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Other World Computing Announces Mercury Helios+E2 as ‘Ultimate All-In-One’ Thunderbolt Enabled Storage Solution for Macs and PCs

Other World Computing today introduced the OWC Mercury Helios+E2 Thunderbolt SSD Solution. The bootable ‘all-in-one’ storage performance and expansion solution offers owners of Thunderbolt technology enabled Macs and PCs sustained read/write data throughput up to 617MB/s from up to 960GB of OWC Mercury SSD capacity; two Thunderbolt interfaces for connecting multiple Thunderbolt devices; and two eSATA 6Gb/s expansion ports for connecting up to an additional 32TB or more of external storage/backup capacity.

Adds Thunderbolt Performance with Plug and Play Ease

With the simple connection of a Thunderbolt cable, the Helios+E2 immediately expands the storage performance and expansion capabilities of Thunderbolt enabled iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro machines as well as PCs. Inside Helios+E2 resides an OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2, the only Mac bootable and supported PCIe SSD. Featuring two custom SandForce Driven Acccelsior SSD ‘blades’, Helios+E2 offers total capacity choices up to 960GB, up to 100K IOPS, and performance beyond even 6G speed with sustained data transfer rates up to 617MB/s read and 524MB/s write. With that level of bootable performance, creative professionals can stop waiting for I/O-intensive apps like Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, or Avid Pro Tools to render, capture or process; as well as experience near instantaneous booting and application launches.

Two Thunderbolt Ports Offer Daisy Chain Bus Power

Helios+E2 offers two Thunderbolt ports, one of which is used to connect the solution to a Thunderbolt enabled computer. The other Thunderbolt port can be used to daisy chain up to five additional Thunderbolt devices such as video capture devices, data storage devices, or an Apple Thunderbolt Display plus a single mini DisplayPort capable display. And because it offers 10 watts of power, Helios+E2 can support bus-powering a daisy chained peripheral.

Two eSATA Storage Expansion Interfaces for Additional External Capacity

Helios+E2 features two 6Gb/s eSATA expansion ports for transferring data for backup or archival purposes at speeds up to 600MB/s to any external storage device with an eSATA port. While built to deliver 6Gb/s speed, Helios+E2 is also fully compatible with 1.5Gb/s and 3Gb/s external drives and can be connected to a variety of OWC and NewerTech single and dual drive RAID solutions and other brand eSATA interface equipped solutions. With this capability and a Plug and Play solution like the OWC Mercury Qx2, an additional 32TB of capacity (or more) can be easily added to the desktop. And by using Apple Disk Utility or SoftRAID with Macs, or various software RAID applications for PCs, customers can even create a RAID array among two connected drives.

Adapts to Changing Workflow Needs

If a change in workflow is needed, Accelsior_E2 SSD card can be removed from the Helios chassis and used in an Apple Mac Pro or other PC with an open PCIe slot. Helios can then accommodate a different PCIe card for video capture/editing, media transcoding, or audio processing.

Built with User Conveniences

Besides being powerfully fast and flexible, Helios+E2 is conveniently simple to use. The unit automatically powers on/off with the Thunderbolt connected computer and is hot-pluggable. A ventilated aluminum housing with a variable speed fan keeps the Helios+E2 running cool.

Expert Tested and Proven Faster Performance

In a real world Photoshop file processing comparison of a MacBook Pro retina internal SSD versus the Helios+E2 by expert testing site,, the Helios+E2 solution “handily outperformed” the factory internal drive, which took 41 percent longer to complete the process.

Pricing and Availability

The Mercury Helios+E2 is available for immediate ordering from OWC and select retailers in the following capacity configurations:

  • 120GB Mercury Helios Thunderbolt Storage Solution – $659.99
  • 240GB Mercury Helios Thunderbolt Storage Solution – $829.99
  • 480GB Mercury Helios Thunderbolt Storage Solution – $1079.99
  • 960GB Mercury Helios Thunderbolt Storage Solution – $1679.99

The final capacity figures represent each drive’s useable capacity after a 7 percent over-provisioning allocation is utilized for wear-leveling and drive management. OWC Mercury brand SSDs use over-provisioning to ensure high reliability over the life of the drive, as well provide exceptional drive longevity and consistent, high data performance with I/O stability. Without this and other technologies built into OWC SSDs, other brand SSDs lose consistent performance over time as unused space on the drive declines.

The Helios+E2 is the ultimate Thunderbolt external SSD solution for Thunderbolt enabled Macs,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “It’s incredibly fast, easy to connect, offers additional capacity expansion potential, and adapts to changing workflow needs. It’s robust enough to handle the rigors of pro audio and video studios producing HD-quality work, yet can unlock the performance potential of Thunderbolt for the masses.

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  • Well done! Looking forward for 2xThunderbolt and USB 3 on both the Mercury Elite Pro and the Mercury Elite mini.

  • When will pricing for trading in a 6 month old Accelsior board or a or buying an empty Accelsior be available?


    • We will be announcing a trade-in rebate program soon to offer owners a cost-effective upgrade path from the original Accelsior to the current Accelsior_E2. Or, the Accelsior SSD blades can be traded in for larger capacity modules totaling up to 960GB.

      The empty card and blade upgrades are currently available for ordering.

  • I would love to be able to purchase this with an empty Accelsior inside, to be able to reuse old Apple SSD sticks that I have replaced with OWC sticks. Will this be possible?

    • The Accelsior’s SSD blades are not the same form factor as the SSDs used in either the MacBook Air nor the MacBook Pro with Retina display models. As such it would not be possible to reuse Apple SSDs in this manner.
      The original Accelsior and the Accelsior_E2 only accommodate Accelsior SSD blades.

    • We have not been sitting idle and are hard at work on a significant roll out of Thunderbolt equipped products – most of which will also include USB 3.0 support. I do believe our forthcoming OWC and NewerTech Thunderbolt equipped solutions will be well worth the wait. Thank you for your patience!

  • The article said, “daisy chain up to six additional Thunderbolt devices.”

    It is my understanding that Thunderbolt allows for daisy chaining up to six devices per port. Are you saying that, when this device is used, daisy chaining seven devices is possible?


    • You can daisy chain up to six Thunderbolt-equipped devices per Thunderbolt port on the computer, that is correct. The Helios+E2 would counts as device one, so there are 5 more devices that you can add to the chain. Additionally, you can add one mini DisplayPort capable monitor to the end of the chain. The post has been updated to make this a bit clearer – thanks for pointing it out.