OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCIe SSD Wicked Media Transfer Times and Price Drop

Of all the e-mail we receive, perhaps the most surprising are the number that are dedicated specifically to PCIe SSD Cards.  Which has the most capacity?  Will this work for such and such?  Would you trust this for the long-term?  What is the best bang for the buck?  Questions with respect to PCIe SSDs continue to hit our inbox daily, so much so in fact, that we thought we might answer the most frequent question that we see. That is what we might select if we were to be looking at a consumer level PCIe SSD, bordering on enterprise, with great power yet at a great price.  Quite frankly,the SSD that fits the bill here is definitely the OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCIe SSD.

OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 480GB PCIe SSD FrontThe OWC Mercury Accelsior line were first introduced by OWC way back in May of 2012 where it became the first upgradeable PCIe SSD to hit the streets.  That SSD was the first to put two LSI SandForce SF-2281 flash processors to the test in RAID 0 and our testing resulted in speeds up to 749MB/s that broke the SATA barrier.  Believe it or not, that SSD continues to have enormous success and, checking the OWC website at the time of this report, the Mercury Accelsior is available for the lowest we have seen it yet at $549, discounted $200 from its regular price. Quite frankly, that is a wicked price for this SSD.

OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 480GB PCIe SSD E2

In early 2013, OWC improved upon the success of their original design by adding dual eSATA ports for additional storage, up to 32 TB of additional storage for that fact.  Much the same as the original release, OWC tried to hit key points that would ensure that this SSD stood above the rest.  The first obstacle they were able to tackle was that of installation, something that can intimidate just about anyone.  Good news for all was the fact that the Mercury Accelsior family is pretty much as plug and play as you can get; no driver installation is required.  Simply plug the Mercury Accelsior into an empty PCIe X4 slot, reboot and that’s it.

OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 480GB PCIe SSD Extra

Next up on deck was the fact that the Mercury Accelsior needed to be bootable for it to succeed and OWC seem to have done one better.  The Mercury Accelsior takes only seconds to boot into the OS and working in just about any software provides an instant response.  It will boot into Mac or PC’s without effort and compatibility also includes Linux.  Top that with a 3 year warranty to boot (small play on words).


Performance of the OWC Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD has been solid since its first release.  Using ATTO, we are able to reach as high as 749MB/s and the steady increase of performance while file size increases is the mark of a solid SSD.

OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 480GB PCIe SSD ATTO

The tale of the tape for media professionals, however comes from the transfer of incompressible data.  Our AS SSD testing displayed some great throughput and IOPS for the Accelsior_E2 we had on hand:

OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 480GB PCIe SSD AS SSDOWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 480GB PCIe SSD AS SSD IOPSEven more surprising though were the great .ISO and Gaming Transfer speeds shown with the AS SSD Copy Benchmark:

OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 480GB PCIe SSD AS SSD Copy Bench

We were so impressed by these speeds that we thought we might do some media file transfer speed tests of our own.  For our test, we placed a number of media files on the Accelsior and copied them from one folder to another:

Media Transfer Times

If you think moving a 25.5GB folder in less than a minute and a half is fast, try keeping track of the time for a HD movie.  It took us 6 tries before we trusted our own accuracy as it was so fast.

Checking out the OWC website, we can see prices at $159 for the Mercury Accelsior_E2 alone (without SSDs), $299 for the 120GB, $391 for the 240GB, $569 for the 480GB and $1029 for the 960GB and these are excellent prices especially considering all that has gone into this SSD.  There is no question whatsoever why both versions of the OWC Mercury Accelsior earned our Editor’s Choice Award.  These are amazing PCI Express SSDs.

Editors Choice-SSD copy Opt


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    If you could get a Plextor M6e 512GB for 490€ or an OWC Mercury Accelsior 480GB for 500€ which one would you choose?

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      The Plextor M6e would have to include an adapter and, at least in the US, this Accelsior SSD is $569 from OWC directly, which is significantly less. Add to this the fact that there is dual high speed eSATA with the ability to add on up to… I believe it is 32TB of storage.

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    Thanks Les,
    I’m one of the people writing to ask whats the best, will it work, yada yada yada. I just purchased this unit and will be putting it in a Dell R710 Server that I’ll load up with Server 2012 R2. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

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      Excellent…and congratulations.

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      I will call OWC tech support in the morning, but I’m not finding much on their web site to answer questions and that makes me a little nervous that I won’t get much of a response. I received the Accesior_e2 today. I carefully unwrapped it and put it in my Dell R710. When I booted I went into the Raid controller and changed it to a RAID 1. On the next boot it went past the raid setup fine, but then when it got to “Initializing UEFI” it just sat there……wouldn’t proceed past that. Any thoughts on using a PCIe drive with UEFI?

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        There shouldn’t be any reason for your bios/UEFI to hang so long as the initial OWC bios completed successfully. Have you by chance tried same after changing it back to RAID 0 on the next restart, and exploring whether it may be a bug between RAID configs?

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        I am, sadly, returning the Accelsior today. I was on tech support yesterday morning. There are little in the way of settings on the Accelsior, and I went into bios on the Dell and one by one turned off other items including eventually the built in RAID controller, all to no avail. OWC concluded it was not compatible with the Dell R710 even though that unit was not on their list of incompatibles.

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        Sorry about the problems and thanks for taking the time to return with your experience to assist others.


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        I just installed a 240GB one in a Dell R710 without issue. I am not using it for a boot drive but using it as the data drive to host VMs. The boot drive is a pair of 146GB drives behind the H710 controller. Check to make sure your R710 has the latest version of all the firmware on it. Mine is 6.4.0 7/23/2013 SMBIOS version 2.6.

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    Hi Les,

    I’m in the market for a new PCIe SSD device, and was pretty sure I was going to get the Accelsior. But the market now seems to be on the verge of a sea change with the advent of NVME tech like Intel’s SSD DC P3000 series. The 400 GB P3500 will sell for $599, not much more than the Accelsior 480 GB model, but with almost double the throughput speed. How do you see this?

    I wouldn’t want to buy the OWC product if it’s on the verge of being left behind by a major new development. Thanks for your thoughts on this….

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      Are you using Win 8.1? Can you wait until release? I hate recommended an up and coming product that I haven’t had in my hands, regardless if we have reviewed the big brother to that product or not.

      That product will retail for $600 whereas the P3700 is 4 times that; there has to be a reason right?

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