Other World Computing, the small company capable of big surprises and market leading innovations is back at it again. We've already reviewed the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 240GB solid state drive back in May 2010, but since then a revision was made to the PCB and now a new, more extensive revision has emerged. The new OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G has enough changes to warrant a new product name and price increase, but that isn't happening. The new drive now sports 32nm Toshiba Toggle flash, the same found in the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS and Patriot Wildfire. A new higher spec SandForce controller was also called up to play as well.
In February we covered the SandForce SF-2000 Client Launch and that article included the graph above. The SF-2282 is very similar to the SF-2281 we've seen countless times already. The up speced SF-2282 uses a different ball grid array connector count, up to 400 from 256 found on the 2281. The extra connections are used to double the byte lane count from 8 to 16. With a larger byte lane the SF-2282 controller can talk to more flash chips at a time. Implementing more flash chips is the key for additional performance. Most 2.5" SSDs already have sixteen physical chips and the limits on space are already reached. Getting 32 in a 2.5" package is a bit tricky, but not impossible as was the arrangement on the PhotoFast G-Monster V5.
The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G only uses 16 Toshiba Toggle flash chips, so seeing a major performance improvement isn't likely to happen. There are two areas where the new SF-2282 / Toggle flash arrangement do better than the previous design. 32nm Toshiba Toggle flash drives generally draw more power than their 25nm IMFT rivals, but the SF-2282 is able to tame the Toshiba flash, thus the new revision draws less power while being used than the Patriot Wildfire and OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS.
Then there is the flash itself. 32nm flash has a higher P/E rating than the IMFT 25nm flash. That means the new Mercury Extreme Pro 6G should last longer than many of the traditional 25nm flash products on the market. How much longer we don't really know, since the data hasn't been made publically available. Some forum guys are working on uncovering this information, but the results are not final at this time.
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