OWC Mercury Electra 6G SATA 3 SSD 240GB Review – PCMark Vantage Comparison Testing and Final Thoughts

The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

If you are new to testing and considering benchmark software, this is the best you can get because the program goes well beyond the results of simulated testing as we have already done. In comparing SATA 2.0 SSDs, we have reached the bandwidth limit and the performance of most new SATA 2 SSDs is as high as it can get with typical high sequential access speeds in the area of 270MB/s read and 270MB/s write.

We needed a way to differentiate these drives and to find a method that can actually put one drive above another and this is exactly what Vantage testing does. Its tests combined can provide an accurate comparison between drives and its tests individually can assist a smart shopper in finding the best SSD for their needs.

Although we have yet to reach SATA 3 bandwidth max, there will be a number of manufacturers introducing SATA 3 drives in the next few months. Next to actual true to life testing which can take an insurmountable length of time, PCMark Vantage is the only program that can compare any SSD, side by side, regardless of SATA interface or controller in use.


The Electra had a great showing with a top transfer speed of 407MB/s in HDD Test 6 which dealt with Media Center and video recording and streaming.  The total points calculated are 62526 which puts it right in the pack of upper tier SSDs, this from a SSD with a much lower price tag.  Lets do a bit of a comparison transfer speed to transfer speed…

Both companies are going to grumble a bit but we couldn’t resist this comparison.  These are two of the first 3 SSDs of their kind released, both 240GB, both utilizing the SF-2281 processor and both utilizing asynchronous NAND flash memory.  In fact, we were so impressed by OWCs result, we had to send away for another OCZ Agility as the first was the initial offering and we just had to see both face off head to head.  Lets see how they fare on the big chart!



I absolutely love technology because it gives us the opportunity to take a stand when something new comes out, as is the case with newer lower priced SSDs incorporating asynchronous NAND flash memory.  Remaining active in several technology forums, I get a front row view of first hand opinions and let me make it abundantly clear that there were some very vocal critics to SSDs utilizing asynchronous memory.  The dust has settled though and its great to help the consumer see that manufacturers are providing us all with a choice, albeit, quite possibly at the cost of their higher end SSD sales.  We now have a category for the typical user as offered by OWC, OCZ and Corsair while the higher priced alternative remains for the ‘prosumer’ or enthusiast.

blankThe OWC Electra 6G displays exemplary performance which, in itself, should make the sale but this company has gone so much further that this becomes a no brainer.

Not only have they hit the ideal in exterior packaging and an amazing design, but they have done something that I don’t think any other has been able to do yet.

They include a 21 day ‘no questions asked’ 100% return guarantee that isn’t fine lined with a 15% restocking fee. Don’t stop there though because we have been watching OWC closely for several years now and you would be hard pressed to find any negative feedback with respect to defective drives and bad customer service whatsoever.

Editors Choice!!


Pg1 – Introduction

Pg2 – Interior Components and Test Protocol

Pg3 – ATTO, Crystal DiskMark and AS SSD Benchmarks

Pg4 – Anvil Storage Utilities Beta

Pg5 – HDTune Pro Testing

Pg6 – PCMark Vantage Comparisons and The Verdict!


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