Other World Computing (OWC) has announced what it claims is the industry's fastest 3.5in solid-state drive (SSD) with speeds of up to 600MB/s: the Mercury Viper.
Best known for its range of after-market Apple add-ons, OWC's latest creation is one of those rare beasts: a 3.5in SSD. In a market where most manufacturers choose to pack the components required for solid-state storage into a 2.5in casing - giving it immediately compatibility with both desktops and laptops - OWC has instead opted for a larger 3.5in chassis, although with no images of the internals yet available it's not known whether this is for anything other than aesthetic purposes.
The advantage of the Mercury Viper over rival 2.5in devices comes in its performance: according to OWC's internal testing, the drive is capable of hitting read speeds of 600MB/s - and while firm performance figures have yet to be shared, that's an impressive achievement in a market where the best drives hover around the 500-520MB/s mark
. Whether the drive will live up to OWC's promises in independent testing, however, remains to be seen.
The company is further claiming that the drive will launch in a wide range of capacities starting with an entry-level - if such a term is valid for a company's flagship storage device - 240GB model giving way to regularly-sized units up to the pinnacle device storing 1,920GB.
While OWC has somewhat cheekily claimed that its 1,920GB SSD is a 2TB model, it's still an impressively capacious design that should satiate pro-grade users' need for high speed coupled with high capacity - and without the use of PCI Express-connected SSD solutions, which typically come with a raft of restrictions attached including limited operating system support and the inability to use them as boot drives.
Sadly, there's one thing OWC isn't yet sharing: the price. With talk of targeting both the professional user and gamer, it's likely that the Mercury Viper will be priced towards the very top end of the market - and while the "2TB" model might sound tempting, its price tag will likely put it out of the reach of all but the most well-heeled enterprise customers.
OWC has promised to reveal full specifications, shipping dates and pricing information for the Mercury Viper line of SSDs within the next two months.