We are starting to get overloaded with these new mainstream drives that use SandForce SF-2281 controllers paired with asynchronous flash. These products are just coming in from every angle and I'm starting to get the feeling they'll outnumber the faster synchronous drives in terms of total SKUs offered in total by the Team SandForce manufacturers. This is good news for the mainstream market looking for good, actually, above average SSD performance, but not so good for those looking for the ultimate performance found with synchronous flash SandForce drives.
If you've been following my latest reviews then you know I'm a bit twisted on these new mainstream SandForce drives. Don't get me wrong, I do understand they are not made for the enthusiast crowd looking for bleeding edge performance, but in many cases the price difference between the good async drives and the exceptional sync drives isn't that great.
Today we're looking at the OWC Electra 240GB which sells at OWC (macsales.com) for 459.99 USD, a full 100 USD less than the enthusiast class Mercury Extreme Pro 6G. Both drives use the same SandForce SF-2281 controller, but differ on the type of flash used and the difference in flash has a large impact in the level of performance possible in real world tests and when working with incompressible data.
Today we'll look at both of these drives since we now have a retail OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G and a matching capacity Electra 240GB.