Mercury Elite-AL PRO 800 RAID

Mercury Elite-AL PRO 800 RAID

No cheese-grater jokes, please - this drive is built for speed.


With hard drives getting less expensive every day and your video, audio, and image collections steadily growing, it may be time to consider an entry-level RAID array such as the Mercury Elite-AL PRO 800 RAID. You can get a 160GB setup for a mere $239.99 or max out at 1TB for $949.99. If you edit media, you'll definitely appreciate the speed benefits of this out-of-the-box RAID 0 system (you can also switch to RAID 1 with a firmware upgrade from Other World Computing's Web site).


The Mercury Elite isn't the only RAID array that has an industrial-strength aluminum case that looks similar to the Power Mac G5 - there's also Huge Systems' MediaVault U320-R, though Huge's RAID 0/3 array has higher-end customers in mind than the RAID 0/1 Elite. The Elite comes with two FireWire 800 ports and one FireWire 400 port. A pair of 7,200-rpm Seagate Barracuda hard drives (each with an 8MB buffer) lie under the hood.


We tested the $599.99 800GB model using Xbench (free,, a popular benchmarking utility, on a dual 2.7GHz Power Mac G5. Over FireWire 800, the Mercury Elite posted sequential 256KB uncached-write data-transfer speeds of around 50 MBps - pretty decent, and just a tad slower than the 55-MBps speed posted by the Power Mac's internal 250GB Maxtor Serial ATA drive. But in the sequential 256KB uncached-read data-transfer test, the Mercury Elite posted a speed of 81 MBps - much faster than the 55 MBps of the Mac's internal drive.


The bottom line. If you're working with large files, using a RAID 0 array such as the Mercury Elite can help you work efficiently - and it looks stylish next to your Power Mac G5.


COMPANY: Other World Computing
CONTACT: 800-275-4576,
PRICE: $239.99 (160GB) to $949.99 (1TB)
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 8.6 to 9.x or 10.1 or later, Mac OS 10.2 or later for FireWire 800
Fast FireWire 800 support. Looks good. Well built.
Firmware change required to switch from RAID 0 to RAID 1.





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