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OWC Announces Five New Models In Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini “Quad Interface” Portable RAID Storage Solution Line

Other World Computing announced today it has expanded the new Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini bus powered (no AC adapter needed) portable hardware RAID storage solution with two new hard drive and three new OWC SSD based models. Now offering 10 pre-configured choices with hardware RAID-1 “mirrored” redundancy for “live activity” data protection; or RAID-0 “stripe” for maximum performance capacity, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini contains two 2.5″ hard drives or OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSDs for up to 2.0TB of capacity and a “Quad Interface” of FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, & eSATA connections for Plug and Play data transfer speeds up to 300MB/s with Mac and PC computers.

Five New Models Starting At $159.99

Five new Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini models join an existing model line-up that offers up to 2.0TB of storage capacity, hard disk speeds up to 7200RPM, and SSDs with data transfer rates exceeding 500MB/s:

  • 640GB (320GB+320GB) 5400RPM 16MB Buffer $159.99
  • 1.0TB (500GB+500GB) 5400RPM 16MB Buffer $189.99
  • 240GB (120GB+120GB) OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD $519.99
  • 480GB (240GB+240GB) OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD $1049.99
  • 960GB (480GB+480GB) OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD $1919.99

All 10 Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini models are available immediately and are compatible with Apple OS 8.6 and later including all versions of Apple OS X including the latest Lion version; and Windows 98SE or later operating systems. Solutions come ready for Plug and Play ease of use with interface connecting cables, include a $100 retail value disk utility software bundle, and come backed by a three year complete solution warranty with Level 1 Data Recovery service.

Big Capacity In Easy To Transport Design

Measuring the approximate size of a portable CD player – 5.6″ (D) x 6.1″ (W) x 1.1″ (H) – the bus powered (no AC adapter needed) Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini’s unique flat side by side two drive design enables it to fit into laptop, photography, and other gear carrying bags easily and without adding any bulk. With 10 models offering two 2.5″ SATA hard drives with up to 2.0TB of capacity or two award-winning OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSDs with up to 960GB of capacity, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini delivers big storage performance in an under two pound, fanless solution.

Convenient Yet Flexible Hardware RAID Settings

The Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini comes conveniently factory set for Plug and Play use in one of two RAID levels: RAID-1 for writing the same information in real-time to two matched 2.5″ SATA drives up to 1.0TB for “live activity” data redundancy; or RAID-0 for “striping” data up to 2.0TB across both drives for the highest performance capacity backup. Users that desire a change to either RAID level setting, including the SPAN option, can do so easily via switch selectors.

Compatible With New And Legacy Macs And PCs

With a “Quad Interface” of two FireWire 800, one FireWire 400, one USB 2.0, and one eSATA ports and high quality connecting cables included, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini doesn’t require any complicated set-up and is ready for Plug and Play use with legacy Macs, the latest 2011 Mac models, and PCs. It provides data transfer speeds up to 300MB/s and can be moved between different systems utilizing its supported interfaces with complete interoperability for maximum data backup performance and flexibility.

This unique, side by side dual drive design has been very popular with in-the-field creative professionals that require a minimum of bulk both in shape and weight,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “Now by adding additional models that offer lower cost hard drive options as well as higher capacity SSD options, users seeking a portable RAID solution will find everything they’re looking for in the Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini.


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  • any possibility of modding a mac mini server for esata or would the speeds be the same for hooking up an express card to thunderbolt solution coming from sonnet ( that comes out in October. I have a 240gb OWC 6g Mercury Extreme Pro SSD and the stock 500gb in my mac mini server i7 right now and it is screaming but i also have 4 Hitachi 3TB (9TB) 64mb Cache 7200rpm in Raid 5 on a Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 that will only connect via firewire until i can hook this baby up to esata somehow. – i have seen the mods and it is not pretty or easy but this new express card solution seems to be a nice work around. – the Qx2 is not Sata III though so i think the Raid 5 solution is not getting the speed it could have if was hooked up with Sata III

    • There have been several successful independent mods like this with the 2010 model which route a cable through the bottom door (giving your Mac mini a “tail”) but there really isn’t the room in the housing itself to elegantly add an eSATA port. Also doing a modification like this would most likely void your warranty. But from the strictly technical aspect, it could be done.

      We really can’t speak as to the speeds on a product that hasn’t been released. And, no OWC won’t be offering a turnkey service on the 2011 Mac mini server.

  • Did you try cramming the 1.5tb freeplays into the Elite Dual Pro mini? I currently have 2tb (1x1tb drives) I would love 3tb :)

    • While the 1.5TB freeplay drive does fit in the Elite Pro mini single bay unit, there’s just not enough room to install two of those oversized drives into the Elite Dual Pro mini.

