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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 01 August 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD
Closer Look: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G
Features and Specifications
SSD Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
PCMark Vantage HDD Tests
OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G Conclusion

EVEREST Disk Benchmark

Many enthusiasts are familiar with the Lavalys EVEREST benchmark suite, but very few are aware of the Disk Benchmark tool available inside the program. The EVEREST Disk Benchmark performs linear read and write bandwidth tests on each drive, and can be configured to use file chunk sizes up to 1MB (which speeds up testing and minimizes jitter in the waveform). Because of the full sector-by-sector nature of linear testing, Benchmark Reviews endorses this method for testing SSD products, as detailed in our Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing article. However, Hard Disk Drive products suffer a lower average bandwidth as the capacity draws linear read/write speed down into the inner-portion of the disk platter. EVEREST Disk Benchmark does not require a partition to be present for testing, so all of our benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting.

Linear disk benchmarks are superior bandwidth speed tools in my opinion, because they scan from the first physical sector to the last. A side affect of many linear write-performance test tools is that the data is erased as it writes to every sector on the drive. Normally this isn't an issue, but it has been shown that partition table alignment will occasionally play a role in overall SSD performance (HDDs don't suffer this problem).


The high-performance storage products tested with EVEREST Disk Benchmark are connected to the Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s controller and use a 1MB block size option. Read performance on the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD measured an average 482.7 MBps bandwidth with a relatively close maximum peak speed of 501.8 MBps. What's interesting about this test is that every Linear Read benchmark conducted with the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G showed SATA-3Gb/s levels of performance for the first 10% of capacity. Everest linear write-to tests were next...


The waveform chart below illustrates how the integrated buffer manages file transfers, and makes linear write performance appears relatively even. The results seen here are still relatively consistent compared to most other SSD products we've tested in the past. The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G series solid state drive recorded an average linear write-to speed of 459.7 MBps, with a maximum performance of 474.9 MBps.

The chart below shows the average linear read and write bandwidth speeds for a cross-section of storage devices tested with EVEREST:


Linear tests are an important tool for comparing bandwidth speed between storage products - although HDD products suffer performance degradation over the span of their areal storage capacity. Linear bandwidth certainly benefits the Solid State Drive, since there's very little fluctuation in transfer speed. This is because Hard Disk Drive products decline in performance as the spindle reaches the inner-most sectors on the magnetic platter, away from the fast outer edge.

In the next section we use PCMark Vantage to test real-world performance...



# suggestionmanup85 2011-08-01 23:49
now im confuse if is better to buy this one or ocz vertex 3! any suggestion?
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# RE: suggestionOlin Coles 2011-08-02 08:01
Compare the prices and warranty between these two models, as everything else is nearly the same.
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# HG3fresc0 2011-08-09 01:01
What happened to HG3 drives?
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# RE: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD OWCSSDMX6Garklab 2011-08-09 21:46
I'm disappointed by several things in this review.
First, the comparison of a OWC 120GB drive to OCZ's 240GB drives.
In this class 240GB drives are always faster.

Second, by not testing (or mentioning) the OWC extreme6, you completely missed that it now uses a different Sandforce controller! It uses the 2282, and is (as of now) the only drive to do so.
From your SandForce SF-2000 Series SSD Processor Overview:
"High-IO consumer systems will be well suited for the flagship consumer SSD processor: SF-2282. The SandForce SD-2282 is virtually an eight-channel/sixteen lane enterprise drive with MLC NAND, and won't be produced in the same quantities as other controllers."

What a shame to miss such a useful and helpful opportunity.
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# RE: RE: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD OWCSSDMX6GOlin Coles 2011-08-09 21:51
Explain to me how I am to compare other products OWC chooses not to send us, and compare against capacities that aren't offered to us? You seem to know how this should be done better than we do, so please explain how to overcome these obstacles.

Had OWC offer other products or capacities, we'd use them. Besides, the difference would be less than 5% max.
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# RE: RE: RE: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD OWCSSDMX6Garklab 2011-08-10 04:53
Wow, I wasn't attacking, just explaining my disappointment as I have both drives.

As OWC seems to be a very customer friendly small shop, maybe you could just ask your contact?
This is a potential major difference in hardware, as your site had highlighted in your SandForce Processor Overview.
Kudos on even having that bye the way.
Hadn't seen that elsewhere, even the SandForce site.

I'm like many, who need experts to help find the differences.
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# RE: RE: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD OWCSSDMX6Garklab 2011-08-09 22:02

I refer to the OWC 240GB and 480GB extreme6 drives with a "-T" part number as using the 2282 controller.

The OWC 120GB extreme6 drives with a "T" part number suffix still use the 2281, as you state in the review.

I should also mention that I have both a OCZ 120GB max IOPS, a OWC 120GB extreme6, and a pair of OWC 240 extreme6 drives.

I cloned my old HD (with Intel RST 10.6) onto all four drives and ran AS SSD benches, which I'll post later.
In brief OCZ 120 max IOPS was slowest, OWC 120GB extreme6 was quite a bit faster, and a OWC 240 extreme6 flat blew the others away.
Mind, this was just a quick test of just my drive set-up, but every thing was at least equal.
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# RE: RE: RE: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD OWCSSDMX6GOlin Coles 2011-08-09 22:07
Come on now. If you read any number of SSD review you should know that we ensure these drives are as apples-to-apples as possible, and that to test fairly each SSD must have NAND in the exact same condition (normally clean/SE) and benchmarked as secondary drives. A cursory test won't tell you very much on SSDs because the NAND condition changes performance so dramatically.
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# RE: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD OWCSSDMX6Garklab 2011-08-10 05:11
I never intended to infer that you didn't test fairly or well.
I just took the SSDs as shipped, cloned a HD and ran a canned test.

My results were:
OCZ 120GB Vertex 3 MI Overall = 356

OWC 120GB Mercury Extreme6 Overall = 373

OWC 240GB Mercury Extreme6 Overall = 489

Is that much of a difference that I might notice in doing video transcoding?
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# RE: RE: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD OWCSSDMX6GOlin Coles 2011-08-10 07:16
Video transcoding is a very BAD test to compare storage devices. It depends primarily on CPU/RAM/GPU, and have almost no relative need for storage performance. If you want to run a test, try ATTO Disk Benchmark. It's free, and very easy to understand. You can even match to our test settings in a few clicks.
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