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OWC expands quad-interface portable RAID for HD or SSD

updated 08:40 pm EDT, Thu July 28, 2011

Offers room for two 2.5-inch drives; RAID-0 or 1

Other World Computing has expanded its Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini bus-powered RAID options with two new HD-based and three new SSD-based pre-configured choices for up to two terabytes (2TB) of capacity using either Firewire 800, Firewire 400, USB2 or eSATA connections to achieve transfer speeds up to 300MB per second. The RAID unit is remarkably compatible all the way back to Apple OS 8.6 (using Firewire 400), and all the way up to Mac OS X Lion, as well as Windows 98SE and higher.

The plug-and-play unit has the capacity for two 2.5-inch standard-sized HD or SSD units, configured as either RAID-0 "stripe" for maximum performance or RAID-1 "mirrored" redundancy. The unit comes complete with interface cables for all four possible connections as well as a Mac and Windows software bundle of add-on utilities -- including Prosoft's Data Backup 3, Carbon Copy Cloner and InTech's SpeedTools 3 for Macs, along with NovaStor's NovaBackup for Windows.

Customers can order the unit empty ($85, or $98 with the software bundle), or pre-configured. The new configurations to the lineup include two 320GB 5400rpm hard drives with a 16MB buffer for $160, two 500GB 5400rpm hard drives with a 16MB buffer for $190; also available are three SSD-based choices using the company's own Mercury Electra 6G SSDs, with options such as two 240GB drives included for $520, two 480GB drives included for $1,050 and two 960GB drives included for $1,920.

The SSDs the company sells "lose" seven percent of their potential capacity for "over-provisioning" and cell management, meaning they are actually 256GB, 512GB and 1024GB drives, but trade some space for consistent lifetime performance and better data management.

The Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini features system status LEDs, nearly-silent fanless heat dissipation, a protective shock isolation system and weighs just 1.7 pounds with SSDs (1.75lbs with traditional hard drives). The dimensions are 5.6 inches by 6.1 inches by 1.1 inches. All ten potential configurations are now available for order.

by MacNN Staff



  1. simnick

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This would be amazing with thunderbolt. I would gladly pay +100 for thunderbolt, esp if there were two SSD in here.

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shouldn't have to pay $100

    I think $100 for the interface is way too high. The cost might be in circuit board space of power requirements but this other article,, talks about a smaller TB chip in the MacBook Air that might work in OWC small RAIDs. I'm not sure if the TB part in the computer is the same as one in a peripheral (could be since they are bi-directional) but if they are, this chip, even though it might be limited, should be small enough to fit into one of these cases. I'll poke around and see if one of those magic websites has broken down the construction cost of the new Macs to see if they have a price for TB chips.

    I second your motion to add TB. I use OWC external drives all the time and having a small, lower cost RAID for video editing would be very nice (OWC sells the Promise TB RAIDs, you have to search for them).

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: thunderbolt

    Well, they probably felt it wasn't worth the cost and time to wait until chip makers and other peripheral device makers finally get around to making thunderbolt bridges, not to mention making sure Apple's (and anyone else who might someday put it out) implementation actually works.

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