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OWC Mercury Electra 960GB — Introduction
Related: backup, Mac Pro, Other World Computing, RAID, RAID-0, SSD, storage
The OWC Mercury Electra is a 2.5" SATA 3G drive for any Mac or PC.
The Electra delivers high performance, though not as high as a 6G SSD on a 6G port. But this is immaterial for many uses because the ~250 MB/sec performance is already well beyond the needs of most programs.
Available in capacities of 30/60/120/240/480/960GB, the 960GB model of the Electra offers a solution that very few SSDs can match: double the capacity of most everything else, all with very high performance.
- 960GB of fast SSD storage in any Mac in a standard 2.5" form factor.
- 960GB of fast SSD storage for any scenario for which speed, low power and quiet operation are desired.
The 960GB Electra 3G is fast— for both compressible and incompressible data, very high data rates are maintained, in the ~ 250 MB/sec range.
The speed comes from the fact that internally, the Mercury Electra 960GB SSD is actually a RAID-0 stripe of two SSD devices (with two Sandforce controllers).
While the Mercury Electra 3G SSD is a SATA II 3Gbps device, its data rates for incompressible data (JPEG, PSD, TIF, video, etc) remain not far off the limits of the SATA II ports in the Mac Pro, and compare favorably to single 6G SSDs with respect to incompressible data transfer speeds. And since the Mac Pro has SATA II ports, the 960GB Electra 3G is a great choice for high capacity, and at a substantially lower cost than the higher performing Mercury Accelsior 960GB PCIe SSD.
Single or dual drives in a Macbook Pro
The 960GB capacity solves a storage problem for harried on-the-go road warriors who want to take it all with them. It also can be used in a RAID-0 stripe or fault-tolerant RAID-1 mirror (but keep solid backups with a RAID-0 stripe, no matter what brand or kind of drive!).
You can install the 960GB Electra 3G SSD in any Mac except the MacBook Pro with Retina Display*.
One might choose a single 960GB Electra and find that sufficient in a Macbook Pro (non-Retina). However, one can remove the optical drive, making space for a second internal drive using the OWC Data Doubler,
- 1.92TB RAID-0 stripe for high capacity and high performance.
- 960GB RAID-1 mirror for fault tolerance.
- Main drive plus a clone backup or a Time Machine backup volume.
- Main drive plus a second 960GB of overflow storage.
OWC Drive Dock for backup drives or extra storage.
USB-C about $119
USB 3.1 about $75
Thunderbolt 2 + USB about $180
In a Mac Pro
The Mac Pro has 4 standard bays. The two optical bays provide 1 or 2 additional connectors. Scenarios as large as 5.76TB of internal SSD storage are thus possible.
Need external or portable storage? The 960GB Electra is also available in the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Mini external case.