We should also thank the Electronista for breaking the news as this allowed us a bit of leverage with respect to early release of this article. As a bit of a bonus, lets mix in some ‘first shots’ of the new Aura to enhance the OWC news even a bit more!
If you have been following our coverage of the new MacBook Air and our SSD Performance Analysis of both stock MBA SSDs, you will know that I am relatively new to the Mac world and, as much as there are many significant benefits to owning a Mac, there are equally as many ‘quirks’ that just get under your skin. Of course there are the little things like why I can’t get any sort of a right mouse click working with Windows 7 in my dual boot MBA and have to always use an external mouse, or, the fact that the ONLY way to upload my new vacation pictures is through iTunes and, even then, I can’t delete them from the IPAD. Let’s not even start to discuss trying to remove Apple’s pentalobe screws without the proper tool.
The most annoying Mac trait, however, speaks directly to this release and lies in the fact that Mac is just so @#$% proprietary in both its OS and hardware. Simply, one cannot just grab any SSD and throw it in a new MacBook Air and, in fact, a 2010 and 2011 SSD from a MacBook Air will not even work in the new 2012 version. It seems that Apple wants to make it as difficult as possible for third party SSD vendors to have a piece of their pie. OWC intends to change that!
The new Mercury Aura Pro 6G SSD is a tried and true “LSI SandForce Driven” MBA 2012 compatible SSD, available in capacities of 120, 180, 240, and 480GB, and pricing for each can be found at the OWC Product Page. Performance of the Aura Pro is the typical 500+ MB/s read and write transfer speeds and the drive comes with a three year warranty from OWC.
The key here lies in the fact that, for you LSI SandForce lovers, the only way to get a 240GB or higher product capable of these speeds is through OWC as they are not available in stock MBA’s at this time. Although it can’t be officially confirmed, all MBA’s that we know of to date with 64 or 128GB SSDs are ‘LSI SandForce Driven’ Toshiba SSDs while all capacities above that (in stock systems) appear to be Samsung.
Our recent report compared both SSDs and held this conclusion which becomes a case in point when considering the Aura Pro Upgrade:
“The LSI SandForce Driven Toshiba is showing its colors right off and bringing in excellent performance of 551MB/s read and 523MB/s write while the Samsung sits just behind with 507MB/s read and a high of 460MB/s write. These results were expected as SandForce controlled SSDs excel in highly compressible data testing which is the bread and butter of typical consumer use.”
Stay tuned later in the week for our upcoming review of the OWC Mercury Aura Pro 6G SSD where we take you through the complete migration using Carbon Copy Cloner, only to have our system running at it’s peak and get reminded that it’s time to return the Aura!