  • Will it boot under 10.6,10.7, etc using the eSATA port, if you use the right PCIe card in a MacPro? What are the “right” bootable cards, only the ones with port multiplier support? What caveats exist regarding the MacPro model being used? Since the really advanced SSD internal drives OWC sells have capable redundancy 80 Gb/480 Gb aka TRIM equivalent enabled, would Apple’s TRIM a) work with these and b) cause any problems under 10.7-10.7.2?

    On an unrelated topic, when will OWC or a third party vendor OWC carries make a Thunderbolt dock with connectors for eSATA, FW800/400 and USB 3.0/2.0? The upcoming MacPro will have at least one Thunderbolt port )and hopefully at least a couple of eSATA ports) bu if it doesn’t have eSATA ports, I don’t want to spend a fortune on connectors for legacy peripherals like, e.g., OWCs 480 GB SSDs (they give you incredible speed, as pointed out above, when in RAID0.. Just try opening a couple of 300 GB image files, and you’ll see what I mean. Just be sure to back up, back up…to a RAID 5 or RAID 10 or whatever.

  • Odd with all the calls for thunderbolt on forums and this site. All thunderbolt drives that ACTUALLY exist are all big 4+ drive raid units starting at $1000. I’m fine with FW800 and the prices that interface offers. I don’t want a “mac priced” external right now.

    And for all those who want the latest and greatest are you really willing to spend $100s more on a thunderbolt drive that 1.0 tech keeping in mind thunderbolt 2 slated for next your is said to go from 10GB/s to 100GB/s.

    For me thunderbolt is very exciting in what it can promise, but it’s still for the ultra high end user right now, or those who just want to play with really cool new technology. I think it’ll be awhile until we get truly affordable tbolt portables.

    Just my thoughts…. whadyallthink?

    • The only reason TB is starting out in these “high end” systems, is so the industry can create artificial demand and maximize their profits. Is there gold inside of a TB port? No. Nothing at all keeping people from slapping it onto the next WD MyBook (or the Dual Mini Portable Raid storage solution or whatever) except some corporate douche bag who looks at the potential market and says since only 2011 Apple users have access right now, we can start off with $1500 RAID rigs and really make people drool over TB. That way when more people get it next year, we can charge a massive premium for the port and slap it on some cheap drives and thus maximize our profits right as the market starts to mature.

      I don’t really fault people for making money, that is why they are in business…. BUT when you start creating artificial demand for your products, and perhaps hamstring an entirely new tech, just so you can MAXIMIZE your profits, well, I guess it irritates me. I’m not sure why, living in America you’d think I would be used to it since we can’t do anything without the pursuit of our holy profit.

      If I made these products, I’d buck the trend, and put TB on everything. Establish myself as the TB expert so when there are more potential consumers my reputation is already there. OWC could be the next big player in consumer drives, and not just a Mac niche shop. Unfortunately TB is looking more and more like it will go the direction for FW every day.

      • I don’t wear my tin foil hat that often, but when I do it’s a fun day for all too.

        whoda, I’m actually viewing t-bolt like the introduction of USB and Firewire with the complexity of fibre connections. When usb was introduced even Steve Jobs took time in his presentations to talk about the latest additions to USB and how the new format is great.

        T-bolt was delivered late to everyone and is cutting edge with complexity. I’m pretty certain if the market domination you speak of was possible by any of the external drive companies, they would be doing it.

        As Mac people we get to live in a world where our people are willing to pay more for more. The PC market is commoditized with the only differential being price. What’s the market for the WD MyBook at the same capacity that cost’s $150 more plus requires a $50 cable. I’d call that a Best Buy dust collector as the USB 2/3 unit rush off the shelf being the cheapest PC storage. The reason I buy OWC is like Mac… I want quality at a reasonable price… not the lowest at the lowest price.

        Don’t get me wrong… I’m a huge T-bolt fan and can’t wait for it to go fully mainstream…. it’s capabilities even in it’s 1.0 iteration eclipse anything before it. But I’m also a realist in that a 7200RPM drive runs my laptop just fine, and I’ll be stepping up to a 120 or 240 OWC SSD soon, but externally I’m fine with FW for now and in 3 years t-bolt will be the only connections needed.

        • Let me guess, you have the 2010 MacBook Pro, right? The one right before the TB ports? And you should be planning on your next upgrade, lets see… maybe 3 years from now? :)

          I understand that TB is “cutting edge” technology, but I’d like to know what is especially prohibitive about building a port for it into your drive. I mean, like I’ve said here before, nobody is inventing TB, its just about manufacturing the drive. Does Promise just have better engineers? I’ve got this great mental picture of engineers at these big drive manufacturing companies standing around this schematic going man, I just can’t figure out how to use this thing…. Of course that is ridiculous, its all about corporate strategy and positioning.

