I’d like to tell you the story of how I turned a great computer into an incredible computer. While I spend my days helping our loyal OWC customers get the most out our excellent computer upgrades and accessories, I spend my free time working and playing on my home-built gaming PC. I’m what is generally referred to as an enthusiast. I spend a lot of time and money building and tweaking my computers to squeeze the most performance I can from the components, giving myself the best possible computing experience. I have an overclocked i7 quad-core processor, 12GB of overclocked RAM, and an ATI Radeon 5870 video card (I’ll be adding a second 5870 soon).
Given the above information, one would naturally assume that I would have an SSD as my boot drive, and I built my current rig with an 80GB Intel X-25M, widely considered to be the best consumer SSD at the time. Before I go any further, I just want to say that putting an SSD in your computer really is the best thing you can do to increase overall performance aside from installing more RAM, and in many instances it makes a bigger difference than RAM. That Intel SSD made an amazing difference. The computer boots up so much faster than even a 10,000 RPM Western Digital Velociraptor, and applications load in the blink of an eye, sometimes literally. I will never ever put a normal hard drive in another computer that I build, except as file storage and backup (I have three Western Digital Caviar Black drives in my machine for that purpose).
I built my computer before I even knew that we were developing our award-winning OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD. Once our SSD came out, as you may expect, I looked very closely at benchmarks and reviews, and even did a little testing of my own. When I started to get cramped for space on my 80GB Intel SSD (games take up a lot of space!), I decided that my computer deserved an upgrade, and upgrade I did.
You know what’s better than an Intel X25-M? Of course, I’d say an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD. But do you know what’s even better than that? Two of them in a RAID 0. I don’t mess around with my upgrades. I decided to get two of our 120GB SSDs and stripe them together, effectively tripling my storage space while increasing my transfer speeds astronomically. My read speeds went up about three times, and my write speeds increased over six times what I was getting with my Intel. I realize that pitting a six-month-old Intel SSD to two of our SSDs striped together is not comparing apples to apples, but it is comparing apples to awesome.