Going into this article we knew that the OWC Mercury Extreme Enterprise SSD would be a high performer, but with all of the recent hype about firmware and favorites we didn't know if the mass production FW would start to send performance in the opposite direction. Luckily for consumers the hype was just that, hype. I have another term for it, but we will reserve the obstinacies for when we have all the drives in for testing.
That said and hype aside, the OWC Mercury is available now to order and we know they are shipping to consumers. The performance is class leading in many real world tests and the price is lower than most of what we have seen on the market all ready. Those two items alone put the OWC Mercury at the top of our list of SSDs to purchase but then you mix in the fact that OWC offers a class leading warranty and…well, we have a winner, or at least a product that has shown itself to be in the lead at this leg of the race.
The SSD market has a lot of competition and things change rapidly. Just a few months ago we were singing the praises of Indilinx, then Crucial with their SATA 6G drive featuring a Marvell controller and now SandForce. We are now hearing rumors of Indilinx's Jetstream getting closer and we can't forget what is going to happen once companies really start to dig into the firmware of all the new drives. Still, at this time the OWC Mercury has a lot going for it and it is not limited to performance alone.