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OWC claims fastest $100 solid-state drive

updated 06:10 pm EDT, Fri August 20, 2010

OWC Extreme Pro SSD 40GB cracks price barrier

OWC finished the week this afternoon by cracking a price barrier with the Mercury Extreme Pro. The new 40GB hits the $100 price mark but still uses a high-speed SandForce memory controller that should make it the fastest at its price. Read and write speeds can both last as high as 260MB per second, a speed normally reserved for larger capacity but also much more expensive drives.

The low capacity makes it ideal for desktops that need a fast boot drive and will hold most of their content on a second disk; OWC has an optional mounting kit to fit the 2.5-inch drive into 3.5-inch desktop drive bays or into a full 5.25-inch front bay like that in the Mac Pro. The company claims that the drive's speed won't degrade as it fills up, like with most SSDs, and that it's allegedly more efficient than using the TRIM command to optimize unused space.

Although targeted at Mac users, the Mercury Extreme Pro still works with Windows PCs and supports any system with an SATA connection. It should be available today and doesn't displace any of the existing line, which scales up to 480GB.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Mao

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010


    Faster and Cheaper than OWC SSD Drives

    The Corsair Force Series is faster than OWC SSD

    OWC is most likely buying these drives from Avant orAll Component, OWC resells their memory. products too..

  1. Manhamma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010



    Checked the NewEgg pages... how is the Corsair's before rebate price of $125 lower than OWC's $99 non-rebate price?

    Non-instant rebates bite a$$, money that there is a good chance you may never see again-- vote with your wallet and avoid MIRs!

    And faster? They're rated for the same speed both according to specs and to reviews.

  1. YangZone

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2000


    Speed is great but it might come at a price...

    Recently I put a Wintel SolidGo 48GB Expresscard SSD in my MacBook Pro to hold the boot volume. (It has the read/write specs to make it a good choice for this purpose. Most other Expresscard SSD's are not fast enough.)
    It has *greatly* increased the boot speed of the machine and also the launch speed of my main applications (Photoshop, FCP, Safari and other dogs) that are installed on it. (The main user folder is on a 1TB WD internal disk drive that I added about the same time.)

    There is a hitch. The machine runs hotter (even with no apps running). The fans kick in more frequently and, of course, battery life is down to 2 hours. Looks like I am wearing out the machine with this setup. I could *not* go back to my old setup now. Speed is addictive and speed kills.

    Anyway, nothing unusual is showing up in the Activity Monitor. (A separate fast-boot setup probably is *much* less of a problem on desktop systems.)

  1. bleee

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2002


    Your forgot to mention...

    OWC drives atleast under OS X don't need to be reconditioned.

  1. Titanium Man

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Mar 2001


    All good and well, but...

    It's way too small to hold my 55GB system partition. I must have too much junk. I gave up a bit of speed and opted for a $95 64GB Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue drive instead.

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004


    re: All good and well

    I completely agree. I have a 320GB drive in my MBP and normally run 100GB down to 40GB available at any given time. There is just no way to make this viable for me. Putting in a 480GB SSD drive is getting way too close to the price of a new laptop

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Speed is great but it might come at a price...

    Recently I put a Wintel SolidGo 48GB Expresscard SSD in my MacBook Pro to hold the boot volume.

    Is there another volume in your MBP besides the boot volume? For 48GB seems awfully small for a computer (esp. a portable one) just to gain some speed.

  1. byRyan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    read the damn comment

    come on now testudo,,, sometimes you say smart things and make a good point - othertimes you come off as a complete troll - but normally you are the one catching others slight mistakes - how bout you read the whole comment

    "(The main user folder is on a 1TB WD internal disk drive that I added about the same time.)"

    so yes, he has another drive - the boot drive is in the express card slot.

    and 40gigs is plenty for a system folder and maybe some apps as long as you tell final cut/garageband not to put all of the template and media files there, but thats about it - I wouldn't recommend putting a single non-system file on it. extra hard drive REQUIRED!

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