OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G - solid-state drive - review: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G - solid-state drive -

Cost per GB (based on current street price)

OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G (480GB)
$2.67 
OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G (240GB)
$2.29 

Performance
We test SSDs in real-world usage, both as the main drive that hosts the operating system of the test computer, and as a secondary drive, which is used only to store data. Some of our tests gauge the performance of the system as a whole and see how the drive affects its performance. Our data copy tests, however, show the drive's raw data transfer speed when used in real-world scenarios after all overheads.

As the main drive, in a boot time test, the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G helped the system boot up in just 29.4 seconds, which is about the same as the rest of the SATA 3 SSDs we've reviewed. Note that this boot time includes the time the test machine spends going through the hardware initialization, about 15 seconds. In our trials with some laptops, the boot time is much shorter, taking about 10 seconds. In shutting down, the system did similarly well, taking just 5.7 seconds with the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G. To put this in perspective, when we used a very fast hard drive as the main drive, the test system would need about 1 minute to boot up and about 15 seconds to shut down.

In our office performance test, where we time how long the computer takes to finish a comprehensive set of different concurrent tasks--involving Word, Excel, file transferring, and compression--the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G didn't help much, as the test system took 395 seconds to finish the job; the Vertex 3 took 390 seconds. This test, however, is one where the internal storage device plays a very small role in overall performance.

Similarly, in our multimedia multitasking test, which gauges the computer's performance as it converts an HD movie from one format to another while iTunes is converting music files in the background, the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G was the second slowest at 332 seconds. In this test, the Vertex 3 did better with 322 seconds.

The test that shows the drive's throughput speed is the most important of our tests, and here the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G excelled when used as a secondary drive. It scored 262MBps, which is the fastest we've seen.

In this same test, but when the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G was used as the main drive, it was comparatively slow, scoring just 128.77MBps, compared with the Vertex 3's 150.01MBps. Note that in this test, the drive had to perform both reading and writing at the same time. Though not as fast as we expected, the Mercury is still very fast compared with regular hard drives, most of them scoring around 50MBps in the same test. Even when compared with other SSDs, the Mercury is still faster than many.

CNET Labs' system performance scores (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
MMT  
Office  
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
321 
394 
OCZ Vertex 3
322 
338 
Plextor PX-256M2S
323 
383 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
323 
393 
OCZ Agility 3
331 
390 
OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G
332 
395 

Boot and shutdown time (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Shutdown  
Boot time  
Plextor PX-256M2S
6 
28.2 
OCZ Vertex 3
5.8 
29.1 
OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G
5.7 
29.4 
OCZ Agility 3
6.7 
29.7 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
7.9 
45.4 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
12.2 
56.2 

CNET Labs' data transfer scores (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As secondary drive  
As OS drive  
Plextor PX-256M2S
261 
162.03 
OCZ Vertex 3
260.71 
150.01 
OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G
262 
128.77 
OCZ Agility 3
207.75 
101.67 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
126.33 
58.05 
Seagate Barracuda XT
115.71 
51.1 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
112.59 
47.12 

Service and support
When it comes to storage devices, the length of warranty is the most important factor, and OWC delivers. The company backs the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G with a generous five-year warranty; most SSDs come with three-year warranties.

Conclusion
Add better performance as a host drive and lower the price for the 240GB and 120GB capacities a notch and the Mercury Extreme Pro 6G would make an excellent SSD for your laptop or even desktop computer. In its current state, however, the drive is still a very good investment for those who want to get the most out of their SATA 3-ready computers.

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Where to Buy See all prices

OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G solid-state drive (480GB)

Part Number: OWCSSDMX6G480
MSRP: $1,279.99 Low Price: $379.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 2.5" x 1/8H
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Capacity 480 GB