Other World Computing (OWC) has announced a series of Sandforce-based SSD upgrades for desktop and mobile Macs. The new SSDs will support both the SATA and IDE interface, including support for the newest Macbook Air which uses their proprietary SSD form factor.
For the desktop variant, the Mercury Extreme Pro Legacy drives are available, providing a SATA to IDE bridge and a 3.5″ adapter to support older Mac versions. The drives will be available in 40GB, 60GB, 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities.
The Mercury Legacy Pro drives are also customised for Apple’s Pre-Intel Powerbooks, where they have IDE interfaces to replace the 2.5″ hard drives in these laptops. The drives are available in 40GB, 60GB, 120GB and 240GB capacities.
The Mercury Aura Pro MBA series of SSD replaces the 1.8″ SSD available in the first two generations of Macbook Air. They would come with the Sata Interface and available in 60GB, 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities.
Lastly, for the latest series of Macbook Air release, OWC would be releasing the Mercury Aura Pro Express series to replace the SSD that comes with the Macbook Air. Users will be able to upgrade the capacity and performance of the SSD in the laptop. The new Mercury Aura Pro Series will be available in 180GB, 240GB and 360GB providing up to three times the storage currently in Macbook Air.
The new OWC Sandforce-based SSD are also capable of 275MB/s compared to the Apple-Toshiba drives rated at 215MB/s for a 22% performance boost. Other features of Sandforce drives are also included, like improved read/write speeds, idle garbage collection, built-in free space management with 7% over-provisioning and wear leveling.
While the drives looks promising, there might be restrictions on Apple’s side not allowing the drives to be used on their products. A recent case would be where Apple stopped the production of Sandforce-based SSD for Mac products being manufactured by Asia-based PhotoFast. Given the Uni-Body design of Macbook products, special tools would also be needed to access the hardware to change the SSD.