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OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 120GB Solid State Drive Review - The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G

OWC has moved from the one hit wonder category with their sophomore debut. Can they make it to double platinum status?

| SSDs in Storage | Posted: Apr 14, 2011 10:28 am
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Other World Computing

The Packaging

 

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This is the first time we've seen OWC's full retail package. SSDs are very resistant to shock, so there really isn't a need to go overboard with foam and an oversized box since the product is for the most part just a bare drive. The package serves its purpose well.

 

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The back side of the package is nearly identical to the front. OWC sells their drives directly to the public, so there really isn't a need to place performance information or a bunch of graphs on the package since you see the specifications when you order the product.

 

The Drive

 

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Not that it matters to most people, but OWC has by far the best looking SSD case on the market. The blue is visually appealing and the CNC cut beveled edge just adds to the look. The case is aluminum and when the two halves are put together you get a very sturdy enclosure that doesn't flex. The front sticker shows the product series, in this case the Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G. Also on the front you will see a portion of the American flag with a statement to the drive being designed and built in the USA.

 

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The back label lists the capacity, model and serial numbers as well as the firmware that was on the drive at the time of shipping. Our sample shipped to us with RC-1 firmware. This will later be changed to MP (Mass Production) firmware when it becomes available.

 

On the back of the drive we found the standard mounting points needed to install the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G in many notebook adapter brackets.

 

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On the side we found the standard mounting points needed to install the drive in many desktop adapter brackets, so you are covered on both sides with everything needed to install the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G in nearly all notebooks built in the last ten years.

 

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The SATA power and data connectors are also located where they should be, making the drive compatible with all 2.5-inch drive sleds like those found in servers and some high end desktops.

 

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Inside we found a second generation PCB designed for the new SandForce SF-2200 controller. OWC uses Micron 25nm NAND flash chips, eight on each side for a total of sixteen total. This allows the drive to reach the maximum speeds offered by the SF-2200 controller.

 

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Even though we are calling the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G a retail drive, we did find a wire soldered to the PCB. This will later be replaced with an actual trace on the PCB for the final shipping drives that you purchase. Our drive is serial number 007 and it is very common to see wires soldered here and there on early production samples.

 

I have a Tyan motherboard in my collection, serial number 002, and it has six wires soldered on it. Let me reaffirm this point; the retail drives that you purchase will not have a wire soldered on them.

 

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