Today’s OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD review will mark our third such report as we watch asynchronous NAND flash memory make its appearance in the world of SSD storage. Manufacturers realize the consumer demand for value priced SSDs and believe they may have found the balance necessary to tip consumer storage sales in their favour.
For those sitting on the fence, our report of the OWC Electra SSD may just result in your purchase of a SSD sooner than expected!
A QUESTION OF VALUE
The single component that drives SSD pricing is its memory. We first realized an amazing price drop when consumer SSDs moved away from slc (single level cell) NAND flash memory to that of mlc (multi level cell). It was an amusing transition where we saw the 128GB SSD price point drop from as high as $2500, but also, the industry questioned just how long SSDs would last as they now used mlc memory limited to one tenth of the life span of the previous slc.
Since, we have further cut the total life cycle of new generation SSD memory yet another two thirds and start a new era of SSD price versus performance. Asynchronous memory does not handle incompressible data as well as synchronous memory, but it costs a great deal less. The question then becomes one of whether the consumer will observe a performance difference between the two and whether the savings will negate any effect, if any. We think you may be surprised.
THE OWC MERCURY ELECTRA SATA 3 240GB SSD
If I were to choose my favorite of all SSD packages, it would have to be that of OWCs present offering which is a far cry from the original plain cardboard box with pink foam insert they started with. The case is a single piece clear plastic design which simply clips together holding the SSD in place and fully visible on both sides.
The design is not without suggestion however, as inclusion of the transfer speed performance and warranty period might boost sales just a bit. The Electra boosts a peak data rate of 556MB/s read and 523MB/s write performance and carries a 3 year warranty. A quick look at their specifications displays their incompressible data rate of 208MB/s read and 235MB/s write which will become a point of interest as we dig deeper into the Electra.
The case itself is of a metal alloy and held together by 4 screws, one of which has the newly designed OWC security seal to prevent tampering. The blue color seems to have become the signature of OWC SSDs, and the cover speaks to all OWC drives having been designed and assembled in the USA.
OWC is so sure of their 3G Pro and 6G SSD line that they have a 100% return guarantee in place that we have yet to see elsewhere. If you don’t like the 6G SSD for any reason within the first 21 days, simply return it for a full refund with no restocking fees. Even if you pass the 21 day mark and return it within 30 days, the money back guarantee stands fast but with a 15% restocking fee.
In other words, if you have been that close to making the SSD upgrade for some time, OWC is daring you not to make the jump! You get 21 days of guaranteed free trial with their 3G Pro and 6G SSD lines and if you are not happy for any reason, your not out a penny at the end of the day. Lets take a look at the OWC SSD Comparison Chart as it is a great illustration of their Electra (async memory) on the left compared to the Pro 6G (sync memory) on the right. Note the price difference.
Pg1 – Introduction
Pg5 – HDTune Pro Testing