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12 Days of Backups: Day 4 – iMac backup with the OWC Mercury Elite Pro

While you aren’t seeing this article until December 30, it’s being written on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas! That means that this installment of the 12 Days of Backups series is a bit shorter than the previous posts.

M1 iMac
The colorful 2021 M1 24-inch iMac (image via Apple)

What’s different about the iMac?

Why would we want to select a backup drive for an iMac that’s different from, say, one used for a MacBook Pro? It all has to do with the fact that the iMac is a desktop machine rather than something you can just pop into a bag and carry with you. Your iMac and backup drive are much less likely to be jostled than their portable counterparts. A lightweight, bus-powered, and rugged drive isn’t really needed.

Why the OWC Mercury Elite Pro?

Mercury Elite Pro eSATA FireWire
Have an older iMac? Some versions of the Mercury Elite Pro work with eSATA and FireWire

There are four reasons why the OWC Mercury Elite Pro range of external drives is perfect for the iMac. First, it’s compatible, with a variety of interfaces so it works with almost any iMac, new or old. For example, the version of the Mercury Elite Pro seen in the image above works with older iMacs and features FireWire 800, eSATA, and USB 3.1 Gen 1 interfaces. Not a lot of new FireWire drives are available these days, so this is a great backup drive for those iMacs that feature a FireWire port.

Newer iMacs featuring faster USB ports also work with the Mercury Elite Pro. The model shown below features USB 3.2 for speed and compatibility. With this inexpensive adapter, the drive plugs into the USB-C ports on the new iMacs.

Mercury Elite Pro USB 3.2
The desktop Mercury Elite Pro with USB 3.2

A range of capacities

The second reason the Mercury Elite Pro is perfect for almost any iMac is the fantastic range of capacities available. Whether you have minimal backup needs or want enough space to hold hours of digital video, there’s a Mercury Elite Pro for you.

The USB 3.2 desktop drive is available in capacities as low as 1 TB (terabyte) and as roomy as 18 TB. It’s even possible to build your own drive by purchasing the inexpensive ($59) drive enclosure and adding your own 3.5-inch drive.

For older iMacs with small hard drives, the bus-powered Mercury Elite Pro Mini (shown below) starts at 480 GB of fast SSD storage.

Mercury Elite Pro Mini
The Mercury Elite Pro Mini is the latest addition to this line of storage devices.


The third reason the Mercury Elite Pro is a great drive for iMac? It offers value. For just $109 you can purchase 1 TB of fast, reliable backup space. That 18 TB drive mentioned before? It’s only $519!


Perhaps you have an iMac and a laptop or iPad Pro as well. The Mercury Elite Pro line is very versatile. It offers everything from desktop drives powered with an external AC adapter to the bus-powered Mini that works with your MacBook or iPad Pro. Imagine being able to transfer large quantities of files between devices with one very versatile drive!

This article is part of our 12 Days of Backups series that began on December 27, 2021 and ends in January, 2022.

In addition, you may wish to check out these other articles related to the iMac or Mercury Elite Pro:

Unboxing, teardown and benchmarks: The 24-inch M1 iMac

OWC unveils newest Mercury Elite Pro external storage solution

Mercury Elite Pro mini solutions deliver USB-C performance in portable package

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Contributing Author
Steve has been writing about Apple products since 1986, starting on a bulletin board system, creating the first of his many Apple-related websites in 1994, joining the staff of The Unofficial Apple Weblog in 2008, and founding Apple World Today in 2015. He’s semi-retired, loves to camp and take photos, and is an FAA-licensed drone pilot.
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