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OWC ships 6Gbps SSD for MacBook Air

OWC announces the availability of a new solid-state drive for the 2011 MacBook Air that supports SATA 3 (6Gbps).

The new 6Gbps MacBook Air replacement SSD from OWC
The new 6Gbps MacBook Air replacement SSD from OWC OWC

OWC announced today the Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G solid-state drive (SSD), which it claims to be the first on the market that fits inside the new MacBook Air (version 2011) and offers the latest SATA 3 (6Gbps) standard.

Just in case you don't know, the new MacBook Air is known to support the latest SATA 3 (6Gbps), which offers a top data rate of around 500MBps. However, the laptop's stock SSD supports only the slower SATA 2 (3Gbps) standard. This means, despite how quickly the machine currently boots and performs, the drive could be the bottleneck that keeps the Air's performance from being potentially higher. Since the Air uses a nonstandard SSD that resembles a system memory stick more than a standard SSD, the 2.5-inch laptop drives on the market can't be used as a replacement. And this is where OWC's new Aura Pro drive fills in.

OWC says that the new Aura Pro Express 6G SSD is designed to work with both the 11.1-inch and 13.3-inch models of the new MacBook Air. It uses a SandForce controller and Tier 1/Grade A Toggle Synchronous NAND and can offer about four times the performance of the Air's stock SSD. On top of that, according to the company, it provides up to 100 times the data protection of an ordinary SSD by combining the highest level of Error Correction Code and SandForce RAISE technology, along with 7 percent overprovisioning.

The new SSD is available now and, you guessed it, it's not cheap, costing around $345 and $600 for the 120GB and 240GB capacities, respectively.