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OWC Mercury Envoy Pro EX 1TB USB3 SSD

MPG tested the 1TB Envoy Pro, part number OWCENVPROU3S960. About $545.
A similar product is available as a 1TB internal SSD upgrade for certain models of MacBook Pro.

OWC Mercury Envoy Pro dimensions

A compact form factor and high performance made the OWC 480GB Envoy Pro EX a favorite travel drive for MPG (DIGLOYD).

With bus power provided by the supplied short USB3 cable), it’s an ideal on the go drive—no power cable needed. Store the drive and its cable in the soft cloth pouch (included) and it can stow just about anywhere*.

Now OWC now introduces a 1TB capacity Envoy Pro in the same form factor, but at double the capacity and at a far lower price per gigabyte.

At about $468, it represents excellent value for its combined performance and compactness.

* Travelers: never store it with your laptop, since if the laptop is stolen, the drive is also stolen. Store in a pants or jacket pocket or anywhere but the bag containing the laptop.

Mac or PC, iPhone/iPad accessories, more!

Overall

The OWC Mercury Envoy Pro EX 1TB is a super-slim, fanless, USB3 bus-powered external SSD utilizing an OWC Mercury Aura Pro SSD module*.

  • Ultra light, weighed at 106 grams, 126 grams with supplied USB3 cable.
  • Easily fits into a pocket.
  • Power and data with one USB 3 cable.
  • No noise, no vibration, no heat.
  • Consistent high performance at all I/O transfer sizes.
  • Works on any Mac with USB3 (all Macs except Mac Pro as of May 2013).
  • Backward compatible with USB2 on older Macs (but USB2 is molasses-slow).
OWC Envoy Pro 1TB, showing the flash module used internally

Performance

The Envoy Pro 1TB was tested using its supplied USB3 cable, connected directly to a USB3 port on the 2013 Mac Pro. Diglloyd Tools DiskTester was used for testing.

Speeds shown are real world performance through the OS X file system.

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Large transfers

Performance for very large transfers is consistent in a tight band around 356 MB/sec, and exactly the same when writing high compressible zeroes or incompressible random data. Writes speed is the same as read speed (< 1% difference).

The Envoy Pro EX 480GB tests faster, at around 430 MB/sec, but its speed drops with incompressible data. The 1TB model delivers a consistent 356MB/sec with any type of data.

Tested using diglloydTools DiskTester.
disktester fill-volume --xfer 128M

disktester fill-volume drive speed across the drive capacity
OWC Envoy Pro 1TB

Speed vs transfer size

Performance for 32K transfer sizes is an important metric for some uses, so the results shown in the ~150MB/sec range are excellent. Peak performance is reached with 512K or larger transfers, which is typical.

Tested using diglloydTools DiskTester.
disktester run-sequential-suite --iterations 5 --test-size 4GB

disktester run-sequential-suite — speed vs transfer size
OWC Envoy Pro 1TB
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