OWC Electra or Extreme 6G for 2009 Mac Pro?

alphaod

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Feb 9, 2008
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I have a Early 2009 Mac Pro.

I've seen a lot of threads on comparing the Electra to the Extreme (both SATA 6G). When looking at the 120GB capacities in most of the threads, the difference in price is quite small. So if I wanted a small capacity, I wouldn't ask this thread.

The issue is for my needs, I require the 480GB model. The difference in price is $200, which is quite a bit. I've called OWC and their sales team is no help seeing all they can do is read off their data sheets which I can do as well. I cannot exceed the incompressible data rate of the Electra drive, so that's why I do not believe I need the faster Extreme variant.

I do not plan to move this drive to a SATA 3 machine anytime at all. The reason I'm only comparing these two models is because I have always had good experience with purchasing OWC branded products, not to mention they offer a cheaper solution compared to other brands like OCZ, etc.

I do not care about 3 year vs 5 year warranties because I will be upgrading in 3 years time if not sooner.

I would love to hear people's experience if any on these two drives in their Mac Pros. Currently I have the Electra in my cart and I want to see if there is any other incentive to pay for the more expensive model, otherwise I think I should just get the Electra. Mainly I'm looking for say better data management in cases of power failures (although I use an UPS), etc.

What are people's thoughts on this?

Thanks!
 

shortcut3d

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2011
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I own several SSDs:
240GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro
480GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G
2 x 240GB OCZ Vertex 3
3 x 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS
2 x 256GB Samsung 830

The Sandforce 2200 series drives are by far the fastest. All drives with the latest firmware are stable and reliable. The best construction is either the OWC or Samsung 830 drives. The best packaging is by far Samsung 830.

Now to answer your question, I recommend the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SATA II (3G) variant. Many SATA III (6G) SSDs do not work well with older chipsets.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
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^^^. Get the 3G Extreme. Cheaper and the most stable of the OWC choices. I swapped a 6G for a 3G after it died and had firmware problems.
SF-2200 should be avoided in any form (if the top tier has issues the cheaper one will also) if you are never actually going to hook it up to a SATAIII link. Plus you get the higher quality NAND.
 

alphaod

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Feb 9, 2008
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Now to answer your question, I recommend the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SATA II (3G) variant. Many SATA III (6G) SSDs do not work well with older chipsets.
One of the reasons I asked about the OWC 6G drive is because they list that it works on my Mac Pro.

I had considered the older SATA II variant, but all the reviews say the newer SF 22xx chipset to be much better.

Plus you get the higher quality NAND.
I've read that OWC uses lower quality NAND now in their Extreme 3G drive when they released their 6G drive.

EDIT: Thank you both for answering my question. I will pick up the Extreme 3G instead.
 
Last edited:

alphaod

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That sucks. Oh well. It runs like a champ.
I guess I shouldn't have said "lower quality."

What I should have said is they moved to 25nm NAND which has lower reliability compared to the older 34nm NAND.

Anyways I should get it tomorrow. One of the more exciting computer upgrades I've done recently… next is hopefully a better GPU assuming Apple ever releases a 7970 (or Nvidia equivalent) for us Mac Pro owners.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
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I guess I shouldn't have said "lower quality."

What I should have said is they moved to 25nm NAND which has lower reliability compared to the older 34nm NAND.

Anyways I should get it tomorrow. One of the more exciting computer upgrades I've done recently… next is hopefully a better GPU assuming Apple ever releases a 7970 (or Nvidia equivalent) for us Mac Pro owners.
You were right with "lower quality". Call a spade a spade. Seriously though the controller/firmware/something else on SSD's will most likely die before your memory flakes out.
 

alphaod

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You were right with "lower quality". Call a spade a spade. Seriously though the controller/firmware/something else on SSD's will most likely die before your memory flakes out.
The drive is definitely slower than what I was hoping for; it works… but a bit slow.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
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The drive is definitely slower than what I was hoping for; it works… but a bit slow.
:eek: Really? It completely saturates SATAII. It is faster than most of the SATAII competition. It isn't faster than 6G (obviously) but faster than 6G on 3G (make sense). If you can actually feel the 1-5% difference in 25nm vs. 32nm someone should hire you for something scientific. Most are still happy to plod along on an Intel SSD (stability) which are slower than 3G SF. Same can be said for 3Gb/s Crucial's and Samsung's.
 

alphaod

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Feb 9, 2008
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:eek: Really? It completely saturates SATAII. It is faster than most of the SATAII competition. It isn't faster than 6G (obviously) but faster than 6G on 3G (make sense). If you can actually feel the 1-5% difference in 25nm vs. 32nm someone should hire you for something scientific. Most are still happy to plod along on an Intel SSD (stability) which are slower than 3G SF. Same can be said for 3Gb/s Crucial's and Samsung's.
Yeah for some reason I'm getting like 180MB/s for both read and write throughput, both which are 100MB/s less than advertised. Now my boot times takes about 30 seconds instead of 10… I'm a bit befuddled by the latter and am investigating the slowdowns to see if it is caused by something else.

Actually my first pick was going to be the Intel 710, but their 300GB option was a bit out of my budget.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
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Yeah for some reason I'm getting like 180MB/s for both read and write throughput, both which are 100MB/s less than advertised. Now my boot times takes about 30 seconds instead of 10… I'm a bit befuddled by the latter and am investigating the slowdowns to see if it is caused by something else.

Actually my first pick was going to be the Intel 710, but their 300GB option was a bit out of my budget.
265MB/s read/write on my 3G 240GB. It is about 2 months old, maybe?Something is wrong. The OWC is pretty much tit for tat against that Intel. When it is faster it is MUCH faster when it is slower it is only slightly slower and most of the time they just trade blows.
Can you test the SSD in another Mac?
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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I guess I shouldn't have said "lower quality."

What I should have said is they moved to 25nm NAND which has lower reliability compared to the older 34nm NAND.

Anyways I should get it tomorrow. One of the more exciting computer upgrades I've done recently… next is hopefully a better GPU assuming Apple ever releases a 7970 (or Nvidia equivalent) for us Mac Pro owners.
There is one thing I really hate about OWC. It's been discussed on here before, but they apply a lot of extra marketing terms to stuff in an attempt to upsell you on drives. i'd trust users on here over their sales staff regarding SSDs. I know you weren't quoting them with "lower quality" but it made me think of that. Also bleck I hope they do release a new mac pro with that gpu. I require a faster computer and gpu so that I can stop using cut down settings in a couple different programs.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
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^^^. It isn't just OWC. Apple does this, MS does this. These day's it is good to be a marketing commando of sorts. "It's the free market". Dress accordingly.
 
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