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Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD — Setup and Configuration

OWC Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD card

The OWC Mercury Accelsior is a PCIe-based solid state drive (SSD) for the Apple Mac Pro (or for PCs) utilizing hardware RAID striping.

After installing the OWC Mercury Accelsior in an available PCIe slot, it initializes just like any hard drive or SSD.

The April 2013 Accelsior E2 variant also includes dual eSATA ports.

Already a RAID-0 internally

The OWC Mercury Accelsior is by itself already a hardware RAID-0 stripe; it stripes the two SSD modules on the PCIe card, and presents them as one drive to the system.

Ignore the implementation details unless you wish to change that configuration to a hardware RAID-1 mirror. That would make a 240GB Accelsior into a 120GB Accelsior (2 X 120GB, mirrored).

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Initializing the OWC Mercury Accelsior

After installation and booting, Mac OS X will post a dialog saying there is a new disk to be initialized. Open Disk Utility to proceed by clicking the Initialize button in the dialog, or cancel and then open DU yourself any convenient time.

As shown below, there are two Accelsiors installed in two Mac Pro PCIe slots (“239.9 GB MARVELL RAID VD 0 Media”). Listed under each is the volume name; these Accelsiors have already been initialized.

With a new unit, select it, then choose Erase or Partition to proceed.

Two OWC Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD cards in Disk Utility

RAID-0 striping

With two OWC Mercury Accelsiors installed, make a RAID-0 stripe or RAID-1 mirror just as would be done with hard drives, see the RAID step-by-step how-to.

For RAID-0, use the Options… button to specify a 64K stripe size. That is not necessary, but is the best choice for SSDs.

Two OWC Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD cards in Disk Utility

One reader reports that a RAID-0 stripe (Mac format) or maybe just two Accelsior cards makes Windows (via BootCamp) unhappy about booting; this is as you see it, MPG has not tested this scenario:

When two cards are present all I get is a black screen when I try to boot from a Windows drive or Even a Windows 7 install disk. A single card is fine.

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