The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G is an exceptional product with class leading performance and a reasonable price point. The only problem we really have at this time is all of the unknowns about future products. To date only OCZ and OWC have released products based on the SandForce SF-2281 controller, but we know more are on the way. The day I was writing this article OCZ announced a new model called Max IOPS. The new Max IOPS version increases the IOPS from 60K to 75K in the 4K block size.
Last year we had standard and High IOPS models and the real world difference for typical consumers wasn't very large at all. To be honest, you really couldn't see or feel the difference unless you were benchmarking the drives and even then you had to look really hard for it. I can speculate that will be the case this year, but I'm not prepared to go that far out on the limb before seeing a Max IOPS drive. Thankfully one is on the way!
The next area we have to warn about is the price and how it also relates to the accessory bundle. The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G is basically the same drive as the OCZ Vertex 3 when it comes to the hardware internals, but at the time of writing it costs a hair higher. More disturbing is the lack of a desktop adapter bracket. This really only affects PC desktop users, though, since notebook users don't need a desktop adapter and MAC users need a special MAC bracket. Still, PC Desktop users make up a large portion of target audience for this product.
As it sits now, the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G is in a limited class of products that outperform all others on the market. As time goes on, the limited portion of that statement will fall to the way side, but we don't see anything on the horizon that can dethrone the SF-2281 controller based products. With 550MB/s read and 500MB/s write performance it will take awhile before the competition catches up. Look for 2011 to be dominated by SandForce.
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