updated 07:50 pm EDT, Mon August 29, 2011
Up to 7x performance over hard drives
Other World Computing has announced that it is lowering the price of its entry-level 60GB Mercury Electra 6G solid-state drive. The drive uses the latest SSD technology and posts up to 556MB per second read times and 523MB per second sustain write times, more than seven times as fast as typical 5400 rpm hard drives. The drive comes in two versions (consumer and enterprise) and both are compatible with RAID 1 or SPAN configurations.
Real-world achievements are tempered in older models somewhat by the use of older SATA data busses, but the company says the Mercury Electra line can saturate any SATA speed bus including the latest SATA r3 (which offers up to six gigabits per second). OWC's line of SSDs use a technique called "seven percent provisioning" to manage data redundancies and keep the drives performing at peak speed throughout their useful like (non-TRIM SSDs often experience slowdowns over time).
The "enterprise" version, known as the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G, offers similar write and read speeds but is also configurable with RAID 0 and 10 as well RAID 1 and SPAN modes. Both the consumer and enterprise version of the drives are also available in capacities up to 480GB.
The drives are available now starting at $130, however OWC does not recommend users purchase the Mercury 6G SSD with the 2011 17-inch MacBook Pro due to an Apple issue, and also does not recommend using them in the 2008 MacBook Pro 15-inch due to its lower-speed SATA 1.0 bus. For both of those models, the company recommends the "3G" SSD drives it also sells.