For those of us still with pre-Thunderbolt Mac Pros or Xserves (or Hackintoshes), there are not a lot of inexpensive choices for getting super fast data access onto our machines. Sure, you can buy a SATA 3 hard drive like my favorite Samsung 830 series, but the built in SATA 2 on these old machines is a bottleneck that will “only” yield 250 MB/second read speeds.
Along comes OWC last month with its first-ever Mercury Accelsior Mac-bootable PCI SSD card that is actually a PCI-to-striped RAID SATA array. The two SATA3 cards you see above actually look like (but aren’t – don’t try it) the same super high-speed Sandforce 3 drives that OWC sells as MacBook Air updates.
By the way, the cards are a snap to install and configure. If you have ever added a PCI video card, this is the same thing. Even better, there are no drivers to install, and the drive automatically shows up as a mounted disk that can (and should!) be booted from.
How did they compare to the single MacBook Air SSDs?
Here is how they are supposed to fare:
Our real world results were not quite as spectacular due to write speeds only hitting 700MB/sec and Read speeds debuting in the high 600s.
Like any SSD, these ran cool without the use of a fan. Therefore, you will not notice any extra heat or noise coming from your machine. In fact, you will notice the quiet if replacing other Hard drives.
Overall, this is a great piece of hardware. If you are a Mac user without Thunderbolt access, we would recommend getting one of these to speed up your system in one fell swoop.
- That’s not a defibrillator, it’s OWC’s DIY SSD kit for 2011 iMacs (9to5mac.com)
- First Mac Bootable PCI SSD now available from OWC (9to5mac.com)
- Kanguru 100 128GB 3Gbps SATA 2.5″ Internal SSD for $100 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)
- OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 480GB SATA 2.5″ SSD for $599 + free shipping (9to5toys.com)
- OCZ Vertex Plus 120GB SATA 3Gbps SSD for $90 after rebate + $2 s&h (9to5toys.com)
- OWC Mercury Accelsior PCI-SSD benchmarked (spoiler: it’s >700MB/sec faasst) (9to5mac.com)
- OCZ Vertex Plus 120GB SATA 3Gbps SSD for $80 after rebate + $2 s&h (9to5toys.com)