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Any fears we had that the OCZ Vertex 3’s speeds were due solely to some voodoo magic or secret deal with SandForce were unfounded. OWC’s Mercury Extreme Pro 6G—a product name that contains three too many buzzwords—goes toe to toe with the Vertex 3 in nearly every benchmark, and exceeds it in some.
Like the Vertex 3, the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G (and why not tack on “Enhanced Premium Plus” while you’re at it, OWC?) utilizes 256GB of synchronous, 25nm NAND (Micron, in our review unit). As with other SandForce drives, 16GB are reserved for redundancy and overprovisioning; the rated capacity of the drive is 240GB. Unlike the Vertex 3, the Mercury Extreme Pro comes in a sparkly blue chassis. And that’s about the only difference.
In AS SSD’s incompressible-data sequential read test, the Mercury averaged nearly 506MB/s—on par with the Vertex 3. Its sequential write speed, at 290MB/s, was 10MB/s higher than the Vertex’s. In CrystalDiskMark, though the Mercury’s sustained reads were 5MB/s slower than the Vertex 3’s, both its sustained writes and 32QD 4KB read and write speeds exceeded the Vertex’s. IOMeter’s 32QD 4KB random-write test confirms it—the OWC drive is slightly faster at 4KB random writes.
Now, the Mercury’s performance is not significantly higher than the Vertex’s, and its street price is around $10 more at the 240GB capacity—again, not significant. The Mercury is just as good a drive as the Vertex 3, if not slightly better, and we don’t hesitate to recommend it. Plus, it’s blue.
Blazing-fast SF-2281 performance; pretty chassis.
Infinitesimally more expensive than just-as-good Vertex 3
Extreme Pro 6G
|Sustained Read (MB/s) ||479.8||213.8||485.5*|
|Sustained Write (MB/s)||297.6*||248.8||289.8|
|4KB Read, 32QD (MB/s)||172.7*||129.7||171.2|
|4KB Write, 32QD (MB/s)||249.6*||229||247.4|
|AS SSD |
|Seq. Read (MB/s) ||505.7|
|Seq. Write (MB/s) ||290.95*||237.4||280.19|
|4KB Read (IOPS)||5,158||4,782||5,539*|
|4KB Write (IOPS) ||12,966||12,767||14,263*|
|Read Access (ms) ||0.15||0.09*||0.16|
|Write Access (ms)||0.26||0.27||0.22*|
|64KB File Read (MB/s)||462.17*||422.81||446.5|
|64KB File Write (MB/s)||483.07||479.53||505.3*|
|4KB Random Write||87,968.52||90,267.67*||85,144.43|
|Max Access Time (ms)||39*||57||61|
|Premiere Pro Encode Write (sec)||423||426||422*|
|PCMark Vantage x64 HDD||60,683||61,403*||59,978|
|PCMark 11 x64 SST||5,302*||4,859||5,285|
Asterisk (*) denotes highest score. Our current test bed is a 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 processor on an Asus P8 P67 Pro (B3 chipset) running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. All tests used onboard 6Gb/s SATA ports with latest Intel drivers, except 3Gb/s SATA tests, which used onboard 3Gb/s Intel SATA ports.