Other World Computing on the 15 September announced the industries first 6GB/s replacement SSD for the 2011 Apple MacBook Air, the Mercury Aura Pro Express 6GB. Available in 120GB and 240GB capacities, the new drives combine a SandForce 2200-series controller with Tier 1/Grade A NAND memory to achieve up to 507MB/s read speeds and 454MB/s write speeds, which is about twice as fast as the stock drive in thr MacBook Air.
Apple currently ships its MacBook Air with SATA 3Gbps SSDs and doesn’t promote SATA 6Gbps, even though the hardware supports it. The ultra thin and light notebook uses a nonstandard SSD form factor, so the typical 2.5-inch drives on the market can’t be used as a replacement. OWC says that the new Mercury Aura Pro Express 6GB SSD is the first, and currently only 6Gbps SSD designed to work with both the 11.1-inch and 13.3-inch models of the new MacBook Air.
Ordinary SSDs initially offer fast read/write performance, but then commonly experience significant write speed degradation over repeated usage. OWC claim that this is not the case with their Mercury Aura Pro Express. Independent simulation tests conducted by leading drive performance experts like MacPerformanceGuide confirm OWC Mercury SSD’s ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling technologies are able to eliminate virtually any reduction in data transfer speeds over heavy, long-term usage without dependency on less-than-effective OS TRIM management.
The Mercury Aura Pro Express 6GB is compatible with 11.1″ and 13.3″ 2011 MacBook Air models and is available now from Other World Computing as well as through select retailers. Both models include 7% over provisioning, Toggle Synchronous NAND and a three-year warranty. The 120GB version has an suggested retail price of $349.99 and the 240GB version a suggested retail price of $599.99.