As much as we believe that one of the most exciting SSD related products at CES 2014 may have been the OWC MBA 2013 SSD upgrade containing none other than the SF3700 flash controller, OWC had another equally impressive storage device on display, this being an upgrade to the OWC Mercury Helios we reviewed some time ago. In fact, that Helios remains to be a key piece of hardware in our office and is still running the Intel 910 PCIe SSD we had tested it with in our original report. Introducing the new OWC Mercury Helios 2…
The Mercury Helios 2 builds on the original Helios by increasing the available PCIe storage slots to two, and upgrading to dual ThunderBolt 2 ports which pushes performance up to an incredible 20Gb/s. OWC had a functional Helios 2 on display that contained two OWC Accelsior PCIe SSDs for a top speed of 1.1GB/s as seen here:
The back of the helios two contains no more than the power input and two ThunderBolt 2 ports, the second of which can be used to daisy chain up to 6 devices. Listening to the unit on display, we could see fan cooling to the front, however, it was remarkably silent. The Helios 2 also comes with a one year warranty, should be available soon and pricing can be expected around the $479 mark.
Although this device is fully compatible with any ThunderBolt equipped hardware, it is particularly key to those graphics professionals who manipulate media on a regular basis and have need for such an external storage device. Being able to transfer data at speeds in excess of 1GB/s can increase work productivity significantly.