Make your Mercury Extreme SSD Even Faster!

We all know that, when installed individually, the OWC Mercury Extreme SSDs are amazingly fast. Want to make them faster? Try putting them in a RAID 0 via a SeriTek/2ME4-E.

Use this card (or a pair of them), a few Mercury Extreme SSDs, and a couple of OWC Mercury Elite-AL Dual Bay Raid-Ready Enclosure Kits equipped with a few Multi-Mounts with your Mac Pro, and you’ve got a recipe for some fast data access!

But it doesn’t stop there – FirmTek just released an update to the 2ME4-E drivers which, in some configurations (like a 4 drive RAID 0 using 2 cards), can allow for transfer speeds up to 997 MB/s.

If you’re going to install (or already have installed) this card in your Mac Pro, by all means, make sure you install this new driver for the best performance. After you take a look the speeds shown at FirmTek’s new performance results page, you’ll be definitely want to visit their Downloads page to get the latest update.


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  • Is there a noticble performance difference if I use Mac’s software raid vs a dedicated raid card?

    Thanks




    • Yes, there certainly is a difference between a dedicated RAID card and the Mac Pro’s own internal ports.
      Mac Performance Guide did some extensive testing and while the internal ports on the Mac Pro certainly is fast with 611 MB/sec write speeds when 4 drives are striped together, the 997MB/sec speed by utilizing four OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE SSDs and two FirmTek 2ME4-E to accomplish the same setup is amazing.
      To compare the remaining RAID cards and setups visit:
      http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-SSD-OWC-Mercury_Extreme-RAID.html




  • Great — thanks for the clarification.




  • Okay, thanks Grant. And for a non-RAID MaC OS start-up drive, do you recommend the RE as well, for extra reliability?




    • No…for non RAID configs…the Pro models (non RE) are absolutely rock solid as a boot/app load/scratch disk drive…that’s their intended purpose! The extra over provisioning of the RE for this use would be overkill…kinda like having two spare tires… ;-)




  • Thanks Grant. One more question if that’s okay. I’d just be using this RAID for read-only, for a sample library to be used with Logic Pro. The library is under 64 GB in size. I thought I’d get 2 of the new OWC 40 GB Extreme Pro (non-RE) SSDs for this task, as it’s a great deal right now, and I can easily restore the library should anything bad happen. What do you think given this? Thanks so much again!




    • It can work as LONG AS YOU ARE JUST READING…and as you say and feel comfortable doing…you “can easily restore the library”.

      But if you want to install it and forget it…RE is the recommended choice.




  • Can I put the regular Mercury Extreme Pro non-RE SSDs in a RAID setup too? Software RAID in a Mac Pro is what I’d be doing. What are the risks in doing this?




    • Hi Gary and thanks for stopping by. I’ll use a car analogy first to answer.

      If you’re running a high performance, hi compression motor, you don’t run 87 octane. You can, but you don’t get optimum results…and could potentially cause piston damage.

      So…If you’re running a Mac Pro, sure you can use the non-RE with 7% over provisioning in a RAID set-up…but it’s really not recommended.

      Why? With the increased read/write demands a RAID config places on an SSD, the extra insurance of the RE models’ 28% over provisioning is worth piece of mind to your data integrity.

      It’s why we created the two different models in the first place ;-)




  • I see. Thanks Chris. If I did, however, want to have an internal SSD raid but had already used up all HD and optical bays, is there a comparable card that uses internal ports to allow for that set up?
    Thanks,

    -Harry




  • Hi Michael-
    My previous question was simply because of the fact that the card uses external ports. Just confused as to how one would use external ports with internal drives. Maybe I’m missing something?
    Thanks,

    -Harry




  • When using an SSD as a boot disk, is it necessary or desirable to move the swap files to a “real” (i.e., rotating) disk drive to reduce the writes to the SSD? It’s my understanding that the flash ram in SSD drives has a finite number of write operations.




    • Hello Roger,
      That would be a desirable setup when using most non-SandForce processor based SSD drives on the market. However, the overprovisioning provided with SandForce-based SSDs, like the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro family of SSDs, prevents that write speed degredation.




  • The link provided is to a PCI card with external ports. Is that the proper card for this type of set up, or just a mistake?
    Thanks!