Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Now that we have a retail sample with a SandForce SF-2200 controller on board, we can move past the Power Point slide decks and general statements about the new controller. This allows us to focus on specific products from the many Team SandForce Driven partners and start to look at where each company is adding additional value to the product.
The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G is offered in three capacity sizes; 120GB, 240GB and the massive 480GB. There is a 7% overprovision , an amount of capacity reserved for background tasks. New to the SF-2200 is the ability to disable overprovisioning, but OWC choose to keep with the proven, tried and true if you will, amount that was seen on many consumer SF-1200 products.
Looking at the chart above for the 120GB model, we see that OWC is claiming a sustained read speed of 506MB/s, a very detailed number unlike the general performance numbers given by OCZ Technology. The sustained write speed given is 464MB/s. It should be stated that the only way to achieve these very high speeds is with a SATA 6G port on a modern motherboard. Most X58 motherboards with SATA 6G provided by a Marvell SATA 6G port will not achieve the maximum speeds claimed; for that you will need a P67 generation motherboard with an Intel SATA 6G port.
All of the regular benefits of SSD technology are also found in the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G, such as low power consumption, high shock resistance and of course an ultra low data access time. The access times of less than a millisecond are what makes an SSD 'feel' so fast in your system and makes everything open or close before your finger can even come off of the mouse button.
OWC has included a three year warranty on the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G, but not included a desktop adapter bracket that we see from many manufacturers.
As you already know, pricing is very difficult to gauge when SSDs first hit the market. At launch OWC is placing the 120GB model that we are reviewing today at 319.99, the 240GB model at 579.99 and the 480GB drive at 1799.99. OCZ technology stated that their 120GB drive would have an MSRP of 249.99 and the 240GB drive will be 499.99, but we have yet to see those prices in the wild and the actual prices are closer to OWC's price list. I look for the prices to change over time, but at this time you will pay a premium for the world's fastest SSD controller regardless of which company you choose.
When it comes to actually shipping products out to customers, OWC will have 120GB drives in stock Friday the 15th. The 240GB drives will ship on the 22nd and the 480GB big boys will go out on the 25th.