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Mercury Elite Pro FW800 drive

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Reliable FireWire storage solution

The Mercury Elite Pro series of external FireWire drives from Other World Computing (OWC) are available in a variety of sizes ranging from 80 GB to 400 GB and offer excellent performance and versatile connectivity options.

The drives in this series all come with three ports: two FireWire 800 and one FireWire 400. The clear case looks great, takes up very little desk space, and can be used vertically (if you use the included clip-on “feet”) or horizontally if you want to stack multiple drives. You’ll never have to wonder if the drive is on, thanks to the cool blue LED on the front cover—it’s bright enough to see from a couple of miles away.

Performance for the 200-MB model I tested was impressive. Transfer speed via the FireWire 400 port averaged 35 MB/sec for reading and 36 MB/sec for writing. When the same tests were run using the FireWire 800 port, the read and write speeds were 54 MB/sec and 51 MB/sec respectively—a 64% increase in reading and a 71% increase for writing.

Real-world tests were equally impressive. For example, I launched Final Cut Pro and put together a 10-minute movie using clips contained on the OWC drive and had no problems with skipped frames during rendering or exporting.

All Elite Pro drives come with cables, Dantz Retrospect Express backup software, a copy of Intech SpeedTools, and a two-year warranty. An unexpected bonus is the folder of OWC Shareware that’s loaded on the drive. It includes Apple updaters, QuickTime movies of Apple ads (remember Ellen Fleiss?), as well as copies of the most popular freeware and shareware applications—all in one handy place!

If you’re looking to add some additional storage to your current system, take a serious look at one of the Elite Pro drives.

PRICE: $239.99 (tested model)
FOR: X (8.6+ for 400 version)
FROM: Other World Computing
PHONE: 800-275-4576
WEB: www.macsales.com
RATING: 5.0