diglloyd Mac Performance Guide

The Speed You Need

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OWC Dual-drive Features

Last updated January 31, 2011 - Send Feedback

Capacity

For users that need the maximum space, note that the Mercury Elite-AL Pro supports 1TB + 1TB drives, but the GMax Mini maxes-out at 750GB + 750GB.

My recommended hard-drive configuration for best value and best performance is the 750GB + 750GB.

For maximum performance and truly silent operation, the SSD option is slick.

Feature comparison

  Guardian MAXimus Mini Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual Mini
Max capacity 750GB + 750GB 1.0TB + 1.0TB
RAID-0, RAID-1 yes yes
Power switch no yes
Drive status via front-panel LED readout via blue/red LEDs
Menu system via front-panel LED readout none
Bus powered Firewire 800/400 port
(USB and eSATA cannot be bus-powered)
Firewire 800/400 port
(USB and eSATA cannot be bus-powered)
External power supply included yes NO, but FW800 power cable included
Fanless yes yes
Noise level silent with SSDs drive noise with hard drives silent with SSD, drive noise with hard drives
Stacking friendly yes, but form factor not as stable for stacking very stable flat form factor
LED front readout and menus yes no
Weight (dual Seagate 750GB) 693g 809g
Weight (dual 200GB SSD) did not check this configuration 746g

Suggestions for improvement

There is room for future improvements:

  • Both units would be more compelling with USB 3.0 instead of sluggish USB 2.
  • For SSD performance, SATA 6G would be a huge boost in performance; SATA 3 Gb/sec can just barely support a single SSD, let alone dual SSDs.
  • A port multiplication interface would allow the computer to see independent drives for a variety of other possibilities (eg two independent drives, software RAID, etc).
  • Would be nice if the Elite-AL Pro Mini also included the external power supply.
  • The Elite AL-Pro Dual Mini had no documented way in the printed manual to switch between RAID-0 and RAID-1 (the GMax Mini has it in its menu system and printed manual). I was able to make it switch modes by deducing the position of the DIP switches internally, but this should be properly documented in the manual (update: OWC says the manual will be updated to address this).

The Speed You Need

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