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Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.
OWC Mercury Envoy Pro EX 480GB USB3 SSD
The OWC Mercury Envoy Pro EX 480GB is a super-slim, fanless, USB3 bus-powered external SSD utilizing an OWC Mercury Auro Pro SSD module*.
- Ultra light, weighed at 108.4 grams, 126.9 grams with supplied USB3 cable.
- Easily fits into a pocket.
- Power and data with one USB 3 cable.
- No noise, no vibration, no heat.
- Runs awesomely fast.
- Works on any Mac with USB3 (all Macs except Mac Pro as of May 2013).
- Backward compatible with USB2 (but USB2 is molasses-slow).
Envoy Pro EX pricing: about $320 (240GB) or $600 (480GB) as this was written.
The Envoy Pro EX case was previously available as an external case to house the Apple SSD module once upgraded. The system switch part is easy— see How to Upgrade Your System/Boot Drive.
* Sandforce based SSD module with stated over provisioning of 7% for for long term reliability. [512GB flash memory (GB = 1024^3), volume 480GB (GB=1000^3) = 64GB (1024^3) unaccounted for]
The case is high quality aluminum (which dissipates heat really well), with a single pale blue activity light on the front of the case. It looks and feels like an Apple product.
My only suggestion to OWC is to bevel the top of the case, which feels almost sharp; the bottom of the case is nicely beveled however (see the picture).
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Noise and vibration
No noise, no vibration, no heat that I could tell.
Performance is outstanding—this performance used to be the province of internal 6G SSDs or 4-drive RAID-0 striped hard drives.
Only demanding workloads can even use this level of performance. But there are a few hyper-demanding cases; for example, multi-gigabyte Photoshop files (really huge) could be faster for save/open with something like the OWC Mercury Accelsior E2. But the differences are modest given the internal bottlenecks of Photoshop itself.
April 30, 2013, Woodstock, IL — Elegantly designed in anodized aluminum to match modern Macs and PCs, the Envoy Pro EX fits easily into a coat pocket, backpack, or briefcase for rugged mobile high performance storage and/or backup capacity.
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Bus-Powered SSD
Inside the Envoy Pro EX resides a SandForce Driven™ OWC Aura® Pro 6G SSD which offers real world sustained reads up to 436MB/s and writes up to 429MB/s. Besides offering blistering fast performance, the USB 3.0 interface can bus-power the Envoy Pro EX so an AC power adapter isn’t required.
Built To Start Fast and Stay Fast
Aura Pro SSDs utilize Tier-1 Synchronous NAND instead of commonly utilized Asynchronous NAND. Synchronous NAND enables reads and writes to be “synced” with the SSD processor's clock signal for maximum data throughput. Additionally, the Aura Pro SSD utilizes DuraWrite™ Technology and highly intelligent block management to ensure the highest obtainable endurance and reliability. As a result, the Envoy Pro EX can offer up to 100x greater protection of your valuable data than even an Enterprise class hard drive.
Complements Apple’s Best Designs
The Envoy Pro EX combines elegance and functionality into a sleek, yet rugged portable storage solution. It’s so impressive in form and function that it inspired Jim Tanous of The Mac Observer to proclaim it “absolutely beautiful and on par with the best that has come out of Jony Ive’s (SVP of Industrial Design at Apple) labs.”
“We’re very excited to add the ultra-portable Envoy Pro EX to our storage solution lineup,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “Its functionality combined with its rugged, yet aesthetically pleasing aluminum design make the Envoy Pro EX a beautiful addition to any system.”
OWC Envoy Pro EX Features:
- Anodized aluminum enclosure
- Aura Pro 6G SSD with Ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling
- USB 3.0 interface for up to 436MB/s sustained data rates
- Ultra portable:
- Size: 4.5in Length x 2.125in Width x .4375in Height
- Weight: 3.8 ounces
- Silent, fanless operation
- Bus-powered (no AC adapter required)
- Three-year solution warranty
Two Configurations Available from $319.99 MSRP
The OWC Envoy Pro EX is available immediately in two configurations offering up to 480GB storage capacity:
• 240GB Envoy Pro EX $319.99
• 480GB Envoy Pro EX $599.99