OWC Aura 1TB PCIe SSD Review (mid-2013 & Later) – The Wait Is Over

PERFORMANCE TESTING THE OWC AURA PCIE SSD

Our initial report on the Apple SSD we removed provides an excellent comparison reference to the below benchmarks.  It is worthy of repeating that there is a slight trade off of performance between the two where four times the storage capacity is gained for slightly lower performance.  The three tests below consist of Disk Speed Test, QuickBench and ZoneBench and are laid out just as in the initial report linked above.

DISK SPEED TEST

DiskSpeedTestQUICKBENCH 4.0

OWC Aura (mid-2013) 1TB PCIe SSD Quiickbench 4 Extended Benchmark

Looking at both benchmarks, we can see that results deviate somewhat, but overall, they are pretty consistent with listed specifications.  Quite impressive is the fact that write speeds in Quickbench 4.0 are over 50MB/s better than spec.

OWC Aura (mid-2013) 1TB PCIe SSD Quiickbench 4 Standard Benchmark

ZONEBENCH 2.0

OWC Aura (mid-2013) 1TB PCIe SSD Zonebench 2 Benchmark

OWC Aura (mid-2013) 1TB PCIe SSD Zonebench 2 Random Benchmark

Both random low 4k reads and writes are within standards of today’s similar Mac comparable but we do find the low 4K read performance to be just a tad low.  We will continue to monitor to see if there is anything remotely observable and we will post an update if so, but don’t hold your breath as such is the norm for Mac systems.

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Gunnar Lindberg Årneby
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Finally! But … its also worth noting that you can get affordable original Samsung, Toshiba and SanDisk MBA compliant SSD sticks on AliExpress these days. 256GB for less than $400 including free shipping worldwide. 1TB approx $800. Or buy them in bulk at Alibaba for even better prices (taxes and customs not included though).

Les@TheSSDReview
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Yes that is true but, even on Alibaba the price for same capacity is higher and without the comfort of that support and warranty. Thanks!

James5mith
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James5mith

Still a bit wary of any drive that uses RAID0 internally.

LiveJoX
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LiveJoX

Exactly. If one drive or the controller fails, all is lost. Not good.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

We speak as if a RAID volume is something new…. lol. I wouldn’t hesitate to run any system with this, keeping in mind the same safeguarding of data as should be considered for any system.

In fact, it is the main drive of my MBA right now so I guess that speaks volumes in itself.

foljs
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foljs

Whether it’s new or old technology is irrelevant. The question, as the parent commenter put it, is whether this makes it doubly likely for the drive to go crap itself. > In fact, it is the main drive of my MBA right now so I guess that speaks volumes in itself. No, it doesn’t say anything to answer the question really. A drive with twice the error rate or half the self life as another can very well be the main drive to a laptop. That doesn’t change its shortcomings. Not does the fact that we should backup our stuff… Read more »

disqus_13eAbPMvnO
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disqus_13eAbPMvnO

Transend makes an SSD for my MBP 10,1 early 2013. So OWC is not the only player in town. I’d like to see a review of that drive on here as well.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Yes this is a 6,2 replacement which I am not aware of Transcend having out just yet. I could be wrong but haven’t seen it….hence the mid-2013 and later notation. We are always here to review all that comes along though! Tx!

mbpjedi
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mbpjedi

You mentioned 960GB formatted capacity but looking at the QuickBench images it says Volume Size 893GB which jives with OWC’s own stated spec of formatted capacity of 894GB. Which is it? And if it is the lower that’s a hefty hit of over 10%. 894GB of usable capacity for something marketed as a 1TB drive? That’s pushing it.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

There was an err in the report which has been amended and you are correct; it is 893GB formatted. I also understand your thoughts on this available volume being a bit short to advertise as a 1TB drive, however this is the industry norm and has been since SSDs were first released. I don’t think you can find a single report that we have ever done where the advertised capacity matches that of the final formatted volume. For the most part, advertised volumes follow the volume before formatting, and even follow that of the total RAW memory volume in many… Read more »

Humbert Medeiros
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Humbert Medeiros

You mentioned that Boot Camp is not supported for these drives yet OWC shows a Dual Boot Enabler for Apple Boot Camp on there site. Any explanation to this? I really need to have a dual boot system on my Mac.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

This was released after our report.