The folks at OWC make devices that emphasize the power of the tech without unnecessary frills. The industrial design of the products this company makes are often minimal, simple, and ergonomically efficient. When we’re looking at the OWC Mercury Pro U.2 Dual Thunderbolt NVMe SSD array, the company presents a black box that does one thing exceedingly well: extreme speed in data storage.
Inside this device are two NVMe SSD, 1TB capacity each. That’s the base configuration – you can also order this device with multiple times that storage if you do so wish. The NVMe U.2 SSD tech used here is combined with the connective speed of the Thunderbolt port, with its 2800MB/s data bandwidth capabilities.
OWC suggests that this device’s NVMe SSE array “utilizes Thunderbolt’s full 2800MB/s of data bandwidth capability, so it functions nearly 6x faster than your typical SSD.”
This device is 3.3-inches wide, 5.8-inches tall, and 9.4-inches deep. With drives installed, the Mercury Pro U.2 Dual weighs in at approximately 4 pounds.
This device comes preconfigured APPLE RAID 0 for MacOS devices. Users working with Windows can use the drive with OWC’s software called MacDrive. Each unit also comes pre-tested and certified with full burn-in for “assured performance and reliability.”
The device’s extra USB-C Thunderbolt allows it to work as a hub, allowing the use of up to two 4K Thunderbolt displays or one 5K display, along with a bunch of other Thunderbolt USB-C peripherals.
Daisy-chaining drives is possible with the device’s extra Thunderbolt USB-C port. If you’re using OWC’s SoftRAID software, you’ll be able to add up to five more Thunderbolt storage devices and merge the lot together. SoftRAID isn’t free, but it can be downloaded and used for free for 14 days before any costs kick in.
So if you already have a USB-C Thunderbolt storage device and you want to keep using said device but also want more storage, you could potentially use this OWC device without losing another of your computer’s USB-C Thunderbolt ports to another drive. You could start with the Mercury Pro U.2 Dual connected to your computer, and your other USB-C Thunderbolt drive connected to the Mercury Pro U.2 Dual – easy!
If you’re buying the OWC Mercury Pro U.2 Dual with its base configuration (2x 1TB NVMe SSD), you’ll have a starting price of $549 USD. Upgrade to 4TB (2x 2TB) and you’ll be paying at least $879. The maxed-out single unit configuration is 2x 8TB for a total of 16TB storage for a price of $3299 USD.
You can also get multi-unit arrays, working with SSD models with SoftRAID. All together an 8x 8TB array (for 64TB storage) from OWC will cost you a around $12,799 USD. The OWC Mercury Pro U.2 Dual has a release date of November 4, 2021, and it can be ordered from OWC (through their MacSales site) today.