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OWC Announces Bus Powered Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual Mini Portable “Quad Interface” Storage Solution With Selectable Hardware RAID

Other World Computing announced today it has expanded its award-winning storage solution line with the new Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini bus powered portable hardware RAID storage solution. Featuring 14 pre-configured models with hardware RAID-1 “mirrored” redundancy for “live activity” data protection; or RAID-0 “stripe” for maximum data transfer speed, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini contains two 2.5″ hard drives or OWC Mercury SSDs for up to 2.0TB of capacity, 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.

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-AL 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 14 models offering two 2.5″ SATA hard drives with up to 2.0TB of capacity or two award-winning OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSDs with up to 800GB of capacity, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini delivers big storage performance in an under two pound, fanless solution.

Convenient Yet Flexible Hardware RAID Settings

The Mercury Elite-AL 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 speed backup. Users that desire a change to either RAID level setting, including the SPAN option, can do 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-AL Pro Dual mini doesn’t require any complicated set-up and is ready for Plug and Play use with legacy Macs, the latest 2010 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.

The Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini is available immediately from OWC in 14 pre-configured hard drive and Solid State Drive (SSD) models with up to 2.0TB of storage capacity starting at $179.99 MSRP and are compatible with Apple OS 8.6 and later including all versions of Apple OS X and Windows 98SE or later operating systems. Solutions come ready for Plug and Play ease of use with interface connecting cables, a $100 retail value disk utility software bundle, and an industry leading three year complete solution warranty.

“Since its introduction over a decade ago, the Mercury Elite line of external drives has offered unique, flexible, and high performance solutions,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “This new, side by side drive design is going to have great appeal for users needing portable RAID storage and backup performance.”

“The Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini is exactly what we’ve been looking for to handle our demanding, in-the-field data storage and back up needs,” said Matt Breneman, Co-Owner of Bull Stock Media. “As the official photographers and stock agency for the Professional Bull Riders Inc., we require a slim profile drive that packs easily in our gear bags, yet delivers big capacity backed by RAID-1 assurance. This new drive from OWC is the perfect solution.”

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  • just got mine… and i sure wish it was a little faster in FW800 mode! right now its the same speed as a 750GB/7200 drive inside my Mercury On-the-Go enclosure, FW800. i was hoping that the RAID would allow for faster speeds, and yes, its a little faster in eSata mode… but not enough IMO to justify RAIDing the drives and doubling the chances of disk failure, plus the inconvenience of the Express 34 card slot….and taking up the firewire port just to power the drive (USB would’ve been more convenient)… Hmmm… i thought it was a nifty sounding product, and the price seemed right… but now i’m debating returning it :(

    • Both the 750GB/7200RPM Mercury On The Go and each configuration of the Elite Pro Dual mini saturate the FW800 bus at around 80MB/s. The connection itself is the bottleneck there.

      In eSATA mode, however, real world transfer speeds under RAID 0 run upwards of 240 MB/s. Granted, those speeds are obtained using an eSATA adapter that is capable of SATA 3Gb/s speeds. If your eSATA adapter is a SATA Revision 1.0 adapter, then speeds would be limited to 150 MB/s.

      Just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, transfer speeds are limited to the slowest component.

  • Offer this solution with USB 3 and then you’ll have a really great product. FW 800 is too slow for RAID 0 and eSATA is rare to find on macs and will never be added as a standard I/O while USB 3 will start sprouting up on Macs in 2011 even if Apple unveils lightpeak.

  • ps. could you post some throughput benchmarks for the 1.5Tb 7200RPM vs. 2.0Tb 5400RPM configs over SATA? I am wondering how much of a throughput hit there is with 5400RPM drives.


  • Awesome!…I’ve been waiting for you guys to announce this every since it was demoed at a trade show a while back. Have you run any high temp tests with it? I’ve had a number of fanless aluminum 2.5 drives shut down due to high temp issues when copying large amounts of data (like transferring 1Tb of images). I was wondering how yours fares in that scenario.

  • I love the form factor! I would love to see the side by side format for two 3.5″ drives.

    • Hi Bill and glad to hear it. Really though, all about size….and being able to bus power. With 2.5″ drives now at 1TB….there’s still a heckova lot of storage in a this convenient little package.

      Still, never say never….we take user/customer feedback very seriously in current and future product lines.

  • Does the “No RAID” option allow the drives to be mounted individually?

    If so, this would be really nice for my “trouble shooting” drive so I could have 1 drive formatted to boot PPC and 1 drive formatted to boot Intel. Then i would only have to carry 1 enclosure. :-)

    • The NRAID option spans the two drives without any RAID data distribution scheme into one logical desktop volume.