The Bottom Line
Aside from a mouthful of a product name, the OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure is one of the better quality dual drive enclosures available in its budget-friendly price range. It lacks multiple external interfaces, but it makes up for this with the simplicity and reliability of its eSATA/SATA interface.
If you need a well-built, reliable dual drive external enclosure, and you have added eSATA interfaces to your Mac, this enclosure should be on your short list.
- Dual drive enclosure
- Dual eSATA external interface
- Dual SATA internal interface
- SATA II speeds (3 Gb/s)
- Can be used for external RAID array
- RAID usage requires software
- External power supply (power brick)
- No USB or FireWire interface
- Awkwardly long product name
- Two-bay external hard drive enclosure
- Two SATA internal interfaces
- Two eSATA external interfaces
- Up to 3 Gb/s transfer rate (dependent on hard drive installed)
- Easy to set up and use
- Single tool (Philips screwdriver) needed for installation
- Case size: 9 x 2.8 x 5.8 inches
Guide Review - Review: OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure
The OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure is simplicity at its best. Forgoing the electronics needed to create multiple external or internal interfaces results in a highly reliable enclosure whose only potential points of failure are a small, replaceable fan or an external power brick. For all practical purposes, you can think of this enclosure as just an additional drive bay connected to your Mac.
Of course, for some that’s the rub. The tradeoff for the enclosure’s very reasonable price tag is its use of eSATA for its external interface. If you have a Mac Pro, adding an eSATA interface is fairly simple. You can add a SATA card with external ports or, for an even less expensive option, you can just add an eSATA bracket and use the two unused SATA ports built into your Mac Pro. If you don’t have a Mac Pro, you still have eSATA options. Adapters are available for the MacBook Pro and older PowerMac G5s.
The OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure doesn’t come with any hard drives, so you’ll need to install your own SATA drives. Installation is straightforward. The enclosure uses one drive’s bottom mounting points and the other drive’s side mounting points. While this mounting system is easy, the one drawback is that if you need to service or replace the bottom-mounted drive, you will need to temporarily remove the side-mounted drive to gain access to it.
In use, the OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure is quiet. It has a small fan, but its noise is hardly noticeable in a typical office or home environment. More pronounced is drive access noise, which varies depending on the brand and model of the hard drives you install.
We’ve been using the OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure on a daily basis since last summer. It has performed well during that time, with no problems.