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Finding reliable portable storage in a 2.5” sized enclosure that is also bus powered and SSD compatible is tough. OWC has created an upgradable enclosure solution with their Mercury On-The-Go Pro that is Mac and PC compatible and it can handle drives with terabytes of storage or a fast SSD. The design of the case shows off what is inside with clear impact-resistant acrylic and a cool blue light that shows off data transfer.

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Overview

There is more than one type of Mercury On-The-Go Pro. A USB 3.0 and 2.0 with FireWire 800 as mentioned above or a USB 3.0 and 2.0 only model. You could save about $50 for each configuration by opting for the latter model. Each version comes with a custom Oxford 944 or ASMedia chipsets, that insure the best compatibility with Apple and PC computers.

Get the most speed from the Mercury On-The-Go Pro enclosure by selecting a pre-installed OWC SSD drive. The 240GB model at a currently reduced price of $139.75, which includes their OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD drive. That is 6Gb per second optimized maximum SATA performance with up to 285MB per second.

A great feature set of the Mercury Electra 6G SSD is its best-in-class error correction. To accomplish this, the drive uses ECC and SandForce RAISE or redundant array of independent silicon elements technology, which adds RAID-like data protection. All data is automatically saved in AES-128 encryption format. Finally, the 240GB version comes with 7% over-provisioning, which means that it is a 256GB drive but the space is allocated to maintain high-performance and data management.

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Performance for SSDs is important to know, due to the extra cost. Knowing this data should help in the decision making process for the Mercury On-The-Go Pro with a 240GB Mercury Electra 6G SSD.

Performance:

  • Sustained Reads 6Gb/s (up to) 556MB/s
  • Sustained Writes 6Gb/s (up to) 523MB/s
  • Sustained Reads 3Gb/s (up to) 284MB/s
  • Sustained Writes 3Gb/s (up to) 268MB/s
  • Read Incompressible Data Rate (up to) 208MB/s
  • Write Incompressible Data Rate (up to) 235MB/s
  • Random 4K Read Up to 60,000 IOPS
  • Random 4K Write Up to 60,000 IOPS
  • Read Latency less than 0.1ms
  • Write Latency less than 0.1ms

OWC’s SSD drives use advanced DuraWrite wear-leveling and data block management to keep read and write performance at peak levels. SSD performance has been known over the years but now OWC has added reliability with their drives.

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What all of those numbers mean is that they are in orders of magnitude faster than a standard 5400 RPM spinning hard drive with metal platters. A standard drive would only see peak read and write data rates of 75MB per second for reads and 77MB per second for writes. That is why the SSD drive options from OWC are so irresistible. They can handle compressed 4K content, where a spinning hard drive would have a hard time keeping up.

OWC includes software with the Mercury On-The-Go Pro kit. Intech SpeedTools Utilities OEM version for Mac OS X, Prosoft Engineering Data Backup for Mac OS X and NovaStor NovaBACKUP for Windows 2000 or later. Prosoft Engineering Data Backup has helped in recovering data for me in the past, so that is a nice addition.

Having the option to power the drive via the cable that connects it to a computer makes total sense for a drive this small. No more will you need to keep track of a power brick. Plug it in, turn it on and go. Want to easily backup your Mac? This drive is Time Machine ready.

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As an owner of an OWC Mercury On-The-Go drive enclosure, I can say that it is the easiest to transport and use with all of the desktop computers and MacBooks that I work with. They include FireWire 800 and USB 3.0 cables and a travel bag to save time, money and keep everything together.

Verdict

Choosing a OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro with SSD or a 2TB hard drive, like the unit I tested, mean business with their professional grade hardware. Start building an SSD library with this enclosure combo. The Mercury Electra 6G SSD will work well in the ThunderBay 4 mini if needed in the future. The time is now to step up to a professional portable backup and file transfer external drive system from MacSales.

Pricing and Availability: Find the OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro with 2TB and triple data ports for $195 direct from MacSales.com.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5/5

Pros:

  • Multiple Drive Sizes Available
  • Supports SSD and Spinning Hard Drives
  • Add Your Own Drive Kit Available
  • Comes With Firewire and USB Cables
  • Comes With A Travel Case
  • BUS Powered

Cons:

  • None observed

 

Disclosure: I received an OWC Mercury On The Go Pro drive at no cost for review. I have not been compensated for this review. All of my thoughts and opinions are my own. Photos courtesy of MacSales.com.