updated 12:35 am EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
Up to 480GB capacity, 500MB per second speeds
Mac accessory seller Other World Computing is now offering new Mercury Aura Pro Express solid-state drives (SSDs) in capacities ranging from 120GB to 480GB for the latest (2012) MacBook Air models. As revealed through a teardown of the latest Air, the connectors on the factory-supplied SSD are slightly different from the usual connectors, but the new drives are compatible exclusively with the two June 2012 MBA revisions.
The SSDs are available in 120, 180, 240 and 480GB models, and all make use of OWC's provisioning scheme (which reserves around seven percent of disk space to avoid fragmentation and more evenly distribute writing, a technology the company calls DuraWrite), essentially the company's answer to TRIM. The technique features more intelligent block management and wear levelling that mitigates the gradual slowdown often seen in older flash drives.
The drives are all 6Gbps rated, and use synchronous toggle NAND to match read and write speeds to the SSD processor's clock signal, which the company says increases throughput. On the new 2012 MacBook Airs, the speed should reach up to 500MB per second, an improvement even over the new and improved SSDs provided by Apple, which reach read speeds of 461MB per second and write speeds of 364MB per second.
The drives cost $168 for the 120GB drive, $225 for the 180GB drive, $320 for the 240GB drive, and $645 for the 480GB drive. All models come with a three-year warranty. The tools needed to open the 2012 MacBook Air models and instructions are provided as well.