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?
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)