives for extra large storage capacities.

OS independent RAID set

A big advantage of the built-in hardware RAID controller is that the RAID set is OS independent, so the storage drive can be moved from one system to the other with ease. Because the RAID set is managed inside the Thunder3 RAID Station, there is nothing else do be set up on the computer.

2-Lane PCIe to SATA controller

The PCIe to SATA controller makes use of two PCIe lanes. When using Non-RAID, this makes it possible for a single SSD to run at full SATA 6Gb/s speeds and deliver transfer rates in read over 500MB/s.

Reversible USB Type-C™ Connector with Power Delivery (PD)

akitio thunder3 raid station power delivery

Power Delivery (27W)

The Thunder3 RAID Station supports power delivery (PD), providing 27W of power to laptops that support charging from a 9V/3A power source (e.g. Late 2016 MacBook Pro). This allows you to recharge the battery even when the laptop is not plugged into any other power source.

Versatile Storage Solution

akitio thunder3 raid station toolless

Tool-less drive installation

For added convenience and flexibility, the Thunder3 RAID Station can accommodate both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA drives. The assembly is completely tool-less, so drives can be easily installed or uninstalled no matter where you are.

Status and Activity Feedback

akitio thunder3 raid station led

LED indication

The Thunder3 RAID Station lets you know what's going on at any time. The LED lights on the front indicate the power status and the disk activity and the LED lights on the back will show you the network speed and status when an Ethernet cable is connected.


The transfer speeds for this benchmark were obtained using the AJA System Test tool with 4GB test files at 5K resolution. These results closely reflect the real-world performance but the actual transfer rates can vary depending on the test environment

For traditional spinning hard disk drives (HDDs), depending on the RPM, the maximum transfer rate for a single drive is around 200 MB/s. When using two drives in a striped RAID set (RAID 0), the maximum transfer rate is therefore somewhere around 300-400 MB/s.

For solid state drives (SSDs), the maximum transfer rate of a single drive is around 500 MB/s and when installed in the Thunder3 RAID Station, the SSD can run at full SATA 6Gb/s speeds. When using two drives in a striped RAID set (RAID 0), the maximum transfer rate is around 700-800 MB/s. For even higher transfer rates, please consider using the AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini with four SSDs or the Node Lite with a PCIe SSD instead. 

akitio thunder3 raid station benchmark

Thunder3 RAID Station

  • T3RSAA0006Y00U (without drives)

  • CE

  • FCC

  • VCCI

  • BSMI

  • RCM

  • Thunderbolt™ technology

  • 2-year limited warranty

  • High quality aluminum for optimized heat dissipation

  • Up to two 2.5" or 3.5" SATA hard disk drives or solid state drives

  • Capacity 80GB - 12TB per drive

  • For RAID 0 and RAID 1, two hard drives of identical capacity are recommended

  • SD 4.0 (UHS-II) card

  • Non-RAID

  • SPAN

  • RAID 0 striping

  • RAID 1 mirroring

  • 2 x Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) ports

  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 SuperSpeed (Type-A) host ports

  • 1 x RJ45 Ethernet port (supports 10M/100M/1G Base-T)
  • 1 x SD 4.0 (UHS-II) card reader

  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2

  • Thunderbolt 3 up to 40 Gbps

  • USB 3.1 up to 5 Gbps

  • Gigabit Ethernet up to 1000 Mbps

  • SD 4.0 in UHS-II (Ultra High Speed II), with bus speed up to 156 MBytes/s (full duplex) or 312 MBytes/s (half duplex)

  • DisplayPort 1.2 (4K at 60 Hz)

  • Windows 7 (64-bit), Windows 10 (64-bit)

  • Computer with Thunderbolt™ 3 port

  • macOS 10.12.4 and later

  • Computer with Thunderbolt™ 3 port

  • Operating Temperature: 5°C ~ 35°C

  • Storage Temperature: -20°C ~ 60°C

  • Relative Humidity: 5% ~ 95% (non-condensing)

  • External power supply (UL, cUL, CE, TUV approved)

  • Input: AC 100-240V, 50-60 Hz

  • Output: DC +12V/10A

  • 14.5 dB(A) when fan is turned on

  • 9.38 inches x 3.35 inches x 5.78 inches

  • 23.8cm x 8.5cm x 14.7cm

  • Thunder3 RAID Station

  • Thunderbolt 3 USB-C cable

  • Power adapter

  • Setup guide

  • Retail Box Size: 13 x 10.1 x 4.8 in. (33.1 x 25.7 x 12.3 cm)

  • Carton Size (6pcs per carton): 20.8 x 15.4 x 13.9 in. (52.8 x 39 x 35.3 cm)

  • Gross Weight: 2.9 kg (retail box), 18.37 kg (carton)

  • This product was designed for use with the fan on and passed engineering tests with the fan on. We have added a fan switch that can turn off the fan when a low-noise environment is needed. However, the device should only be used for short periods of time with the fan in the OFF position as prolonged use may cause the device to overheat and this may cause damage to the system, cause issues to data integrity, reduce system reliability and/or shorten the lifespan of the electrical components. For best results, we recommend that the device not be used continuously for more than 30 minutes with the fan in the OFF position.

  • This device has to be connected to the computer via Thunderbolt 3 and it cannot be used as a NAS. The Ethernet port provides the computer with an 1GbE network connection over Thunderbolt 3 but it cannot be used to access the data on the drives over the network.

  • When using 8TB or 10TB HDDs from Seagate and connecting the device to a PC running Windows, please make sure to first install the Windows driver.

  • The DisplayPort does not support DP++. When using a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, make sure to use an active adapter.

  • This product has components or design elements that are patented or patent pending.


As a continuation of the DFIR Home Labs episode, I will review an external Thunderbolt 3 storage solution. Having a significant amount of storage space is critical for a home lab, especially for storage of virtual machines. In this video, we’ll unbox the storage array, install two disks, and walk through the setup and configuration within macOS. See More...

Richard Davis - 13Cubed (May 27, 2019)

The Thunder3 RAID Station is a wonderful device to rely on for your docking and storage needs. It does have some limitations, but when you are working with limited desk real estate, this is a great option for being able to connect your laptop to all the other peripherals in your set-up. I love the flexibility you get with being able to select your own hard drives and think it’s a really great way to set-up a workflow with a laptop. Read More...

Robyn Oglesby - MacSources (March 6, 2019)

With its wealth of ports, the Akitio Thunder3 RAID Station is both a connectivity hub and a capacious external hard drive for multimedia content creators. Read More...

Tom Brant - PCMag (May 17, 2018)

The Akitio Thunder3 RAID Station just might be the perfect hybrid desktop dock/RAID enclosure solution for you. It features a healthy amount of I/O, even somewhat elusive features like UHS-II SD Card support. It also comes with an impressive tool-less system for enclosure opening and drive installation. Read More...

Jeff Benjamin - 9TO5MAC (February 26, 2018)



Your PC may need updates for the Thunderbolt 3 ports to function properly.
For more information go to


How to install the drives, set the RAID mode and format the disks.