This SSD evaluation is going to focus on advantages for gamers with OWC’s premium Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G as it compares to Kingston’s line-up including their consumer SSDNow V200/V300 and enthusiast HyperX SSDs. Other World Computing is primarily known for their products for Mac computers and their SSDs are quite popular with the Apple enthusiasts. The Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G promises incredible performance with Sustained Data Rates up to 559MB/s Read, 527MB/s Write! At 60,000 IOPS for Random 4K writes, the OWC SSD may prove to be the fastest SSD that ABT will have tested.
This is ABT’s sixth SSD evaluation and we are now going to continue to look at the performance differences within the Kingston SSD lineup while comparing them with the new Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 240GB SSD. Just as with the last SSD evaluation less than ten days ago, our test bed uses Ivy Bridge, Intel’s latest consumer and enthusiast platform, a mechanical 500GB Seagate Barracuda hard drive, two HyperX SSDs and a SSDNow V200 and V300 SSD. We are using our Intel Core i7-3770K and GTX 670 at stock settings on a EVGA Z77 FTW USB 3.0/PCIe 3.0 to once again test the differences between this Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G drive and the other drives pictured above.
Pricing and Performance
All of these drives differ from each other in price and in capabilities – you will pay approximately $200 to $400 for a 240GB Kingston HyperX drive. The 240 GB HyperX 3K SSD costs $179.99 at Amazon which we found to be quite a bargain in our evaluation and was recommended by ABT as great bang-for-buck. The 240GB HyperX SSD using 5K NAND is Kingston’s fastest SSD and it costs $408.211 at Amazon. The OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G uses the premium 5K-rated NAND and it lists for $295 at OWC’s macsales.com or you can get it for $1.20 cheaper at Amazon.com.
The OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD utilizes synchronous NAND instead of the less expensive asynchronous NAND for higher bandwidth potential. Synchronous NAND enables reads and writes to be synced with the SSD processor’s clock signal for maximum data throughput. Both OWC and Kingston SSDs feature an independent garbage collection function that maintains a system at optimum performance level. This is especially important for systems running on Windows XP or other OSes which doesn’t feature TRIM, and it will also help organizations extend the software cycle on their systems, delaying upgrades of operating systems and compatible applications.
Over Provisioning & Wear Management Explained
From OWC’s site:
OWC SSDs allocate some of the drive capacity for RAISE, to provide real time data redundancy, ECC Error Correction, and reserve cell space.
Example: A 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD is actually a 256GB drive with 7% of the drive’s capacity allocated for data management. This management maintains the drive’s high-performance and high reliability levels.Unlike many SSDs on the market today, the Mercury Pro family uses advanced DuraWrite™ wear-leveling and block management technologies to keep Read/Write performance at peak, while others see performance fall.
The Notebook Advantage
Two major benefits of the SSD over the mechanical HDD should be noted especially for notebooks – power savings and durability. A SSD uses significantly less battery power than a HDD and is also less prone to failure from dropping it.
OWC’s Mercury EXTREME Pro 6
From OWC’s site:
Why Own OWC SSD?
- Designed & built in the US from domestic & imported parts.
- Intelligent “recycling” for advanced free space management.
- Best in class error correction (ECC) and SandForce RAISE™ (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology provides RAID-like data protection and reliability without loss of transfer speed due to parity.
- SandForce® Processor with 7% over-provisioning maximizes read and write performance to greatly extend the endurance and overall reliability of the drive.
- Up to 100X greater data protection than what the highest rated enterprise class conventional hard disk drive (HDD) provides.
- SandForce DuraClass™ technology with Ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling offers highest endurance and performance in a SSD.
- Chip Based Data Encryption: 128-bit AES-compliantNo Risk, No Hassle 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.For complete program details and return policies, click here.
Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 240GB Specifications:
From OWC’s site:
Warranty/support: Five-year warranty with free technical support – and note that it is assembled in the USA.
Instead of concentrating on the technical, we are going to be looking at the advantages that a PC gamer might have using a SSD over a fast mechanical hard drive. And of course, we will compare the OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD with the Kingston consumer SSDNow V300 line with the (now) older V200 series and the current and more expensive HyperX 3K and premium HyperX SSDs.
Since our SSD evaluation in November, we have upgraded all of our results with Sisoft’s Sandra 2013 from the 2012 version and we have added three new benchmarks that will particularly interest gamers – (1) Crysis game level load times, (2)the time to install GeForce 306.97 drivers, and (3) the time to unpack for installation, 15.3GB of Assassin’s Creed 3′s .rar files. This may give us a practical reason for upgrading to a SSD over a HDD – or not.
Let’s open the package.