The Mac enthusiasts and solid state evangelists over at Other World Computing (OWC) have announced a new 2.5″ SSD with 1024GB of flash onboard. Dubbed the Mercury Electra MAX 3G 960GB SSD, it’s one of the first 1TB 2.5″ drives to hit North America.
While the ability to have 1TB of solid state storage in a 2.5″ form factor is sure to be a big selling point, the MAX also has a pretty reasonable price to boot — $1,299.99. That’s $1.27 per GB of flash on board, or $1.45 per user-available GB which means the MAX is already at half the price of some currently available 2.5″ 1TB SSDs.
Interestingly, the new OWC is two SATA II SandForce 2181 processors in a RAID configuration. Each controller is paired with 512GB of “Tier 1″ Asynchronous NAND flash. Tying it all together is Silicon Image’s SteelVine RAID controller, which handles data striping duties between the two SF controllers. OWC rates performance with both compressible and incompressible results, and the 3Gbps MAX pushes both to the 3Gbps limit. Sequential reads are listed at up to 254MB/s with compressible data and 252MB/s with random data. Writes are said to achieve 250MB/s repeating and 223MB/s with random data. After formatting and SandForce’s share of available flash, 894GB is left for users.
Two controllers in an internal RAID configuration used to be far more common, but such designs have fallen out of favor in the past few years. OWC’s experiment with the MAX could be a sign that there are more than a few Mac users looking for 1TB of solid state storage in a 2.5” drive. While 1TB drives probably won’t go mainstream until smaller NAND lithographies double the capacity of each NAND die, the aggressive pricing of the new Electra means some potential customers won’t have to wait until then.
OWC’s Mercury MAX 3G is already on sale at OWC’s storefront.