Mercury On-The-Go FW 800+USB 2.0

Mercury On-The-Go FW 800+USB 2.0

No metallic-grate designs here.


While Other World Computing's Mercury On-The-Go FW 800+USB 2.0 hard drive appears to have been separated at birth from LaCie's silverscreen, it serves a completely different purpose. The silverscreen is designed for media playback on TVs, while the On-The-Go hard drive is a general-purpose, portable storage device. It's clear (pun intended) that more than one product designer discovered that a transparent case would look cool. Not necessarily unique, but cool. And we'll admit, we're dazzled every time we plug in the drive and watch the front LED light up.


The On-The-Go drive we tested had a pair of FireWire 800 ports and a USB 2.0 port; OWC also offers drives with FireWire 400, USB 2.0, or both. The drive comes with a nondescript, but functional, vinyl carrying case to hold the drive, adapter, and cables; it fits neatly in a backpack or book bag.


We used Xbench (free, to gauge the speed of the drive over FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 on a Dual 2GHz Power Mac G5. On the Sequential Uncached Write test, the On-The-Go drive averaged 35MB per second using FireWire 800, versus 10MB per second with USB 2.0. On the Sequential Uncached Read test, the On-The-Go drive averaged 41MB per second using FireWire 800, versus 11MB per second with USB 2.0. Clearly, if speed is your priority, you should use FireWire 800 - if the Mac you're using has it. In the current Mac lineup, only the 17-inch MacBook Pro and Power Mac G5s have FireWire 800 ports.


The bottom line. For toting around your video projects, music compositions, or just multiple gigabytes of files, this itty-bitty drive with a mega-maxi name does the job well.


COMPANY: Other World Computing
CONTACT: 800-275-4576,
PRICE: $139.99 (40GB) to $349.99 (160GB, tested)
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.0.3 or later
Nice design. Good FireWire 800 speeds.
Unimpressive USB speeds (So what else is new? USB is slower than FireWire 99.999% of the time.)





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