jamor Nov 06, 2012

OWC Mercury Extreme Enterprise 100GB

At A Glance

The Good

The best average sustained write speeds we've seen; competitive Premiere Pro and PCMark Vantage HDD sub scores; supports TRIM.

The Bad

Primarily marketed towards Mac users.

Marketed for Macs, but this bad boy supports TRIM anyway

The SSD market is a meritocracy. Controller companies live and die on the strength of their products. Who had heard of Barefoot before its Indilinx controller pushed SSD speeds to new heights? SandForce is another promising young company whose controllers have started appearing in drives, including this month’s OCZ Vertex LE and the OWC Mercury Extreme Enterprise.

OWC markets mainly to Mac users, but don’t hold that against its SSD. It’s a modern, SandForce SF-1500-powered drive that supports TRIM. And given that OS X doesn’t support TRIM, well, we don’t even think that platform deserves performance this good.

OWC overuses the Mercury designation, but this SandForce-powered drive does it proud.

The Mercury’s average sustained read speeds don’t quite hit the level of Indilinx-powered drives like our Best of the Best Patriot Torqx, but 191MB/s average, with bursts of more than 200MB/s, is certainly nothing to sneeze at. And the Mercury really excels at writes, with average sustained writes of more than 220MB/s—the best we’ve seen. 4KB random reads and writes are reasonable, at around 5,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second), and it Premiere Pro and PCMark Vantage HDD sub scores are competitive. And the OWC Mercury does this all without cache—the SandForce controller doesn’t need it.

So why get the Mercury over, say, the OCZ Vertex LE? Well, OWC doesn’t seem to be limiting the number of Mercury drives produced. And it’s a prettier color. Other than that, it’s your call.

See comparative benchmarks on the SSD landing page.

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OWC Mercury Extreme Enterprise 100GB

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