          I didn’t really mean OWC could “dominate” the market, but I do think new technologies open up new opportunities and following only takes you to where the guy in front of you is going. If I’m WD, then yeah, drag my feet for the next 3 years, only release massively expensive hardware, create that demand, and slowly bring the price down to normal drives… about the same time my mother adapts TB. BUT, if you are lean and mean, and don’t have the massive costs associated with retooling your manufacturing process, then turn the market on its head. Release a Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini with TB, or even the regular Mini, or the Elite Pro, or whatever they sell the most of and don’t charge an arm and a leg for it. Make your money, but this would be more about market share then profit. Who would buy a plastic WD external drive, when they could spend an extra $100 and have a TB port (you know, for 3 years down the road). People love the idea of future proofing. As long as the drive has USB on it for the masses, (and FW for my new friend Drake as well please) people will buy it before they can even buy the computer that runs it!

          • I do have one of those, but that’s my portable Mac. I purchased my 13″ portable pre-2011 because it was a pre-2011 with a dedicated graphics card (I knew the 2011 was coming with intel integrated… so I passed on that… I read rumor sites too!). It’ll still be another revision or so until the intel integrated graphics can perform as well for open gl graphics functions. To each their own though, some want the processor speed which is a major significant boost, some want graphics performance. Some like you apparently are itching for some good ol’ t-bolt fun.

            I can buy any Mac in existence and admittedly have been impressed with the MacBook Airs…

            Regardless, I don’t fret over on extra higher speed port on any machine, I’ll use it when I need it. I had FW800 ports on my old powerbook g4 that I never used. You do know it’s been on the rumors sites that other mfgs got the t-bolt specs earlier than others, with intel and apple essentially choosing who goes first right? And that there’s engineering time, and time to market durations in creating a new product. Apple released t-bolt AND THEN intel released the spec. There was no ramp up pre-release or anything like that… so maybe your anger in not being able to fully utilize your shiny new port should be pointed toward apple/intel and not the drive makers like wd and owc whom I’m certain will come out with a reliable t-bolt product when the timing is right.

            If your using a Mac Pro (like me) you can essentially experience the same speeds as a 4 bay t-bolt drive by raiding the drives in each of the for Mac Pro bays, heck you could even add more drives in the optical bay. RAID all 4 bays with an SSD or 7200rpm hard drives and you’ll experience the same speeds as a t-bolt drive without the overhead of the enclosure, nor the cable. So while your waiting for t-bolt to experience that speed… I’m experiencing it now with an SSD performance RAID in my Mac Pro.

            I get where your coming from… but remember t-bolt is new and it’s been nary a decade since a new interface really came out USB and FireWire. USB 2 & 3 and FW800 we’re all tack ons. I also really think it’s cool Apple is adding t-bolt goodness to everything in it’s lineup, so even the non Mac Pro users out there can experience the fast performance raids. Can’t wait to see the new Mac Pro as well… though it’s been rumored for like 5 months now.

            Just saying…. good convo by the way!

            • Its always a good conversation if we are talking about TB on the OWC blog! (Either that or the 2011 iMac turnkey program! lolz)

              “RAID all 4 bays with an SSD or 7200rpm hard drives and you’ll experience the same speeds as a t-bolt drive without the overhead of the enclosure, nor the cable.”

              Good god man, if I could afford 4 SSDs to throw in a RAID setup, I could practically afford to manufacture drives with TB ports myself! 4 SSDs alone have to be 10 times the price of this ridiculously hard to manufacture enclosure and cable!

              “so maybe your anger in not being able to fully utilize your shiny new port should be pointed toward apple/intel and not the drive makers like wd and owc”

              Trust me it is! I love OWC. I’m not angry with them! I want to send them my baby (iMac if you haven’t figured it out) and let them open her up and send her back to me with a couple of those 240GB SSDs in Raid 0…. yummy. Maybe even for good measure they can toss that stupid optical drive in the trash and move my HDD over there for time machine… man that would be sweet, but I digress as my favorite company decided they didn’t want me messing in the computer I paid for! (I digress again…)

              Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, my whining won’t get me a TB drive any faster… but it sure makes the waiting more fun!

    • We currently are planning to offer our own brand name Thunderbolt equipped storage solutions in early 2012. Why the extended time frame? Just like how we took our time in developing our industry leading SSDs, we don’t rush into product areas until there is more evolution of the emerging technology…so we can offer the highest levels of performance, quality, and reliability.

      In the interim, we will be offering various third party (non-OWC) first generation Thunderbolt products for those customers that can’t wait for the improvements we will ultimately provide.

      We applaud Apple for partnering with other technology providers, getting consumers excited about this latest data interface, and creating demand for Thunderbolt enabled products. The industry is in the very early stages of Thunderbolt developments and we’re excited to have the opportunity to be developing solutions with the next generation of data transfer performance.