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To SSD or HDD? That is the Storage Question…

It’s been quite a past two weeks around these parts for one of the stars in the OWC storage solution product line up…the Mercury On The Go Pro bus powered otg-hamletportable storage solution. Last Thursday, just before the long holiday weekend, we announced the first 750GB FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 bus powered portable storage solution on the market.

Then yesterday, we boldly launched our first Solid State Drive (SSD) based Mercury OTG (we’re big fans of acronyms…in case you ever wondered why we call ourselves by OWC too…) models as the lowest priced SSD equipped FireWire/USB bus powered portable drives on the market.

All that innovation got me thinking that perhaps this created quite a dilemma for some of you on which solution to actual buy. To SSD or HDD? Well, the answer to that question comes down to a few intangibles of personal needs, budget, and if you suffer from continuous “gotta have the latestitis.


This isn’t even a contest…kinda like matching a Porsche versus a Beetle. Both share bloodlines back to a common parent company, but there’s some serious horsepower under the hood of one. Same thing here…The HDD equipped Mercury On The Go Pro ranges from 80GB to an industry highest 750GB. The new SSD based Mercury OTGs range from 64GB to 256GB. To put that in perspective, you can store up to approximately 262,500 songs on the 750GB HDD model while up to only 89,600 songs will fit on the biggest SSD model. Winner: HDD


Again, a bit of a mismatch when comparing the latest technology to one that’s been on the market for 53 years. Of course, market forces and innovations would have brought the “old school” HDD down in price by now. For a similar capacity comparison, the Mercury OTG “Triple Interface” 250GB HDD model runs $119.99 for the 5400RPM model and $139.99 for the 7200RPM model. The Triple Interface 256GB SSD Mercury OTG will set you back $729.99. Breaking that down to cost per gigabyte, 256GB runs you $2.85 a gig while the max for the HDD 250GB models is a paltry $0.539 per gig. Winner: HDD

At this point you might be wondering why you’d even consider an SSD model. Here’s where they really shine:


The SSD based Mercury On The Go Pros are simply the fastest FireWire/USB bus powered portable drives you can fit into your shirt pocket. They deliver up to 2.5X faster boot time and up to 120X faster seek time over conventional drives for near instantaneous data access. While a full suite of performance benchmark charts are coming soon, I can clearly call the Winner here as SSD.


You do know that SSDs have no moving parts, right? That feat alone delivers all sorts of great benefits: completely silent 0dB sound measurements by our audio staff expert; up to 4.5X higher shock resistance (we’ll be showing this soon in an informative, yet entertaining video); and up to 28% greater temperature operating range than conventional drives. All that adds up to offering you unmatched reliability in the most severe of operating environments. If you work from a “mobile office”, need a drive for live music recording, or just live life in the fast lane, the SSD based Mercury OTG models are ready to take the abuse. And they’re built to last too – with up to 3X longer use hours than conventional drives. Winner (by a landslide): SSD

So, two rounds to SSD and two rounds to HDD. Is there any clear winner? Sure…YOU. As corny as that might sound, you now have the luxury of choosing the best of attributes in an award-winning product to meet your particular needs and preferences.

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  • I wish you were not such big fans of acronyms. I wish you were bigs fans of clear communication. I had to spend 5 minutes navigating from your Tips for better storage email today to find the definition for SSD. Certainly you would not wear out your little fingers typing three words, would you? I think you can enhance your website, and perhaps increase your hits, by shedding the presumption that terms like SSD are part of the vernacular. Go to Safeway this weekend and ask 10 people what SSD is. Use the results to make decisions about the language on your website.

    • Hi Sam…thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I did define SSD in the article right before using the industry wide used acronym for that drive type. By referencing being fond of acronyms, I was referring to the OTG…which stands for On The Go. Some of our product names get a little long so to make things read a little faster, we often list the full product name in the first mention and then abbreviate in subsequent mentions in the same post.

      In any event, sorry to have perhaps confused and we’ll all be sure to use the full name more than just once in future posts.