Plug and Pray PCIe SSD that you can upgrade; OWC's Mercury Accelsior

Subject: Storage | May 11, 2012 - 09:07 AM |
Tagged: SandForce SF-2281, PCIe SSD, owc, Mercury Accelsior, Marvell 88SE9230

For a company which used to only be known as a storage provide for Apple, OWC is really hitting its stride with the PCIe SSD market.  Their newest Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD family will come in four sizes, a 120GB for $359.99, $529.99 for the 240GB, $949.99 for the  480GB and the largest is 960GB at $2079.99.  If you can't afford the biggest version then you will love the fact that this PCIe SSD is upgradeable with mPCIe SSDs, assumedly specifically designed for the device.  These mPCIe SSDs use Toshiba 32Gb 24nm Toggle Mode MLC flash with a SandForce SF-2281 controller and you can think of the cards its self as a RAID card; essentially it uses a Marvell 88SE9230 to put the two SSDs into RAID0.  SSD Reviews testing of the 480GB model saw sequential reads and writes hit well over 500MB/s. Don't expect to boot from this card but the upgradeablilty and ease of installation certainly make this RAID card PCIe SSD combination very attractive.

**UPDATE**  After hearing from an OWC rep, it would appear that this does not suffer from Al's least favourite attribute of PCIe SSDs, it is indeed bootable both on Mac and PC without even needing third party drivers.  You should probably back up your OS before upgrading the Accelsior though!

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"It was only a matter of time before the idea of expandable storage was introduced into the world of PCIe SSDs and, although we have seen a few prototypes in the last year, none have quite made it to market just yet. Our analysis of the OWC Mercury Accelsior 480GB PCIe SSD not only opens the possibility of upgradeable capacity sizes, but also, it just so happens to be only the second consumer targeted PCIe SSD on the market right now and is both Mac and PC ‘plug and play’ compatible."

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Source: SSD Review

A 7 year warranty on an SSD? Now we're talking enterprise class!

Subject: Storage | April 12, 2012 - 11:06 AM |
Tagged: owc, Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G, sata 6Gbs, ssd, synchronous flash, LSI, sf-2582

The OWC Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G SSD comes in four sizes, 50GB, 100GB, 200GB and 400GB, with all models sharing the same impressive statistics.  Inside you will find Toshiba Enterprise Toggle Synchronous eMLC 24nm NAND and a new Sandforce controller from LSI, the SF-2582.  As well there is a proprietary power technology called Paratus to prevent data loss from power interruptions as well as capacitors designed to handle high heat.  SSD Review liked the performance, were impressed by the price and absolutely love the 7 year warranty, which is so far unique for SSDs.

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"OWC has jumped feet first into the Enterprise space with the new OWC Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G SSD. Leveraging one of the fastest controllers on the planet, the LSI SF-2582 in tandem with Toshibas Enterprise Toggle Synchronous eMLC NAND, this SSD promises the absolute best in long term performance and endurance. OWC is also throwing in an outstanding industry-leading 7 Year Warranty with this product."

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Source: SSD Review

OWC grabs the SandForce SF-2200 controller and heads for the lead of the SSD pack

Subject: Storage | June 23, 2011 - 10:47 AM |
Tagged: ssd, owc, sata 6Gps, sandforce

OWC has been around for a while, but since they were making drives for Apple they were not a common name for enthusiasts.  They've since broken free and are selling their SSD line to any and all.  The first generation was good, not outstanding but not a the back of the pack performance wise.  Their new Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 240GB is poised to take the lead though, as Legit Reviews compared it to the outstanding OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB SSD.  In this apples to apples review we see the OWC hit reads of 559MB/s and writes of 527MB/s and it took top spot in quite a few benchmarks.

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"The SandForce SF-2200 controller does all the heavy lifting, pushing out listed reads of 559MB/s and writes of 527MB/s. This is almost exactly what we saw on the benchmarks in terms of max performance so OWC was true to their specifications. Fresh off of testing the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB drive we felt others would have a tough time topping its performance but OWC came through with a drive that eked out better scores more often than not. OWC is going to garner a lot of attention if they keep putting out products like the 240 GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 6g SSD as we found it to be the best overall performing SATA III drive we have tested to date..."

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Very colourful and extremely fast; meet OWC's Mercury Extreme Pro 6G

Subject: Storage | May 5, 2011 - 01:29 PM |
Tagged: owc, ocz, ssd, 120gb, sata 6Gps, sandforce

OWC appeared on the SSD scene in partnership with Apple, though they sold drives to PC users as well.  Their current generation uses SandForce's Release Candidate firmware for the SF-2281 controller as opposed to OCZ's official firmware that is present in the Vertex 3 SSDs.  That is not the only difference, OCZ rolled their own PCB while OWC went with a design that caused a few raised eyebrows at AnandTech.  Read their full review to see how the performance evened out.

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"I still don't get how OWC managed to beat OCZ to market last year with the Mercury Extreme SSD. The Vertex LE was supposed to be the first SF-1500 based SSD on the market, but as I mentioned in our review of OWC's offering - readers had drives in hand days before the Vertex LE even started shipping.

I don't believe the same was true this time around. The Vertex 3 was the first SF-2200 based SSD available for purchase online, but OWC was still a close second. Despite multiple SandForce partners announcing drives based on the controller, only OCZ and OWC are shipping SSDs with SandForce's SF-2200 inside."

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Source: AnandTech